A DEEP AWAKENING

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Home & Decor, ar­chi­tect Ja­son Pomeroy talks about the ur­gency of build­ing sus­tain­able ma­rine cities and what’s needed for them to thrive.

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - Find out more about Wart­sila and the SEA20 Fo­rum on www. sea20.org.

In an in­ter­view ex­clu­sive, ar­chi­tect Ja­son Pomeroy talks about the ur­gency of build­ing sus­tain­able ma­rine cities and help­ing them thrive.

The fu­ture lies at sea, and the fu­ture is now. At the SMM (ship­build­ing, ma­chin­ery, ma­rine tech­nol­ogy) fair held in Septem­ber last year – the fair is the lead­ing in­ter­na­tional mar­itime trade show held bi­en­ni­ally in Ham­burg – tech­nol­ogy group Wart­sila an­nounced its global ini­tia­tive ti­tled “An Oceanic Awakening”.

Wart­sila, the Fin­nish global leader in smart tech­nol­ogy in the ma­rine and en­ergy sec­tors, an­nounced that the bold new project fo­cuses on “the rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of the world’s ma­rine and en­ergy in­dus­try into one supremely ef­fi­cient, eco­log­i­cally sound and dig­i­tally con­nected ecosys­tem”.

The visions birthed at the Ham­burg work­shop were also meant to in­spire the global ma­rine in­dus­try and the au­thor­i­ties to ad­dress com­plex prob­lems caused by rapid ur­ban growth.

Ja­son Pomeroy of Pomeroy Stu­dios was one of three prom­i­nent Sin­ga­pore-based design and sus­tain­abil­ity in­no­va­tors rep­re­sent­ing the city at Ham­burg (the other two are Vivien Leong, part­ner at Ipli Ar­chi­tects, and Song Kee Hong, a lead­ing aca­demic with the in­dus­trial design

di­vi­sion at Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore and win­ner of the pres­ti­gious Red Dot Lu­mi­nary Award in 2009).

“The work­shop ex­pe­ri­ence in Ham­burg brought to­gether ur­ban plan­ners, ar­chi­tects, and ex­perts in smart tech­nol­ogy from dif­fer­ent cities, who came to­gether to dis­cuss ideas for a bet­ter, sus­tain­able use of port in­fra­struc­ture,” re­calls Ja­son.

He adds: “With the world pop­u­la­tion pro­jected to reach 9.6 bil­lion in about 30 years’ time, our cities con­tinue to face tremen­dous ur­ban pres­sures. There has got to be an al­ter­na­tive.

“Cur­rently, there is a lot of talk about green ar­chi­tec­ture but, while we are pas­sion­ate about green­ing cities, it is just as im­por­tant we fo­cus on the blue agenda.”

Ja­son, who’s also a TV host on Chan­nel News Asia’s Smart Cities 2.0, City Time Trav­eller and City Redesign, is well-known for his work on sus­tain­able ar­chi­tec­ture, hav­ing con­ceived out­stand­ing projects rang­ing from a green tech­no­log­i­cal hub in Jakarta dubbed the “Sil­i­con Val­ley of In­done­sia” to the “Idea House”, the first zero car­bon house in South-east Asia, and af­ford­able hous­ing in the Philip­pines.

“WITH WORLD POP­U­LA­TION PRO­JECTED TO REACH 9.6 BIL­LION IN 30 YEARS, OUR CITIES FACE TREMEN­DOUS UR­BAN PRES­SURES.”

“It is just as im­por­tant we talk about blue ar­chi­tec­ture,” he stresses. “We need to look into how we can break down bar­ri­ers within ports and cities so that they can be bet­ter con­nected.”

Through work­ing with thought lead­ers like Ja­son, Wart­sila hopes to also cre­ate and shape a vi­sion for how Sin­ga­pore may evolve as a smart ma­rine city.

Hark­ing back to the old days when Clarke Quay and Boat Quay were once a vi­brant trade and trans­ship­ment zone, a pe­riod in his­tory where godowns and shop­houses teemed with peo­ple work­ing and liv­ing in the area, Ja­son is grounded in the be­lief that it is only through learn­ing from the past that the present can be in­formed.

“Trade and com­merce took place at those godowns, and peo­ple worked and lived there,” he says. “How do we then breathe vi­tal­ity and life back into our mod­ern port cities?

“We need to rein­vig­o­rate them eco­nom­i­cally, cul­tur­ally and so­cially again.”

RIGHT The pro­posal of a smart ma­rine city de­vel­op­ment, which utilises en­ergy gen­er­ated from wind and oceans.

TOP One of the so­lu­tions to the fu­ture of ur­ban liv­ing is to bring back the func­tion­al­ity of ports and har­bours.

ABOVE Green ar­chi­tec­ture needs to take into ac­count ma­rine con­ser­va­tion as well.

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