‘Long Island’ land reclamation project set to expand East Coast by 800ha

6 min read

Image credit: URA

The ‘Long Island’ concept, conceived in 1991, has evolved as a response to climate change, especially in protecting the East Coast from rising sea levels. Shaped by public feedback, the project emphasises maintaining unrestricted access to the coast. This article dives into the recent updates of the project, providing a comprehensive look at exciting developments it promises for the East Coast area.

Land reclamation

The heart of the ‘Long Island’ project lies in the reclamation of three significant tracts of land, collectively shaping an area twice the size of Marina Bay

This expansive endeavour is a strategic response to the looming threat of rising sea levels, particularly in areas where the land is positioned lower than 5 metres above the mean sea level. By the end of this century, projections indicate that extreme high tides, coupled with storm surges, could elevate sea levels to this critical point. 

The creation of approximately 800 hectares of new land is envisioned to serve a dual purpose: providing space for new homes, amenities, and industrial facilities, while simultaneously creating Singapore’s 18th reservoir.

Read more: Fancy seeing reclaimed islands along Singapore’s East Coast shoreline?

Purpose of the 'Long Island' land reclamation project
Image credit: URA

Purpose of the project

The primary goal of this project is to mitigate the risks of inland flooding in the East Coast area, offering a sustainable solution to the potential impact of rising sea levels. 

Recognising that the land in the targeted area is vulnerable to these environmental shifts, the project also seeks to future-proof the region against the evolving climate landscape. 

By addressing these concerns, the Long Island project aims to not only protect existing communities but also cater to the future development and recreation needs of Singapore.

Read more: The URA Master Plan 2025: A glimpse into Singapore’s future

Project timeline and studies

National Development Minister Desmond Lee has outlined an extensive timeline for the Long Island project, emphasising a meticulous approach to planning and development. 

Technical studies, spearheaded by public agencies, are slated to commence in early 2024 and will span over five years. However, the comprehensive nature of the project means that its fruition is anticipated to take several decades. 

This deliberate timeline underscores the importance of thorough research, strategic planning, and careful execution to ensure the success and sustainability of the ‘Long Island’ project.

Public consultation

Crucial to the success of the Long Island project is the active involvement of the community. Over the next few years, members of the public will be actively consulted, providing many of you with the opportunity to contribute your ideas and suggestions

This inclusive approach aims to capture the diverse perspectives and insights of the community, enriching the planning and development stages of the project.

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Geographical layout

The geographical layout of the ‘Long Island’ project unfolds as a carefully orchestrated plan to reclaim three elongated tracts of land stretching from Marina East to Tanah Merah. 

Positioned strategically, the easternmost and westernmost tracts will bookend the area, with a third tract seamlessly integrated between them. This spatial design is not only a response to the topographical challenges but plans to create a cohesive and functional reclaimed landscape.

The centrepiece of this plan is the creation of a new reservoir bordered by East Coast Park and the reclaimed land, acting as a crucial element in flood risk reduction.

Read more: East Coast: Why home owners should buy properties in District 15 & 16

Water management

The water management system integrated into the ‘Long Island’ project draws inspiration from the successful practices at the Marina Barrage. 

Similar to the existing gate at Marina Barrage, the two gates at the new reservoir in East Coast will serve a dual purpose. During heavy rainfall and low tide, the gates will open, allowing excess stormwater to flow into the sea. 

Conversely, during high tide, the pumps will take over, ensuring the controlled release of stormwater. The new reservoir, created as part of the project, is not just a functional element but also a potential hub for water activities, providing recreational opportunities such as canoeing and dragon-boating.

Read more: Proposed high-rise development could add 300 homes in one-north (other sites include Tengah, Bayshore Road & Margaret Drive)

East Coast area - 'Long Island' land reclamation project
Image credit: URA

Development and recreation

Beyond flood protection and water management, the ‘Long Island’ plan envisions a vibrant and dynamic landscape. The reclaimed land is earmarked for the development of waterfront homes, offering a unique blend of urban living and natural surroundings. 

Additionally, the plan includes the creation of amenities and industrial facilities, further enhancing the functionality and appeal of the reclaimed area. To complement these developments, a vision for approximately 20 kilometres of new coastal and reservoir parks has been unveiled. 

This expansion, tripling the length of waterfront parks in the East Coast area, promises an enhanced recreational experience for residents and visitors alike.

Long-term vision

The ‘Long Island’ project aligns seamlessly with Singapore’s long-term vision for sustainable development and water management strategies. As highlighted in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) long-term plan review exhibition in 2022, the project is not a standalone effort but a crucial component of a comprehensive vision for the city-state’s future. 

By addressing immediate concerns related to rising sea levels and flooding, the ‘Long Island’ project lays the groundwork for a resilient, adaptive, and sustainable urban landscape.

Do you currently live along the East Coast or have intentions of relocating there? Share your thoughts of this plan with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook post.

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About Sophiyanah David

Sophi, a seasoned copywriter specialising in Singaporean real estate and property, is one of the minds behind 99.co's informative articles. Like her colleagues at 99.co, Sophi is dedicated to keeping you informed about the ever-changing world of real estate so you can find your forever home. When off the clock, you can find her giggling and kicking her feet as she reads her romance novels, watching anime - if FMBA is not your fave, she might fight you (but you'll probably win) and looking up latest skincare trends.

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