Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a landfill), is the process of creating new land from oceans, riverbeds, or lake beds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or land fill.
In a number of other jurisdictions, including parts of the United States, the term "reclamation" can refer to returning disturbed lands to an improved state. In Alberta, Canada, for example, reclamation is defined by the provincial government as "The process of reconverting disturbed land to its former or other productive uses." In Oceania it is frequently referred to as land rehabilitation.
Land reclamation can be achieved with a number of different methods. The most simple method involves filling the area with large amounts of heavy rock and/or cement, then filling with clay and dirt until the desired height is reached. The process is called "infilling" and the material used to fill the space is generally called "infill". Draining of submerged wetlands is often used to reclaim land for agricultural use. Deep cement mixing is used typically in situations in which the material displaced by either dredging or draining may be contaminated and hence needs to be contained. Land dredging is also another method of land reclamation. It is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of a body of water. It is commonly used for maintaining reclaimed land masses as sedimentation, a natural process, fills channels and harbors naturally.
Instances where the creation of new land was for the need of human activities.
Notable examples include:
One of the earliest large scale projects was the Beemster Polder in the Netherlands, realized in 1612 adding 70 square kilometres (27 sq mi) of land. In Hong Kong the Praya Reclamation Scheme added 20 to 24 hectares (50 to 60 acres) of land in 1890 during the second phase of construction. It was one of the most ambitious projects ever taken during the Colonial Hong Kong era. Some 20% of land in the Tokyo Bay area has been reclaimed, most notably Odaiba artificial island. Le Portier, Monaco and Gibraltar are also expanding due to land reclamation. The city of Rio de Janeiro was largely built on reclaimed land, as was Wellington, New Zealand.
Artificial islands are an example of land reclamation. Creating an artificial island is an expensive and risky undertaking. It is often considered in places with high population density and a scarcity of flat land. Kansai International Airport (in Osaka) and Hong Kong International Airport are examples where this process was deemed necessary. The Palm Islands, The World and hotel Burj al-Arab off Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are other examples of artificial islands (although there is yet no real "scarcity of land" in Dubai), as well as the Flevopolder in the Netherlands which is the largest artificial island in the world.
Agriculture was a drive for land reclamation before industrialisation. In South China, farmers reclaimed paddy fields by enclosing an area with a stone wall on the sea shore near a river mouth or river delta. The species of rice that grow on these grounds are more salt tolerant. Another use of such enclosed land is the creation of fish ponds. It is commonly seen on the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong. These reclaimed areas also attract species of migrating birds.
A related practice is the draining of swampy or seasonally submerged wetlands to convert them to farmland. While this does not create new land exactly, it allows commercially productive use of land that would otherwise be restricted to wildlife habitat. It is also an important method of mosquito control.
Even in the post-industrial age, there have been land reclamation projects intended for increasing available agricultural land. For example, the village of Ogata in Akita, Japan, was established on land reclaimed from Lake Hachirōgata (Japan's second largest lake at the time) starting in 1957. By 1977, the amount of land reclaimed totalled 172.03 square kilometres (66.42 sq mi).
Beach rebuilding is the process of repairing beaches using materials such as sand or mud from inland. This can be used to build up beaches suffering from beach starvation or erosion from longshore drift. It stops the movement of the original beach material through longshore drift and retains a natural look to the beach. Although it is not a long-lasting solution, it is cheap compared to other types of coastal defences. An example of this is the city of Mumbai.
As human overcrowding of developed areas intensified during the 20th century, it has become important to develop land re-use strategies for completed landfills. Some of the most common usages are for parks, golf courses and other sports fields. Increasingly, however, office buildings and industrial uses are made on a completed landfill. In these latter uses, methane capture is customarily carried out to minimize explosive hazard within the building.
An example of a Class A office building constructed over a landfill is the Dakin Building at Sierra Point, Brisbane, California. The underlying fill was deposited from 1965 to 1985, mostly consisting of construction debris from San Francisco and some municipal wastes. Aerial photographs prior to 1965 show this area to be tidelands of the San Francisco Bay. A clay cap was constructed over the debris prior to building approval.
