Sustainable Systems

Altruistic Thinkers, Global Citizens

The success of humankind is a double-edged sword. On one hand, we have made great advancements in our society through science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.  This is because of our ability to synthesize and bring together many ideas, principles, and functioning parts into complex yet coherent systems. However, some of these same systems that keep our societies functioning and growing, owe their success to a complicated history of environmental exploitation, unfair distribution of benefits, and are not economically viable. 


Therefore, we must acknowledge our inextricable relationship with the environment and global interconnectedness between countries and their people. As Altruistic Thinkers and Global Citizens, we can, will, and must design more sustainable systems, to ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of present day, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.  For we may not be able to rewrite our history, but we can pick up the proverbial mightier pen, to write our untold yet shared future together.

Assigned Constraints in STEAMville

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Human Demographics

Demography refers to the study of human population - size, composition and distribution across space. Human demographics are constantly changing and the nature of impact can be economic (e.g. decreasing workforce, increasing dependents), political (e.g. healthcare subsidies for the elderly) and sociocultural (e.g. culture clashes, overcrowding). Some of these changes are caused by an increase in rural-urban migration, an increase in influence of globalisation and a decrease in birth rates coupled with increase in life expectancy in developed cities. The changes in human demographics is important as different demographics have different needs, priorities and strengths that have to be taken into account when designing a system.

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Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are major disasters that arise from natural processes of the Earth. Some natural disasters are either caused directly by or worsened in impact due to changing climatic conditions. Natural disasters cause environmental (e.g biodiversity, landscape), social (e.g. loss of lives and homes, disruption to services, long term health impacts) and economic (e.g. infrastructure, industrial) damage. The frequency of some natural disasters is on the rise due to climate change (European Academies' Science Advisory Council, Leopoldina - Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften., 2018). This means by 2040, cities have to be designed to be able to resist such disasters to minimise socioeconomic and environmental disruption to the lives of its residents. Any development also has to be environmentally sustainable in order to prevent further aggravation of climate change.

Image by Yosh Ginsu

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