FCL: Future Cities Laboratory
The Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) is a trans-disciplinary research centre focused on urban sustainability in a global frame. It was established by ETH Zürich and Singapore`s National Research Foundation (NRF). It is the first program run under the auspices of the Singapore-ETH Center for Global Environmental Sustainability.
SEC: Singapore-ETH Center for Global Environmental Sustainability
The Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC) is an interdisciplinary research platform, supported by a range of academic partners, relevant agencies in Singapore and Switzerland and selected industry partners. It aims to enhance the academic relationships between the partners and was established as a long-term collaboration with shifting research focuses.
Urban sustainability is the capacity of densely populated conglomerates for a social, economic and ecological endurance. In this sense, the urban has to be understood as an open dynamic system with changing parameters characterizing long-lasting measures to achieve a sustainable behavior.
Sustainable Construction Methods
In the past decades, a phenomena of global “best construction practice” traveled through universities and building industries worldwide. Handbooks of sustainable construction, no matter in which location or context they were produced, were applied in a global scale, leading to a misunderstanding that sustainability could be measured as a universal standard. Sustainable construction methods must acknowledge their specific context und cultural setting, including the skills of local workers. Availability and origin of materials as well as their connection and economic as well as ecological value need to be taken into consideration, before deciding on certain construction methods.
The context of a certain construction application includes the cultural space (history, religion, language, etc), the ecological space (which materials and products are produced locally with how much energy and other input sources), the ethical space (who produced the materials and products where and at which costs), as well as the economical space (which materials and products generated a local value chain and which are imported).
Resource demands are requirements of people to secure their day-by-day life. In developing territories we experience a growing demand for resources, based on one hand on a growing population and on the other on a growing level of living standards.
Waste needs to be seen as a highly potential stock of materials. Re- and Up-cycling strategies could make this stock available as alternative building materials.
Infrastructure provides the possibility for people to organize an ethical coexistence and to have access to services (state or community based), installations (public institutions e.g. for education purposes), and main utilities like water, electricity, sanitary facilities, information and social interaction.