SEA-City Interface Competition: The Future of Urban Design

June 5, 2024

Singapore’s Long Island

As part of the prestigious design competition “The SEA-City Interface,” organized by the National University of Singapore, 12 global universities have united to tackle the challenge of creating a regenerative urban design for Singapore’s Long Island. This ambitious project, focused on land reclaimed off the East Coast, aims to pioneer sustainable and resilient urban development.

Nurturing Future Urban Planners and Designers

Chris Panfil, Managing Principal of Planning + Landscape at WATG Singapore, played a pivotal role in this competition. Invited by Dr. Annette Condello from Curtin University in Australia, Chris conducted a virtual critique session for the Masters of Architecture students. The session centered around the students’ evolving conceptual Master Plan for the competition, with a follow-up session to mark their final assessment.

The competition’s objectives are in line with Singapore’s steadfast commitment to climate change mitigation, with a special focus on enhancing coastal resilience. It seeks to create a blueprint for urban development that prioritizes decarbonization and addresses the challenges of rapid urbanization. Participants are encouraged to merge ecology, resilience, and sustainability with culture, space, and urban processes in their designs.

Curtin University Student Critique Session

Innovative Concepts for a Sustainable Future

Students explored various forward-thinking concepts, such as:

  • Food sustainability and resilience through edible gardens.
  • Modular floating cities that adapt to rising sea levels.
  • Community hubs designed to foster engagement and social cohesion.
  • Building on water  to minimize land reclamation.
  • Enhancing walkability and well-being to promote healthier lifestyles.
  • Supporting biodiversity through nature-first design principles.

Chris challenged the students to ensure their designs embody regenerative urbanism, preserve cultural qualities, increase density, and transform the precinct into a premier tourism destination.

“We’re pleased to contribute to nurturing students and guiding their planning and design thinking, especially for such critical projects as Singapore’s Long Island. We see this as not just a studio exercise, but as a hallmark opportunity to redefine the standards of sustainable and resilient coastal development generally, and especially in Southeast Asia. I relish this meaningful opportunity to share my experience, and to help shape the students’ ideas which will form the foundation upon which we build a resilient, thriving ecosystem capable of withstanding the tests of time and tide.” – Chris Panfil

Izumi Waterfront City

Izumi Waterfront City

WATG’s Legacy of Sustainable Master Planning

For nearly 80 years, WATG has been at the forefront of master planning and designing destinations that protect and enhance both the environment and community. Our approach emphasizes responsive, responsible, and resilient design. We are proud to contribute to this forward-thinking competition that invites a reimagining of urban spaces to meet the complex demands of the future, balancing human needs with environmental stewardship.

Notable Master Planning Projects by WATG

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