Don't know where to get the money.
Much of Singapore lies less than 50 feet above sea level. A third of the island sits around 16 feet above the water — low enough to give planners the jitters. Coastal roads are being raised; a new airport terminal is being built 18 feet above sea level. All the while, the island receives more and more rain each year. “If global temperatures continue to rise,” a government official said last year, “many parts of Singapore could eventually be submerged.”
Singapore also plans to reclaim its air. “Twelve percent of the island is occupied by roads,” Tan said. “What’s above roads? Nothing! If you put roads under buildings, you free up some land.” Sky bridges and midair concourses are already a part of some public-housing estates. As Wang told me: “In the future, you might see a little town or offices above the expressways. We might create space above our container ports.”
The government has invested $380 million in agricultural projects in Australia, and it is renting land in northeast China to build itself a farm that will measure double the area of the island of Singapore. The farm will take 15 years to complete and will cost $18 billion.