A notable example is Sydney Olympic Park, the primary venue for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, which was built atop an industrial wasteland that included landfills.
Another strategy for landfill is the incineration of landfill trash at high temperature via the plasma-arc gasification process, which is currently used at two facilities in Japan, and will be used at a planned facility in St. Lucie County, Florida.
Draining wetlands for ploughing, for example, is a form of habitat destruction. In some parts of the world, new reclamation projects are restricted or no longer allowed, due to environmental protection laws. Reclamation projects have strong negative impacts on coastal populations, although some species can take advantage of the newly created area.
The State of California created a state commission, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, in 1965 to protect San Francisco Bay and regulate development near its shores. The commission was created in response to growing concern over the shrinking size of the bay.
Hong Kong legislators passed the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, proposed by the Society for Protection of the Harbour, in 1997 in an effort to safeguard the increasingly threatened Victoria Harbour against encroaching land development. Several large reclamation schemes at Green Island, West Kowloon, and Kowloon Bay were subsequently shelved, and others reduced in size.
Reclaimed land is highly susceptible to soil liquefaction during earthquakes, which can amplify the amount of damage that occurs to buildings and infrastructure. Subsidence is another issue, both from soil compaction on filled land, and also when wetlands are enclosed by levees and drained to create Polders. Drained marshes will eventually sink below the surrounding water level, increasing the danger from flooding.
|Country||Reclaimed land (km2)||Note|
|China||13,500+||Land reclamation in China|
|Netherlands||7,000||Flevoland, de Beemster, Afsluitdijk|
Land reclamation in the Netherlands
|United States||1,000+||Artificial islands of the United States|
|UAE||470||Land reclamation in the UAE|
|Singapore||135||Land reclamation in Singapore|
|New Zealand||3.3||Reclamation of Wellington Harbour|
|Sri Lanka||2.33 km2 (0.90 sq mi)||Colombo International Financial City|
|Monaco||0.41||Land reclamation in Monaco|
disputes persist with Malaysia over […] extensive land reclamation works
Argent Services LLP is a UK-based property developer founded in 1981 by the Freeman Brothers, and was responsible for the redevelopment of King's Cross in London, Brindleyplace in Birmingham and developments around Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.
Current projects include:
Paradise Circus, Birmingham
King's Cross (Central) redevelopment, LondonPrevious projects include:
The Ffos-y-fran Land Reclamation Scheme, an open cast coal mine and land reclamation scheme near Merthyr Tydfil
1 St. Peter's Square, Manchester
Manchester Airport City, Manchester
Piccadilly Place, ManchesterArtificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means. Artificial islands may vary in size from small islets reclaimed solely to support a single pillar of a building or structure, to those that support entire communities and cities. Early artificial islands included floating structures in still waters, or wooden or megalithic structures erected in shallow waters (e.g. crannógs and Nan Madol discussed below).
