I didn’t ride a bike in Singapore and to be honest I didn’t want to. Spending three days in Singapore made meÂ gratefulÂ to live in a great cycling city like Adelaide. While I do sometimes complain about the infrastructure that we do have, at least we have it, and we have a political structure that gives us a voice.
Of the people that I did see riding bikes, I only saw one person wearing a helmet and they were riding a reasonable looking road bike. Who was it that said that mandatory helmet laws stop people from cycling?
I saw one bike shop, and I saw a heck of a lot of other types of shops and shopping centres in Singapore.
Singapore’s population at the 2012 census was Â 5,312,400, that’s 7,315 people perÂ km2Â (wikipedia). If Singapore invested time and money into planning it’s transport infrastructure then imagine how many cars would be off the roads?!
A cleaner greener Singapore would be amazing!
Just the other week I went to a fascinating seminar which was run as part of the Social Innovator Dialogues. The topic was ‘designing innovation’ and was delivered by Enzio Manzini, Professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano, Honorary Doctor at The New School of New YorkÂ (2006) and at the Goldsmiths College of London (2008) and honorary professor at the Glasgow School of Art (2009).
Manzini was talking about how we can develop sustainable communities, his key phrase was small, local, open, connected. The audio from this event can be downloaded from the Royal Institute of Australia (RiAus) website.*
The key concept is that to exist in a sustainable way, we need to develop smaller communities who can feed themselves and be more self contained, but we need to be open and inclusive and be connected to larger systems. We need to invest more in distributed systems. Systems for generating energy for our communities, using renewable sources. By being connected, we can generate what we need, but also supply back to the grid. There are many other ways in which the theory of distributed systems can be applied to current unsustainable practices.
Over the last two months I have spent quite a bit of time reading and thinking. My topic has become refined further, to a smaller area that I can investigate to greater depths. My initial research questions will still fit, hopefully, but some of them I am breaking out in to other studies that I can refer to within my PhD.
The title hasn’t changed much, but I think it might end up changing further down the track, to be more suitable. Currently I’m using An investigation of the extent to which Australian public libraries are practicing sustainability, but I think it might end up changing.
I have further refined my topic to look specifically at public libraries and at the community partnerships that are occuring and the services and programs that are developing as a result of these linkages. I am interested to see if these sustainability related community outreach programs are having an effect on the library staff and the way the organisation functions internally.