Wang Wei, Director in Urbanism and Master Planning, Singapore
"I’ve always been impressed with Ramboll’s sustainability approach in our urbanism projects, the use of biophilia, the incorporation of nature-based solutions, and water sensitive urban design. I found this particularly pertinent as Asia – Singapore included – is continuously urbanising."
Wang Wei, Director in Urbanism and Master Planning, SingaporeOpen positions
I’m Singapore born-and-bred, originating from the North-East heartlands of the island. I spent the most of my life in a little neighbourhood called Seletar Hills, where it’s rather laidback and life moves a little slower there. Having studied Urban Planning as my Degree and Transportation as my Master’s Degree, being where I am right now has always been a bit of a childhood ambition dream. As a child, I grew up constructing my own Lego cities in my living room, and it was not an uncommon sight to see sprawling lego buildings, houses, and roads spanning my parents’ home back then. As I got older, being taught school subjects such as Geography, and better understanding street directories – such as the amount of thought which went behind planning bus interchanges – all these factors just fuelled my interest in city design and planning.
My Start in Urban Planning
The easiest way to get your start at anything: Get a job! There was no better way to understand what urban planning was really about, till I just took the plunge and ploughed myself into the daily rhythm of the actual work. There are three key items which underscore my enjoyment here at Ramboll doing urban planning: The first, being able to dream, conceptualise, ideate and design – I love plans and maps and seeing how they come together and fit on a larger scale. Secondly, I adore meeting people. You need to love people and the daily interactions it comes with; you won’t ever hear of a hermit planner! It just doesn’t exist! Lastly, I enjoy making site visits. Nothing could ever inform you more about a place and its needs, other than standing on its grounds and taking it all in. I particularly adore travelling and getting lost in new cities, photography, plants, and learning German. My latest passion project would be developing an indoor garden for my new home.
Pride at Ramboll
I first came to know of Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl through the Kolam Ayer ABC project at my previous role. I’ve always been impressed with Ramboll’s sustainability approach in our urbanism projects, the use of biophilia, the incorporation of nature-based solutions, and water sensitive urban design. I found this particularly pertinent as Asia – Singapore included – is continuously urbanising. As a result, there are growing concerns over climate change and the urban heat island effect, signalling a need for us urban designers conduct urbanism differently. I firmly stand by Ramboll’s approach in addressing this, and am incredibly keen on furthering this sustainability agenda. At present, our team is currently working on a project with the Asian Development Bank on Luang Prabang, which involves looking at the future urban development for the city. I’m very excited to kick-start this project.
Additionally, working at Ramboll cross-culturally and geographically is another thing I find absolutely fascinating. I am always impressed when I learn something new from my colleagues from across the globe, as it always challenges my own ideas, manner of thinking, and planning philosophies – pushing the boundaries of my own limitations. Collaboration has definitely produced bright ideas. This in turn greatly facilitates me in being able to better understand what the client wants, as more often than not the client requires us to go beyond what is penned down in words, and to appreciate their genuine concerns and intentions for the project. At Ramboll, you are given the personal empowerment to make decisions, opportunities to gain mastery over our technical fields, and creative steak which changes and challenges one’s personal perceptions towards making the world more sustainable.
The Ramboll Values
Ramboll has four value pairs: Insight & Excellence, Integrity & Empathy, Empowerment & Collaboration, and Enjoyment & Passion. I definitely relate best to enjoyment and passion, as it is the value pair which makes our daily ins-and-outs of working on projects a lot more vibrant, less dreary, and ever-exciting at Ramboll. My professional motto is to make cities not only liveable, but also lovable. This journey to achieve my personal motto spanned a long time – from my beginnings as a child creating lego cities across my parents’ living room, to a fresh urban planning graduate struggling to articulate what my true calling, all the way into my early-30s where I finally recognised how I could contribute to sustainable cities. It led me here to Ramboll, where this vision of liveable and lovable cities is thoroughly embraced and practiced.
Loveable cities is a term that gained traction very recently. It is both a pragmatic concept – as well as an emotive one – which inspire both planners and designers alike, in creating cities which enable people to endear themselves to, cities that people remember, love and feel proud of. I admit that doing so will be no easy feat – good cities are a dime a dozen; but to create a great city – this requires people to not only like them, but fall in love. This is my hope for Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, and for myself personally as their Director in Urbanism and Master Planning.