In modern times artificial islands are usually formed by land reclamation, but some are formed by the incidental isolation of an existing piece of land during canal construction (e.g. Donauinsel and Ko Kret), or flooding of valleys resulting in the tops of former knolls getting isolated by water (e.g. Barro Colorado Island). One of the world's largest artificial islands, René-Levasseur Island, was formed by the flooding of two adjacent reservoirs.Bay City, Metro Manila
Bay City, also known as the Manila Bay Freeport Zone and Manila Bay Area, is the name for the reclamation area on Manila Bay located west of Roxas Boulevard and the Manila–Cavite Expressway in Metro Manila, the Philippines. The area is split between the cities of Manila and Pasay on the north side and Parañaque on the south.Conquest of the Desert (exhibition)
Conquest of the Desert was a world's fair held in Jerusalem, Israel in 1953 at Binyanei Ha'uma, a convention center in Jerusalem. It focused on the themes of reclamation and population of desert area.Entertainment City
Entertainment City, also known as E-City (formerly PAGCOR City and Manila Bay Tourism City), is a gaming and entertainment complex under development by PAGCOR spanning an area of 8 km2 (3.1 sq mi) in Bay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It was first envisioned by PAGCOR in 2002. It lies at the western side of Roxas Boulevard and south of SM Central Business Park (SM Mall of Asia), part of Parañaque.The project is officially named as the Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Entertainment City through an executive order by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and has been called several other names by the press. The most common name being referenced is "Entertainment City". The site has been declared a PEZA-approved economic zone and in 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte named Entertainment City as Expo Pilipino Entertainment City will be named after the exposition for the centennial of the independence of the Philippines in 1998 called Expo Pilipino.Foreshore, Cape Town
The Foreshore is an area in Cape Town, South Africa, situated between the historic city centre and the modern Port of Cape Town. It is built on land reclaimed from Table Bay in the 1930s and 1940s in connection with the construction of the Duncan Dock to replace the old harbour. Much of the Foreshore area is occupied by transport infrastructure for the port and Cape Town Railway Station. Other notable buildings in the area are the Cape Town Civic Centre, the Artscape Theatre Centre and the Cape Town International Convention Centre. When the area was reclaimed, the Government undertook a detailed study (the Szlumper Commission) to decide how to use the land not needed by South African Railways. This resulted in the issuance of a detailed proposal, The Cape Town Foreshore Plan.Geography of Macau
Macau is a Special Administrative Region on the southern coast of China. It is located at the south of Guangdong Province, on the tip of the peninsula formed by the Zhujiang (Pearl River) estuary on the east and the Xijiang (West River) on the west. Macau is situated 60 km (37 mi) west of Hong Kong, and 145 km (90 mi) southwest of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. It is situated immediately east and south of Zhuhai.
The region comprises the Macau Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Macau was once an island but gradually a connecting sandbar turned into a narrow isthmus. Land reclamation in the 17th century made Macau into a peninsula, and a barrier gate was built to mark the separation between the peninsula and the mainland. Pre-colonial records show that Macau totalled only 2.78 km2 (1.07 sq mi) but began to increase as a result of Portuguese settlement. Land growth has accelerated since the last quarter of the 20th century, from 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) in 1972 to 16.1 km2 (6.22 sq mi) in 1983 to 21.3 km2 (8.22 sq mi) in 1994. Macau's size has gradually increased as result of continued land reclamation, especially on Taipa and Coloane. In 2014, the total land area was approximately 30.3 km2 (11.7 sq mi).
There is a 0.34 km (0.21 mi) long border between Macau and mainland China and a forty-kilometer-long coastline. The main border crossing between Macau and China is the Portas do Cerco (Barrier Gate) Frontier Checkpoint on the Macau side, and the Gongbei checkpoint on the Chinese side.Jurong Island
Jurong Island is an artificial island located to the southwest of the main island of Singapore, off Jurong Industrial Estate. It was formed from the amalgamation of seven offshore islands, the islands of Pulau Ayer Chawan, Pulau Ayer Merbau, Pulau Merlimau, Pulau Pesek, Pulau Pesek Kechil (also called Terumbu Pesek), Pulau Sakra (which was a previous merger of Pulau Sakra and Pulau Bakau), Pulau Seraya, Pulau Meskol, Pulau Mesemut Laut, Pulau Mesemut Darat and Anak Pulau. This was done through Singapore's land reclamation efforts. Land reclamation on Jurong Island was completed on September 24, 2009, 20 years earlier than scheduled. Pulau Buaya was joined to Jurong Island via reclamation in 2010. Jurong Island forms a land area of about 32 km2 (12 sq mi) from an initial area of less than 10 km2 (4 sq mi), and is the largest of Singapore's outlying islands.Land reclamation in Hong Kong
