Simulations for sustainable cities

Prof. Peter Edwards, director of the Singapore-ETH Centre, wrote an article on “Simulations for sustainable cities” in the “Zukunftsblog” of ETH Zurich dedicated to Facts and Views on Sustainability.

The occasion for the article, was the mid-term review of Future Cities Laboratory (FCL), a research programme of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC). We were standing in FCL’s ‘Value Lab Asia’ in Singapore, which is dominated by a display screen taking up an entire wall and three smaller screens. An international evaluation committee was being shown some of the exciting simulation products developed during the first three years of research at SEC.

The FCL programme, which commenced in 2010, is composed of ten research modules led by professors at ETH Zürich, and three assistant professorships. The overall goal is improving the sustainability of cities, and individual FCL projects cover topics as diverse as new building materials, digital fabrication, mobility and transportation planning, urban design, urban sociology and territorial planning. An important part of the ‘glue’ holding these projects together is the simulation module, which lies at the core of the programme.