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Conference Synopsis – Biodiversity



5 – 6 Sep 2016 | Singapore
BCA Academy, 200 Braddell Road, Singapore 579700 (Show Map)

HOME » PROGRAMME » Synopsis | Track 1: Biodiversity


According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), biodiversity is defined as “the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes” (2010). One reason to protect biodiversity is to provide raw materials necessary for the growth and flourishing of civilizations. Besides, it is crucial to human well-being, sustainable development and poverty reduction as it provides food and energy security, as well as protection from natural hazards such as fires and flooding. It is well recognized that climate change affects biodiversity yet in addition, biodiversity provides crucial contribution to adapt to and to mitigate climate-change by supporting the ecosystem it serves.

In the early days, lesser priority was given to biodiversity within “greening”, which was simply referred to as the provision of parks and planting of roadside greenery. Biodiversity was considered nothing to do with the built areas. When we talk about green buildings, we tend to focus on green techniques, low energy consumption or less carbon impact. Some “green” buildings are decorated with plants or lawns while biodiversity among these green spaces is somehow ignored. More recently, emphasis has been given to increasing the presence of biodiversity in urban areas as this is increasingly seen as an “X-factor” that will distinguish urban cities and create a more sustainable built environment. In this context, future directions and challenges are uncharted and innovative ways of retaining and enhancing biodiversity to arrive at a biophilic city, one that is embedded in a matrix of ecological connectors, are being explored.  By keeping biodiversity in mind, urban planners and architects could enable more interactions between people and wildlife in planning, designing and zoning a city. A city could be ecologically connected in both terrestrial and aquatic aspects; on land via urban eco-corridors, nature ways and park connectors; aquatically through network of naturalised canals and reservoirs. These reserves are potentially connected by urban eco-corridors, green roofs and facades to preserve and revitalize biodiversity in urban areas. For example, in recent years, Singapore is on its way from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden”. Integration of buildings, greening and biodiversity will provide a more stable system to mitigate and adapt climate change effects.

Is it possible that architecture could promote or support biodiversity actively, namely a wide range of species maintained on the site through the design?  Possible solutions will be addressed by paying attention to the relationship between architecture and biodiversity in order to address climate change. The scope of this track will cover but is not limited to:

  • Effects of buildings or architectures on surrounding biodiversity
  • Modelling predictions of future impacts of buildings on biodiversity and their potential role in decision-making
  • Architectures or buildings as multi-species habitats
  • Low-impact architectures or buildings
  • Biophilic architecture and design
  • Urban design and planning to support biodiversity in high density environments



IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, “About biodiversity” Accessed January 18.