Land Reclamation in Singapore
When Stamford Raffles landed at the mouth of the Singapore River in January 1819, the lay of the land was vastly different from what we see today. The river was flanked by mangrove swamps and jungle, and what is now Telok Ayer Street and Beach Road were once coastal areas that hugged the sea. The first land reclamation project in Singapore took place soon after that, in 1822, at the south bank of the Singapore River.
And post-independence, our first major reclamation project was the East Coast Reclamation. The East Coast Reclamation, which began in 1966, was carried out over seven phases spanning some 30 years. The project culminated in the creation of Marina Bay in the mid-2000s.
Land reclamation is done by adding material such as rocks, soil, and cement to an area of water. Alternatively, submerged wetlands or similar biomes can be drained.
Through land reclamation, we have created space for new areas like Changi Airport, Jurong Island and Tuas Port.
To reduce the amount of fill materials needed for reclamation, we are also piloting alternate methods like empoldering which helps us save on upfront construction costs and enhance our coastal protection from climate change.
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