Singapore To Create 800ha Island On East Coast
SINGAPORE – Minister for National Development Desmond Lee announced on Tuesday that the government plans to reclaim a massive amount of land to create a “Long Island” on the country’s eastern coast, reported The Business Times on Tuesday afternoon (28 November, SGT).
The island is expected to measure around 800 hectares, or double Marina Bay’s size. In particular, the ambitious undertaking will involve the reclamation of three new tracts of land, set at a higher elevation, away from Singapore’s present coastline, stretching from Marina East to Tanah Merah.
This move will generate more land to meet the needs of future generations. “They could build homes (on the reclaimed island), create jobs, develop services and amenities,” Lee said.
Moreover, the gargantuan reclamation project will lead to the creation of an enclosed body of water, which will eventually become a new freshwater reservoir over time, he noted. This will boost Singapore’s resilience while safeguarding the country from rising sea levels, as the island will feature two huge tidal gates and pumping stations to prevent flooding in Singapore’s eastern coast.
With the reclaimed island, the Southeast Asian country will see the addition of 20 km of new coastal areas and reservoir parks spanning from the present East Coast Park and increasing the length of the existing waterfront area along the park by three-fold, Lee revealed.
While the reclamation project will take several decades to plan and execute, the authorities intend to start detailed technical studies soon and this is expected to take about five years to finish.
The detailed technical studies include “extensive” environmental and engineering research, in addition to soil investigations to check if the conceptual reclamation profile is feasible. These studies will also assist the authorities in formulating “innovative and cost-effective nature-based solutions” to reclaim and develop the 800ha island.
Historically, land reclamation has long been the space-scarce country’s main strategy to increase its usable land area. Over the last 60 years, Singapore’s land area has expanded by almost 25 percent from just 581.5 sq km in 1960 to 725.7 sq km in 2019.