Artist’s impression of an underground city in Singapore. (Photo: JTC Corporation)
UPDATED: In a bid to provide a comprehensive look of what lies beneath, the government will unveil pilot areas of an underground masterplan in the works to map out the city-state’s underground spaces and their potential uses next year, reported the Straits Times.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) chief planner Hwang Yu-Ning revealed that pilot areas of the underground masterplan will be released as part of the next masterplan guiding the city-state’s development in the medium term.
She noted that URA is working at having a more complete 3D map of the subterranean spaces and infrastructure.
This comes as the government has to “take stock and have a good database of information” of what is underground “so we have a good basis plan”, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
The idea of a plan for Singapore’s underground development was first raised in a blog post by then National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in 2013.
Details of what lies underground are currently known to each relevant authority only – the power grids to the Energy Market Authority and the water pipes to PUB.
As such, a developer trying to build underground has a hard time figuring out whether there is scope to do anything as the information is spread out, noted Sing Tien Foo, director of the Institute of Real Estate Studies.
And while the URA aims to provide a complete map of the underground space, not everyone will be given free access to said information due to security concerns.
“If we share too much, we are concerned about the security threat of having unsavoury people use this information,” said Hwang.
“We are still thinking how precise and how much information we want to make available to the public.”