While Hong Kong is having a problem with its reclamation work for its third runway as it has been delayed for four months after sand supplies from mainland China have dried dried up, Singapore is testing a method that can almost cut half the use of sand in reclamation projects, this according to the latest update from the country’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
“Reclamation is a massive endeavour. It’s costly … and we have to do it carefully to minimise any environmental impact,” said Wong. “We are looking at new ways of doing reclamation.”
Wong further explained how efficient reclamation work can be accomplished through building dykes (a method that has been employed in the low-lying Netherlands to prevent floods and to create land) which has been adopted for the first time on a project to reclaim 800 hectares in order to relocate Singapore’s military training bases and free up valuable land. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
Wong also shared Singapore’s experience in planning green spaces, which accounted for 10% of the country’s total area.
According to the minister, the country has been reserving land for green and recreational spaces, and creating trails that can encircle Singapore and connect these green spaces.
“If you look at Singapore from the top down, you will be surprised that despite Singapore being such a highly urbanised city, we are in fact very green,” Wong said.
During the Hong Kong event, the minister informed media that the government plans to increase the country’s green spaces by another 1,000 hectares in the next 10 to 15 years.
Greening of Singapore
In 1963, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew embarked on the country’s first Tree Planting campaign highlighting the provision of shade and greenery. Then in 1967, the campaign was followed by another venture aptly dubbed the “Garden City.” These pursuits met the urgent necessity of creating urban landscapes and recreational areas, the gains of which are still being enjoyed by present-day Singaporeans.-/TISG
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