Episode 11- Deep Cities: Is Underground Urbanism the Future ?
Cities used to go either higher or wider. Now it's time to go deeper. Let's hear some insights from Singapore.
After a 2-month trip back to Europe (followed by a 2-week quarantine 😬 ), I am back on track and happy to relaunch the Cities in Mind newsletter with a new podcast episode.
Today, we'll cover a very exciting topic: 🚇 Underground Urbanism
Forget about skyscrapers or land reclamation, underground is the next frontier of cities! We used to go higher, wider and now it's time to go deeper.
Why should we care about the underground ? Why has it become a necessity for land-scarce and high-density cities such as Singapore? How can technology help better map what's under our feet ? How are Singapore and European cities standing in terms of underground urbanism?
I met with Rob van Son, Project Leader of Digital Underground at the Singapore-ETH Centre. Digital Underground is a research-to-application project that aims to establish a reliable 3D map of all existing and future utility networks in Singapore. The project is a collaboration between the Singapore-ETH Centre and the Singapore Land Authority.
With Rob, we explore the (often-overlooked) potential of underground urbanism and discuss why we are still lacking good underground mapping information. Reliable data of the underground is essential for the planning, administration and development of underground space and new technologies (from digital twins to ground penetrating radars) can help create a unified model of the city.
Enjoy the episode!
📝 Some resources I have used to prepare for this episode
Uncovering the Underground, a lecture by Er Professor Yong Kwet-Yew, Professor of Civil Engineering and Senior Vice President, National University of Singapore
AR Will Spark the Next Big Tech Platform—Call It Mirrorworld A long read by Wired magazine founding executive editor, describing the emergence of digital twins. According to him, whoever dominates this new technology platform will have considerable power.
A booklet summarising Digital Underground’s journey during Phase 1 of the project
Singapore goes Underground with The Digital Underground Project
Deep Cities Diving: a talk organized by Singapore Art Museum to discuss the future possibilities of building and living in a subterranean city
That’s it for today. As usual, a small 🧡 at the bottom of the page goes a long way.
Thanks for your support and see you next week for a new post. Stay tuned.