“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.