Plans for the “Long Island”, a reclaimed island along the south-eastern coast from Marina East to Changi, could include a reservoir to boost Singapore’s water supply and protect its coastline from rising sea levels.

The Long Island could also be developed for housing and be integrated with coastal parks and recreational spaces, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced at its long-term plan review exhibition on Monday (June 6).

The URA said the Long Island – which was first envisioned as a reclaimed island for beachfront housing and leisure in the 1991 Concept Plan – is among the ideas being studied for coastal protection.

“We are also planning coastal protection solutions with multi-functional uses, thus remaking our coastal land into liveable, adaptable and sustainable spaces,” the authority said.

It could also have floodplains to reduce flood risks, similar to that in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, according to plans for the project.

There is currently no concrete timeline for Long Island’s development.

URA’s latest plan also marks out possible reclamation zones beyond the initial Long Island areas in the further term.

Last May, national water agency PUB started a four-year study covering Changi, East Coast and the Greater Southern Waterfront to devise possible coastal protection solutions.

Other measures to prepare Singapore for the effects of climate change include planning for more space-efficient drainage systems.

The URA said it is exploring an underground drainage and reservoir system of caverns and storm water tunnels, to reduce the risk of flooding.

To free up more space above ground, the authority is looking at creating more underground caverns to store goods or other materials that require a large land area.

These caverns could even house utilities and suitable industries as more processes become automated, the URA said, adding that they could be connected by an underground logistic system to move goods efficiently and reduce surface road traffic.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee said at the exhibition: “We will continue to find ways to mitigate cost and technical barriers to locate transport infrastructure and major utility facilities and lines underground where feasible.”

Singapore currently has two underground caverns – the 150m-deep Jurong Rock Caverns, which stores liquid hydrocarbons such as crude oil and condensate, and the Ministry of Defence’s underground ammunition facility.

These caverns free up 60ha and 300ha of surface land, respectively.

Originally published in The Straits Times.