With Singapore’s calm, sheltered waters, the city-state is considered an ideal place for such solutions which are already used in other countries. But while the city-state is a step closer to a floating future, observers noted a powerful barrier – societal acceptance. People may not yet have the mental acceptance of living in the sea.
With floating homes, parks and storage facilities mooted as the answer to the city-state’s land woes, experts estimate that large scale floating structures could be a reality here in less than a decade, reported Channel News Asia.
“We have been building higher and higher for the last 20 (to) 30 years. For going deeper, there is a limit to how far can you can go,” said Mr Lim Soon Heng, President of the Society of Floating Solutions (Singapore).
“With floating structures, you have such an enormous amount of space in the horizontal direction.”
Meanwhile, land reclamation is becoming less viable and costly for Singapore.
“It’s not like before when the waters were less than 10 metres deep. Now we’re talking about 25 or 30 metres, so the costs for reclaiming the land with sand is going to be enormous,” said Lim.
According to him, building a float to support a bungalow would cost only US$100 per sq m, compared to the US$1000 to US$1500 per sq m cost for a skyscraper.
With Singapore’s calm, sheltered waters, the city-state is considered an ideal place for such solutions which are already used in other countries.
The longest floating bridge could be found in Washing State in the US, while Japan is home to several floating airports. South Korea’s Han River, on the other hand, has a cultural complex that features three floating islands.
For Singapore, a group from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) architecture department envisions megacities on decommissioned oil rigs.
They believe that the engineering marvels may be “appropriated” to become theme parks, schools, hospitals and even prisons.
But while the city-state is a step closer to a floating future, observers noted a powerful barrier – societal acceptance.
“The most important thing is whether or not people have a mental acceptance of living in the sea. I don’t think it’s a 100 percent solution that will work for everybody,” said Assoc Professor Joseph Lim, who worked on the project with his masters’ students.
Professor Wang Chien Ming from The University of Queensland’s School of Civil Engineering, however, is more optimistic.
“If we can show people what it’s like, they will not be fearful. If you create (a floating attraction), they’ll go there for sure.”
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Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org