Example 3. Singapore and the coastal protection framework.

A three pillars approach (combining from early stages good governance, ensuring local and global economic opportunities, and developing world class technological solutions) is at the heart of Singapore’s sustainability success strategy. Singapore is committed to finding workable sustainability solutions at scale and speed, and integrated national frameworks and strategies are being developed in the context of emerging domestic and global challenges [10] .

The fact that there are significant economic opportunities to be had in becoming a global sustainability leader supports Singapore’s overall growth objectives, by building an economy that grows by productivity (not only by more people and infrastructure), by innovation and information capacity (rather than more production or manufacturing), and in exporting beneficial sustainability solutions to growing international markets. The economic potential and growing demand (in China, India, ASEAN, and globally) for sustainability products and solutions has allowed Singapore to create opportunities from its own necessity [11] .

Singapore has built and supported world class university research in cleantech and sustainability related technologies in renewable energy, green transportation, water and resources management, and environmental health. It has also created many platforms for cutting-edge and collaborative sustainability research and test-bedding (technological, economic, and political) of sustainability solutions. At the same time, the island city-state is an early warning sensor for the world that is emerging, many of the environmental impact challenges and constraints faced here will (sooner rather than later) be confronted elsewhere.

An example of this, and a good example of the application of the three pillars framework in planning for a specific project, is the Singapore Coastal Protection Framework (CPF). The CPF is the nation’s adaptation response to global warming, climate change, sea-level rise, and increasing flooding risks. The CPF is a substantial undertaking, involving major technology deployments and infrastructure development: it covers more than 400 km of total coastline, and includes the construction of marine and coastal barriers, sea walls, wave breaks, and an array of complementary new inland structures and systems relating to flood control and water security. The main risks of climate change and sea level rise for Singapore are flooding and coastal erosion. The scenarios for sea level rise range, as assessed over several possible scenarios under consideration, from 18 cm to more than 60 cm, over mid to long-term time horizons through 2050 and 2100.

The CPF presents an integrated and continuous range of marine, coastal, inland, and hinterland development projects, likely to touch almost every area of planning, development, and land use in Singapore, both now and into the future. Significantly, sustainable development planning in Singapore now strongly encourages integrated planning efforts [12] . Singapore’s ongoing CPF perfectly illustrates the need for a fully integrated design and implementation process: 1) for deploying technology and engineering planning; 2) for considering sustainable economic development, as well as economic opportunities for commercializing technologies and expertise developed during the project; 3) for environmental protection and public safety; 4) for the interests of multiple stakeholders, including protecting heritage and cultural sites; 5) and for building institutional capacity, including new laws and governance structures, to support the organization of multi-ministerial, regulatory, and coordinated actions.

The CPF is a good example of the application of the three pillars strategy framework for sustainability project planning, execution, and implementation.