Green engineering has the potential to preserve habitats and improve water quality in large cities, however retrofitting solutions brings with it a range of challenges. Nathan is coordinating with colleagues in Singapore, and looking at projects in the United States and the UK that explore these urban ecology challenges.
“The challenge of megacities in the tropics is that they already have heavily modified coastlines and port facilities,” Nathan says. “We have to look at how you go back and modify that infrastructure and what cost is involved. These are places where we’ve got huge changes in population in coastal areas and we have to realise there will be more expansion of industry and urban development, and make sure we can protect water quality through smart water treatment design technology.”
With green engineering making its way into the limelight, Nathan is hopeful that it will continue to flourish locally and make a difference for both coastal communities and the environment.
“My goal is for green engineering to grow so we can tackle these issues in expanding megacities in the tropics, and tackle coastal water quality challenges,” Nathan says. “There is always more that can be done. It’s through working with other researchers and stakeholders that we can start to progressively achieve success in the space of coastal development.”