MP Leon Perera

Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Transport what measures have been implemented or are being considered to reduce the contribution of transport infrastructure, such as flyovers, viaducts, MRT tracks and stations, to the urban heat island effect in residential estates.

Mr S Iswaran:  Various measures have been implemented to mitigate the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, via (i) reducing heat absorption, (ii) improving energy efficiency, and (iii) reducing the overall carbon footprint.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) designs our transport infrastructure to meet the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark standards to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by transport infrastructure. Planters and inground planting are incorporated at above-ground structures, such as MRT stations and entrances and also new road viaducts, to reduce accumulation of incoming heat. Transport infrastructure also provides more shaded areas in urban environments, which help to reduce the amount of direct sunlight and heat absorbed by buildings, roads and footpaths, thereby reducing the UHI effect.

 LTA also improves the energy efficiency of buildings through incorporation of green features in MRT stations and MRT and bus depots. These include solar panels on roofs, use of LED lighting, façade designs which optimise natural ventilation and natural lighting and exploring methods to optimise the use of air-conditioning.

In addition, the Ministry of Transport and LTA promote the use of public transport, which reduces an individual’s carbon footprint by 70% or more, compared to driving an internal combustion engine car. We are also pushing ahead with our vehicular electrification efforts to reduce the carbon footprint among our private vehicle population.

 LTA regularly reviews the design of existing infrastructure, system and materials to ensure that they are environmentally sustainable and may implement additional measures to mitigate the UHI effect. LTA is also actively involved in the research and development of new technologies, for example, using plastic-bituminous asphalt mixes, for roads for better performance in urban cooling.

Ministry of Transport
20 March 2023

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