Timeline of Reclamation

Timeline of Reclamation

Singapore had its independence from The United Kingdom in 1963 became an independent country in 1965, the demand of land was already an issue even during the colonial period, hence Singapore has a long history of reclamation in order accommodate more people and facilities to run the whole country.

From Sir Raffles first taken over Singapore it was not an unusual thing for altering the island coastline and topography. The first land reclamation was conducted in 1821 on the southern bank of Singapore river, in order to introduce energy system, re-settle all the inhabitants and set up a new layout for streets and roads.

After WWII Singapore had be ruined physically  and with a large number of homeless residents. Housing Committee was formed quickly in 1947, and reported an acute housing shortage facing the city, where the population had already reached a million by 1950. With 25% of the population living in 1% of its land area, and with some shophouse housing over 100 people, there was an urge to provide enough accommodation for all the residents. After  the independence, slums area were solved and the new target after solving those problems was to build a national image of the ” tropical city of excellence”, the town planning strategy has shifted to building up as international business center hence getting enough land was am important issue in order to get the countyr function and build up a national image.

Details of reclamation plan were included in the first concept plan not only just for residential uses but as well as industrial and business uses.


Top: 1819 Raffles’ Plan drawn by Lt. Phillip Jackson
Middle: 1967 UNDP “Ring Plan”
Bottom: 1971 Concept Plan or “Link Plan”



First land reclamation


Small scale reclamation before decolonization



After the independence, land reclamation has conducted in larger and larger scale that has increased Singapore’s land area by 25% since 1960 and started to develop new industrial area.


Reclamation for new airport in 1975


Now 25% of Singapore’s total area is reclaimed land and by 2030 another 50 km2 of land will be added.


1  Boat Quay & Collyer Quay
2  Telok Ayer
3  Padang (Esplanade)
4  Tanjong Pagar
5  Kallang Airfield
6  Sembawang
7  Jurong Industrial Estate
8  Kranji Industrial Estate
9  Tuas
10  East Coast Reclamation
11  Marina Bay
12  Pasir Panjang
13  Pasir Ris
14  Punggol
15  Woodlands Crossing
16  Changi Airport
A  Palau Brani
B  St John’s Island & Lazarus Island
C  Palau Sudong
D  Palau Seletar
E  Sentosa
F  Palau Bukom
G  Palau Sebarok
H  Jurong Island
I  Palau Semakau
J  Palau Serangoon
K  Woodlands Crossing


Image Reference

1. Noel Murphy, (2013), Early Master Plan [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.noel-murphy.com/rotch/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Singapore_HistoricalPlans.gif [Accessed 20 December 15].

2. Noel Murphy, (2013), Mainland Expandsion [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.noel-murphy.com/rotch/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Singapore_HistoricalPlans.gif [Accessed 20 December 15].


Koh G.Q. (2005). Singapore Finds it Hard to Expand Without Sand . PlanetArk, 12 April 2005. Available at http://planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=30328. Accessed 20 December 2015.

The Basement Geographer. 2011. Reclaimed Land in Singapore: Nation-Building in the Most Literal Sense. [ONLINE] Available at: http://basementgeographer.com/reclaimed-land-in-singapore-nation-building-in-the-most-literal-sense/. [Accessed 20 December 15].

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