Archive for the ‘Suggestions’ Category

Underground Singapore

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

“Singapore National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the government is considering the possibility of developing a master plan for underground spaces.”

– CNA, 3rd September 2013

Minister Khaw Boon Wan elablorates further on his blog post: Exploiting Exciting Possibilities Underground

Here are some other things that I would like to see underground:

Underground Water Reservoir/Storage

Singapore current water supply is met by:

  • Reservoirs and drains (covers 2/3 of Singapore’s land surface)
  • NEWater 30% (Up to 55% by 2060)
  • Desalinated Water 10% (Up to 25% by 2060)
  • Imported from Malaysia (40% as of 2010. Our current agreement ends in 2061)
  • (information via PUB website)

It’s obvious that the Government is trying to eliminate the need to import water by 2060.

We could increase that supply and decrease flooding at the same time, by building underground water reservoirs for storage of excess rain water. Some countries build these reservoirs under existing open spaces like football fields. We have football fields in most towns and schools. These reservoirs can also be build under new roads.

Underground water reservoirs or storage tanks could be planned into new HDB estates. Rain water can be harvested for non-portable needs of the estate like flushing the toilets (separate pipes have to be built into households for this purpose), watering the plants in the neighbourhood, or washing the corridors. This would save money on water treatment, as none of these functions require purified water.

Furthermore, the water would get a 2nd lease of life:

  • When used to flush the toilets, the waste water would be channeled to NEWater plans, and retreated into clean water.
  • When used to water plants or wash corridors, excess water will eventually find its way back to our reservoirs (or underground reservoirs).

This is actually not a new concept in Singapore. Rain harvesting is already done in places like Changi Airport and Gardens by the Bay. Other blogs have also floated this idea before.

Underground Bicycle Storage

Japan has these underground bicycle parks installed around town.

Singapore could install similar devices near mrts and heartland malls. This would encourage more people to cycle, as they can ensure a secure place to keep the bicycles. Also, because you require an account to use this parking, it would reduce the incidents of bicycles being abandoned at existing bicycle lots.


Anything else built underground has to be done on a large scale basis, like shopping malls, communal places, train stations. An underground tunnel built for people and bicycles for example, would just turn out creepy and dangerous. Whereas a shopping mall with exits connecting to the mrt and existing blocks, would be just fine.

The Postal Process and Recycling

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Every evening, I get my mail from the mailbox, and one third of it is ‘junk’ and goes straight to the trash can near the mailbox.

When I get home and open my mail, another half of it gets trashed (the envelopes, advertisement mailers, pages with terms and conditions etc.)

Which makes me wonder. Why don’t we have recycle bins strategically placed next to our mailboxes? We as a country who teach our young the 3’R’s, so why doesn’t the government take a more pro-active role in promoting recycling?

The bins need not be huge. In fact, I notice that a lot of residents often ‘litter’ in this ‘trough’ right below their mailboxes. It’s as if that box-like space is meant for that purpose. Are the papers there cleared for recycling? Or does town council designate it all as trash?

Speaking of mail boxes, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this box labelled “Returned mail”. Is it not possible to create another box that you can actually post letters? This way, it is more convenient and you would not need so many individual post boxes to be installed around Singapore. The postman who delivers your mail can conveniently pick up your outgoing mail too, along with those ‘returned mail’. This system is actually being practiced in the US, where even landed property mail boxes act as a letter box for ingoing and outgoing mail.

A US Mailbox:
When the right red flag on the side is raised, it indicates
that there is outgoing mail for the postman to collect.