Imagine a nice Friday evening, you’ve just ended school or work or maybe even just booked out of Bedok Camp for the weekend. You decide to spend the evening cycling with friends at East Coast Park before ending the night with a sumptuous dinner at the East Coast Lagoon Village. Sounds like a good time right?
Well it may be hard to imagine then that just over 50 years ago, none of these places that you’ve just visited even existed! For the younger readers here, you may not have known that a large part of places that you go to on a regular basis sits upon reclaimed land, which means that prior to that, it was all part of the sea! For those that remember, let your memory bring you back to a time when Bedok was that much smaller.
As you can see from the map below, many areas in Singapore did not exist in the past. In the 1960s, huge development plans were made to expand the area of Bedok, but there were no other spare areas of land within Singapore. So we solved this in the same way we do with so many other, we looked outwards. From there we managed to find a solution in land reclamation.
To those of you that still remember a time before the land reclamation, you would have known that Upper East Coast Road had been the nearest point to the sea. If you look at the map now, it sits very much within the mainland, with landmarks such as East Coast park and the PIE separating it from the sea it once ran beside.
If you’d like to see the former coastline by yourself, there is a heritage trail dedicated to map out this former boundary. You and your friends and family can walk along and feel a part of the past as you imagine what life was like in bedok prior to the land reclamation.
(Photo credits to https://sgfilmhunter.wordpress.com and http://mr-architecture.com/mapping-singapore/)