Cities in Mind
Cities in Mind
Episode 11- Deep Cities: Is Underground Urbanism the Future ?

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.
Jurong Rock Caverns
Singapore’s underground top spot - Jurong Rock Caverns - located 150m below sea level, it is the first underground oil storage facility in Southeast Asia.

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!

Underground Rock Church in Helsinki, Finland, Credits: Finn stock, Shutterstock

📝 Some resources I have used to prepare for this episode

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.

Cities in Mind
Cities in Mind
Cities in Mind is your go-to destination to learn about cities, technology, innovation and the people behind them. All that through an Asian perspective. My name is Fabien and I am an urbanist who has been living in Singapore since 2015. Welcome!