Secondary forest loss in Singapore has recently emerged as a contentious issue that tests the relationships between state, public and civil society, but debates on this…
Secondary forest loss in Singapore has recently emerged as a contentious issue that tests the relationships between state, public and civil society, but debates on this issue have occurred without the benefit of supporting information on the spatial extent, and understanding of multiple socio-ecological impacts arising from their gradual disappearance. The purpose of this paper is to fill these knowledge gaps to contribute to development of approaches to manage land developments on secondary forests.
This study evaluated the past and potential future losses of spontaneous re-growth forest through spatial analyses of vegetation cover maps combined with national land use plans using remote sensing and GIS. The socio-ecological impacts of such losses were interpreted from published writings, which comprise scientific publications and public opinion in news media.
Secondary forest losses accounted for more than half of total vegetation cover reduction between 2007 and 2012, and future potential losses amount to about 4,700 ha of land if these are fully developed over the next 10-15 years. The socio-ecological consequences of such losses are identified. Strong public opinion are reflected in the large number of news article on the topic over the last four years, pointing to the emergence of a contentious issue that requires careful management.
This paper conducted the first assessment of the spatial extent of secondary forests losses, and an extensive review of public opinion of the matter, and the results validated the significance of this topic.
This study recognizes that a number of socio-ecological impacts will result from current and future secondary forest loss in Singapore. Addressing the gap between…
This study recognizes that a number of socio-ecological impacts will result from current and future secondary forest loss in Singapore. Addressing the gap between ecological design principles and the generation of actionable design strategies, the paper draws a more explicit link between them to guide future attempts to generate design solutions to the issue of secondary forest loss.
The study identifies actionable and contextualized design strategies from 18 academic design studio projects dealing with threatened secondary forest sites in Singapore and examines the ecological concepts which underpin the design strategies. These design strategies were then mapped to urban ecological principles.
Fifteen actionable design strategies, aligned with 4 urban ecology principles, were identified for addressing the impacts of secondary forest loss in Singapore.
The paper makes an attempt to bridge theoretical principles and design action, and explicates how the two may be aligned. This helps to close a persistent gap between design projects and the science-based design principles generated in the academe. The paper also highlights the potential of academic design studios as a platform for generating ideas to emergent local problems not yet addressed by conventional practice, and offers a range of ideas to mitigate the impact of secondary forest loss in Singapore.