Singapore’s new ‘ground breaking’ city

When asked what they love about Singapore, many say it’s the stability and pro-activeness of the government. Whatever the government does, whatever they build, it’s always with the future in mind.

Plus, within the 4Ps – People, Price, Policy and Preference – the government of Singapore is in full control of the “policy” and that includes really enforcing everything strictly and without fear or favour.

Many years ago, kopi and property featured this article: Singapore’s Underground Plan. Here’s the follow-up Article in here.

Singapore will soon be unveiling its Underground Master Plan in 2019.

Singapore has been reclaiming land for decades but this is unsustainable because of rising sea levels and the impact of climate change. It’s population is expected to grow to 6.9 million by 2030.

Currently, some infrastructure and utilities such as train lines, retail, pedestrian walkways and even a five-lane highway and air-conditioning cooling pipes are already underground.

This is in addition to the storing of fuel and ammunition underground too.

This is its next intention. Ler Seng Ann, group director at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said, “Currently, our focus is on using underground space for utility, transport, storage and industrial facilities to free up surface land for housing, offices, community uses and greenery, to enhance liveability.”

The Underground Master Plan will feature pilot areas, with ideas including data centres, utility plants, bus depots, a deep-tunnel sewerage system, warehousing and water reservoirs.

There are no plans to move homes or offices below ground. The only issue is that building underground is usually more expensive and complex.

Ler added, “In many cases, it does make sense to build underground, considering benefits such as land-saving, improving the quality of the environment and better connectivity.”

The Singapore government also made legislative changes that has enabled it to buy land beneath private blocks, and limit private owners to 30 metres of space below their properties.

The Underground Master Plan uses 3D technology, allowing the visualisation of space that otherwise cannot be seen. Article in here.

This is why we do not need to predict what may happen to the way city planners do their work. We only need to look at the countries that are already doing it and see all the potential benefits.

Greater KL is certainly bigger than Singapore but if we were to ask people if they prefer to live closer to where the action is or further away, the answer remains the same; as near as possible.

The only issue is the size of their homes because not all T20s (senior managers) would love to stay in a 1,000 sq ft (or smaller) condominium within the city centre versus a home that is landed, gated and guarded but further away.

So, if we imagine all the land currently occupied by utility plants, sewerage ponds, bus depots and even old buildings in need of redevelopment, we are looking at a whole new world where land space is freed up for even more homes too.

This article first appeared in

Charles Tan blogs at property investment site kopiandproperty. He dislikes property speculators and disagrees that renting is better than buying. He thinks it’s either property or poverty. He is presently the CEO of an auction house auctioning assets beyond just properties.