Space-starved Singapore is going subterranean

Space-starved Singapore Is Going Subterranean

Instead of building more high-rises and reclaiming land from the sea, the Singapore government in its quest for space has come up with another idea: Going underground.

With its population of 5.6 million expected to grow steadily in coming years, authorities are considering how to better use the space below the streets in the city-state, according to an AFP report.

Singapore has already built an underground highway and a subterranean state-of-the-art air conditioning system, but is now looking to house more facilities and critical infrastructure beneath the surface in order to meet increasing demand for industrial, commercial, residential and green space on land.

According to a draft development plan released in March, authorities want to put utilities, transport as well as storage and industrial facilities underground in order to free up land on the surface. There are as yet no plans to put housing underground.

Three-dimensional technology will be used to produce subterranean maps, with three pilot areas targeted initially, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which created the development plan.

By going underground, Singapore follows examples of other cities. For instance, Finland’s capital Helsinki has tunnels housing car parks, shopping malls and even swimming pools, while Montreal in Canada has a so-called “Underground City“, a tunnel network connecting key points. They have done it mainly because of the cold climate.

For Singapore, moving facilities underground would have the advantage of reduced use of air conditioning which could save energy in Singapore’s tropical climate.

Still, building underground in Singapore poses challenges – construction is difficult beneath an already urbanised environment while new projects will compete for space with existing subterranean facilities.

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Instead of building more high-rises and reclaiming land from the sea, the Singapore government in its quest for space has come up with another idea: Going underground. With its population of 5.6 million expected to grow steadily in coming years, authorities are considering how to better use the space below the streets in the city-state, according to an AFP report. Singapore has already built an underground highway and a subterranean state-of-the-art air conditioning system, but is now looking to house more facilities and critical infrastructure beneath the surface in order to meet increasing demand for industrial, commercial, residential and green...

Space-starved Singapore Is Going Subterranean

Instead of building more high-rises and reclaiming land from the sea, the Singapore government in its quest for space has come up with another idea: Going underground.

With its population of 5.6 million expected to grow steadily in coming years, authorities are considering how to better use the space below the streets in the city-state, according to an AFP report.

Singapore has already built an underground highway and a subterranean state-of-the-art air conditioning system, but is now looking to house more facilities and critical infrastructure beneath the surface in order to meet increasing demand for industrial, commercial, residential and green space on land.

According to a draft development plan released in March, authorities want to put utilities, transport as well as storage and industrial facilities underground in order to free up land on the surface. There are as yet no plans to put housing underground.

Three-dimensional technology will be used to produce subterranean maps, with three pilot areas targeted initially, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which created the development plan.

By going underground, Singapore follows examples of other cities. For instance, Finland’s capital Helsinki has tunnels housing car parks, shopping malls and even swimming pools, while Montreal in Canada has a so-called “Underground City“, a tunnel network connecting key points. They have done it mainly because of the cold climate.

For Singapore, moving facilities underground would have the advantage of reduced use of air conditioning which could save energy in Singapore’s tropical climate.

Still, building underground in Singapore poses challenges – construction is difficult beneath an already urbanised environment while new projects will compete for space with existing subterranean facilities.

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