Govt mulling master plan for underground spaces

Singapore National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the government is considering the possibility of developing a master plan for underground spaces.

The purpose is to find out how practical underground plans can complement the above-ground master plan to make the city more exciting and liveable.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Mr Khaw noted the possibilities of creating underground transport hubs, pedestrian links, cycling lanes, utility plants, storage and research facilities, industrial uses, shopping areas and other public spaces in Singapore.

Singapore has made good use of underground spaces, said Mr Khaw.

For example, locals and visitors enjoy the air-con comfort and security of shopping and commuting underground from Orchard Road to City Hall, Tanjong Pagar and Marina Bay.

About 12 km of expressways and nearly 80 km of MRT lines are already underground.

The Marina Coastal Expressway, which will be completed this year, is also mostly underground.

Still, he said, the boundary of usage may be pushed – to experiment, to learn and to evolve practical innovative solutions – so as to prepare for the future.

But Mr Khaw said underground developments do cost more, so the authorities will not rush the underground master plan.

He said it may not be possible to draw up a comprehensive underground master plan in the first attempt, but it would be easier for the plans to be realised if the process is started earlier.

He added that the above-ground master plan is being updated, and a draft will be put up for public consultation through an exhibition soon.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 3 Aug 2013

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