More facilities underground

More facilities underground

SINGAPORE - There is scope to do more to make use of underground spaces in Singapore, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said on Sept 3.

The Government is even considering the possibility of developing a master plan for underground spaces. "We are currently in the midst of updating our Master Plan and a draft will be put for public consultation via an exhibition soon," Mr Khaw said in a blog post. "In parallel, we are thinking about the possibility of developing an underground equivalent of the Master Plan to see how practical underground plans can complement the above ground Master Plan to make our city even more exciting and liveable."

Singapore has made good use of underground spaces with MRT lines, expressways and even shopping malls located below ground. But Mr Khaw noted that other countries have done more.

He gave the examples of Canada and Japan, where cities have extensive pedestrian paths, shopping malls and offices underground.

Singapore also has the possibility of creating underground transport hubs, pedestrian links, cycling lanes, utility plants, storage, research and industrial facilities.

Such developments cost more, if surface land is available. "Still, we can try to push the boundary of usage - to experiment, to learn and to evolve practical innovative solutions - so as to prepare for the future," he wrote.

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