The reclamation of land from the ocean has long been used in mountainous Hong Kong to expand the limited supply of usable land with a total of around 60 square kilometres of land created by 1996. The first reclamations can be traced back to the early Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD), when beaches were turned into fields for salt production. Major land reclamation projects have been conducted since the mid-19th century.Land reclamation in Monaco
Land reclamation is done in Monaco because land is very scarce, as the country is comparatively tiny, at 0.78 mi² (2.02 km²). To solve this problem and continue economic development, for years the country has been adding to its total land area by reclaiming land from the sea.List of islands of Singapore
This is a list of islands of Singapore as of 1942. Massive land reclamation work over the past centuries has removed many of Singapore's natural islands and islets and has created a few new ones. At present, Singapore has over 60 islands, as listed below.Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (Egypt)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt is a ministerial body in charge of agriculture and land reclamation in Egypt.New Manila Bay–City of Pearl
The New Manila Bay–City of Pearl (Chinese: 新马尼拉湾 国际社区; pinyin: Xīn Mǎnílā Guójì Shèqū; literally: 'New Manila International Community') or simply as the City of Pearl is a mixed-used development to be built on reclaimed land in Manila, Philippines.Polder
A polder (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpɔldər] (listen)) is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological entity, enclosed by embankments known as dikes. The three types of polder are:
Land reclaimed from a body of water, such as a lake or the sea bed
Flood plains separated from the sea or river by a dike
Marshes separated from the surrounding water by a dike and subsequently drained; these are also known as koogs, especially in GermanyThe ground level in drained marshes subsides over time. All polders will eventually be below the surrounding water level some or all of the time. Water enters the low-lying polder through infiltration and water pressure of ground water, or rainfall, or transport of water by rivers and canals. This usually means that the polder has an excess of water, which is pumped out or drained by opening sluices at low tide. Care must be taken not to set the internal water level too low. Polder land made up of peat (former marshland) will sink in relation to its previous level, because of peat decomposing when exposed to oxygen from the air.
Polders are at risk from flooding at all times, and care must be taken to protect the surrounding dikes. Dikes are typically built with locally available materials, and each material has its own risks: sand is prone to collapse owing to saturation by water; dry peat is lighter than water and potentially unable to retain water in very dry seasons. Some animals dig tunnels in the barrier, allowing water to infiltrate the structure; the muskrat is known for this activity and hunted in certain European countries because of it. Polders are most commonly, though not exclusively, found in river deltas, former fenlands, and coastal areas.
Flooding of polders has also been used as a military tactic in the past. One example is the flooding of the polders along the Yser River during World War I. Opening the sluices at high tide and closing them at low tide turned the polders into an inaccessible swamp, which allowed the Allied armies to stop the German army.Praya East Reclamation Scheme
Praya East Reclamation Scheme (Chinese: 海旁東填海計劃) was a large scale land reclamation project in Colonial Hong Kong lasting from 1921 to 1931 under Sir Catchick Paul Chater.Praya Reclamation Scheme
The Praya Reclamation Scheme (Chinese: 海旁填海計劃) was a large scale land reclamation project carried out by the Hong Kong Land company in Colonial Hong Kong under Sir Catchick Paul Chater and James Johnstone Keswick.Pulau Sudong
Pulau Sudong is a 209-hectare coral island off the southern coast of Singapore, it was enlarged through a land reclamation process during the late 1970s.Robinson Road, Singapore
Robinson Road (Chinese: 罗敏申路) is a major trunk road in Singapore's Central Area. The road is named after Sir William Cleaver Francis Robinson, the Governor of the Straits Settlements in 1877–1879. The land on which Robinson Road now stands was created through land reclamation work started in 1879. It was a sea-side thoroughfare until more land reclamation works in Telok Ayer Basin in the early 1900s (completed in 1932) shifted the shoreline further east to make room for the building of Shenton Way. This allowed for the road to be widened and converted into a one-way street to accommodate the rise in traffic flow pending massive urban development. Today, it is flanked on both sides by major skyscrapers and lends its name to several buildings, including Robinson Centre and Robinson Point.
In Hokkien, the road is known as heng liong koi, which means "heng long street". Chop Heng Long, belonging to Lok Yu who is a well known businessman whose office was located on this road.Shawmut Peninsula
Shawmut Peninsula is the promontory of land on which Boston, Massachusetts was built. The peninsula, originally a mere 789 acres (3.19 km2) in area, more than doubled in size due to land reclamation efforts that were a feature of the history of Boston throughout the 19th century.