You’re smart. Your parents are smart. Even your dog and cat are smart — but can a nation be smart? It can if the country to which you refer is Singapore. We are never shy about admitting that everything new and improved is a shining example of our urban planning efforts, so you couldn’t find more great reasons to live in Singapore. But perhaps you wonder how Singapore’s mission to become the world’s first smart nation impacts runners.
Wonder no more. We’ve investigated aspects of Singapore’s efforts to build stronger communities through technology and innovation and found concepts guaranteed to benefit runners. From infrastructure to forward thinking and planning, changes are on the horizon. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss any of these!
A New Definition of Urban Running Space
You run through Singapore’s exceptional park connector system, enjoy your choice of parks with jogging trails and celebrate the government’s willingness to close down streets to host urban marathons, but will the running paths of the future include rooftops? You bet.
Following in the footsteps of rooftop running trends, Singapore is investigating innovative ways to turn rooftops into running courses. Just as rooftop gardens made good use of space that might otherwise be ignored, you may be able to run from building to building in the future courtesy of urban planners and engineering innovators, and with Singapore engineers on the job, footfalls on the roof won’t disturb the neighbours!
A Central Information Hub That Saves Time and Effort
Every time you visit the World Wide Web to search for lists of running venues, parks, marathons and even running clubs, you encounter page after page of lists — so many, you may find yourself abandoning the search because you haven’t the time to read every listing and feel overwhelmed.
Now, imagine incorporating every bit of data surrounding Singapore’s running scene and creating a repository that makes this data available in one place? Is this science fiction? Not if the Smart Nation Platform as currently envisioned by the nation’s smartest minds comes to fruition. How will you access this information? Everywhere: via smartphone, media, dedicated websites and if the technology advances as expected, your FitBit might answer your questions with a single finger tap.
Clever Innovations That Benefit Society
Leave it to high-tech Japan to rival Singapore on the subject of “frustration-free urban running.” A crowd-funded project called the Runbell was introduced to that nation’s running community last year, and was promoted as “a stylish wearable bell for runners, solving the problem of how to courteously warn pedestrians on shared pathways.”
Made of brass to help conduct sound and shaped to fit men’s and women’s fingers, this simple invention is the brainchild of a young couple frustrated with dodging seniors and smartphone readers on busy streets and paths. Of course, we all know that Singapore inventors are equally as smart and clever as their Japanese counterparts, so imagine how much support our product developers will receive for coming up with even better running-appropriate inventions down the road!
Prioritizing Your Health in Impressive Ways
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Singapore has been quietly going about the business of keeping its citizenry healthy on many different fronts. Some of the most important beneficiaries of this progress are Singapore runners who want to stay as healthy as possible.
By prioritizing improvements in systems delivering natural resources runners literally can’t live without — water and air — it’s no wonder The Guardian newspaper noted that Singapore leads the planet when it comes to impressive, measurable air and water improvements.
Singapore’s water delivery operation has been transformed into a model for all nations: by 2060, 50-percent of water flowing from Singapore taps will be reclaimed wastewater. The air runners breathe is also improving thanks to reduced CO2 emissions that are expected to fall by another 30-percent by 2030.
This video sums up the effort each agency will contribute towards our smart nation goals.
You Are What You Eat, So Look Up to Find it!
We don’t have to remind you that running from morning to night won’t serve you terribly well if you eat fast food and sugary treats, do we? But as a runner following a healthy diet, finding affordable, fresh foods can be a challenge. If you have concerns about fresh produce availability as a result of the nation’s finite amount of growing land, you may wish to study the Singapore skyline where the world’s first vertical farm stands.
This homage to a farming system that will revolutionize urban agriculture was built by Sky Green Farms in 2012.
Though it leaves a very small footprint, one ton of fruit and veggies is produced by this farm every other day! You read that right. Now, imagine more vertical farms and benefits you enjoy by having this resource in your neighbourhood: reduced prices and exceptional freshness because shipping time will no longer compromise taste, nor will vitamins and minerals be lost on the journey. Sounds heavenly, right?
What smart innovation(s) have you noticed that have the potential to impact Singapore’s Smart Nations Plan for Sustainable Living? Your wildest ideas are invited – just as long as they are real and not fiction!