A possibility explored for several years is an underground extension of Singapore's Nangyang Technological University after a 1999 study by the government and the university found at least part of the area beneath the campus could be turned into rock caverns. Planners envisage four underground levels that could accommodate lecture theatres, cinemas, libraries, offices, laboratories and car parking.
"If we think about it, there are already underground spaces here in Singapore and throughout most major metropolitan regions," said Erik L'Heureux, an architecture professor NUS.
"We already have underground train stations and malls, and there are already many buildings here that take advantage of spaces below ground so the real questions are how much time will one spend underground, what goes on there, and how far down from natural light and fresh air."
For the Singapore for Singaporeans camp, the space squeeze has only highlighted the costs of the government's population and economic policies. Its efforts to attract high-skilled professionals in finance, science and other industries it wants Singapore to be known for has resulted in nature sanctuaries and cemeteries being overrun by golf courses and luxury condominiums.
"Ultimately it will be Singaporeans who will suffer," said Rachel Mun, a 33-year old sales assistant. "As it is, Singapore is already bursting with people and things we once depended on like transportation, have become exhausted because of the influx of commuters."
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