URA Draft Master Plan 2019: More housing planned for CBD, Marina Bay area

Fann Sim Channel NewsAsia 27 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE: More homes will be built in the central business district (CBD) and Marina Bay area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Wednesday (Mar 27).

Under its Draft Master Plan 2019, which includes plans to rejuvenate the central area, URA said it will increase housing in sites such as Downtown, Marina South and Rochor so that more people can live closer to their workplaces and other amenities.

The plan for a larger live-in population in the office-dominated CBD and Marina Bay area is part of a move by URA to bring more life to the area after office hours.

"We are looking to bring in new housing options in the CBD. We want to make our CBD more vibrant, a 24/7 precinct, and housing is one of the ways where we want to bring in more people that will be living within the CBD areas," said Ms Hwang Yu-Ning, URA’s chief planner.

Read more!

Malaysia: Sarawak says all ready for dry El Nino weather

sharon ling The Star 26 Mar 19;

KUCHING: Sarawak is prepared to face the dry spell stemming from the El Nino weather phenomenon, readying about 1,000 vehicles and boats to deliver water to villages as needed.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said although this year's El Nino was weak, it was expected to last until May and had already caused dry weather with less rain.

"Several villages and longhouses are facing water shortage, so we have decided that the disaster management committees at divisional level will continue with their preparations for the dry spell.

Read more!

Coral reefs near equator less affected by ocean warming

Research based on analysis of field observations from 20-year global coral survey
Florida Institute of Technology Science Daily 20 Mar 19;

Ocean warming is threatening coral reefs globally, with persistent thermal stress events degrading coral reefs worldwide, but a new study has found that corals at or near the equator are affected less than corals elsewhere.

The findings from Florida Institute of Technology Ph.D. student Shannon Sully and professor Rob van Woesik, along with colleagues at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Reef Check, were published March 20 in the journal Nature Communications.

The work, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Zegar Family Foundation, was based on analysis of field observations from a 20-year global survey of over 3,500 coral study sites led by Reef Check founder and former director Gregor Hodgson.

As expected, coral bleaching was most common in localities experiencing high-temperature stress, but it was significantly less common in those places with high monthly variation in temperatures.

Read more!