Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a waste landfill), is the process of creating new land from oceans, seas, riverbeds or lake beds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or land fill.
In some 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 simplest 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+ km2||Land reclamation in China|
|Netherlands||7,000 km2|| Flevoland, de Beemster, Afsluitdijk |
Land reclamation in the Netherlands
|South Korea||1,550 km2|
|United States||1,000+ km2||Artificial islands of the United States|
|UAE||470 km2||Land reclamation in the UAE|
|Singapore||135 km2||Land reclamation in Singapore|
|Hong Kong||67 km2||Land reclamation in Hong Kong|
|Philippines||9.26 km2|| Cebu South Road Properties Central Business District and|
Land reclamation in Metro Manila
|New Zealand||3.3 km2||Reclamation of Wellington Harbour|
|Sri Lanka||2.33 km2||Colombo International Financial City [ circular reference ]|
|South Africa||1.94 km2||Cape Town Foreshore|
|Monaco||0.41 km2||Land reclamation in Monaco|
disputes persist with Malaysia over […] extensive land reclamation works
Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, can be geographically divided into three territories: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and the New Territories. Hong Kong is a coastal city and major port in Southern China, bordering Guangdong province through the city of Shenzhen to the north and the South China Sea to the west, east and south. Hong Kong and its 260 territorial islands and peninsulas are located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. The area of Hong Kong is distinct from Mainland China, but is considered part of "Greater China".
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 estuary on the east and the Xijiang 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.
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of Hong Kong. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km2, as of 2008. The island had a population of about 3,000 inhabitants scattered in a dozen fishing villages when it was occupied by the United Kingdom in the First Opium War (1839–1842). In 1842, the island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the UK under the Treaty of Nanking and the City of Victoria was then established on the island by the British Force in honour of Queen Victoria. The Central area on the island is the historical, political and economic centre of Hong Kong. The northern coast of the island forms the southern shore of the Victoria Harbour, which is largely responsible for the development of Hong Kong due to its deep waters favoured by large trade ships.
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong, located West of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, and is part of the New Territories. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong. A small northeastern portion of the island is located in the Tsuen Wan District.
Tokyo Bay is a bay located in the southern Kantō region of Japan, and spans the coasts of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Bay is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Uraga Channel. Its old name was Edo Bay. The Tokyo Bay region is both the most populous and largest industrialized area in Japan.
Tsing Yi, sometimes referred to as Tsing Yi Island, is an island in the urban area of Hong Kong, to the northwest of Hong Kong Island and south of Tsuen Wan. With an area of 10.69 km2 (4.13 sq mi), the island has extended drastically by reclamation along almost all its natural shore and the annexation of Nga Ying Chau (牙鷹洲) and Chau Tsai. Three major bays or harbours, Tsing Yi Lagoon, Mun Tsai Tong and Tsing Yi Bay (青衣灣) in the northeast, have been completely reclaimed for new towns.
The Kowloon Peninsula is a peninsula that forms the southern part of the main landmass in the territory of Hong Kong, alongside Victoria Harbour and facing toward Hong Kong island. The Kowloon Peninsula and the area of New Kowloon are collectively known as Kowloon.
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.
Kowloon Bay is a body of water within Victoria Harbour and an area within Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Chek Lap Kok is an island in the western waters of Hong Kong's New Territories. Unlike the smaller Lam Chau, it was only partially leveled when it was assimilated via land reclamation into the 12.48 square kilometres (4.82 sq mi) island for the current Hong Kong International Airport, which opened for commercial aviation in 1998. The airport is popularly referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport to distinguish it from the former Hong Kong International Airport, now commonly known as Kai Tak Airport (啟德機場).
East Point was a spit on the northern shore of Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. It was a spit that extended from East Point Hill, i.e. Lee Garden towards Kellett Island. It marked the eastern limits of the early City of Victoria. The piece of land separated Causeway Bay in the east and Wong Nai Chung in the west. Streams and muds from Tai Hang and Wong Nai Chung shaped the spit.
Hongkong Land (HKL) is a property investment, management and development groups with premium commercial and residential property interests across Asia. It owns and manages some 850,000 sq. m. of prime office and luxury retail property in Asia, principally in Hong Kong and Singapore. Its Hong Kong portfolio represents some 450,000 sq. m. of commercial property, making it the single largest landlord in Central, Hong Kong. In Singapore it has a further 165,000 sq. m. of office space mainly held through joint ventures, while MCL Land, its subsidiary, is a well-established residential developer. Hongkong Land also has a 50 per cent interest in World Trade Center Jakarta, a leading office complex in Central Jakarta which it shares with the Murdaya family 's Central Cipta Murdaya Group, and a number of residential and mixed-use projects under development in cities across Greater China and Southeast Asia, including WF CENTRAL, a luxury retail centre in Wangfujing, Beijing.
Cotai is a 5.2-square-kilometer (2.0 sq mi) piece of newly reclaimed land on top of Seac Pai Bay between Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau, that has made two independent islands become one island, since 2005. The word can also refer to the entire new island which was formed by the reclamation. In the second sense, the Special Administrative Region of Macau now consists of the Macau Peninsula plus Cotai Island, about a mile to the south.
Central and Wan Chai Reclamation is a project launched by the government of Hong Kong since the 1990s to reclaim land for different purposes. This includes transportation improvements such as the Hong Kong MTR station, Airport Express Railway & Central-Wan Chai Bypass, as well as public recreation space such as the Central Harbourfront Event Space, Tamar Park and the Hong Kong Observation Wheel.
China is rather active in land reclamation. Since 1949 a large amount of artificial land has been reclaimed, mainly on its coastlines. China is among the countries which have built the most artificial land; from 1949 to 1990s, the total area of land reclaimed from the sea of China was about 13,000 km2.
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, when beaches were turned into fields for salt production. Major land reclamation projects have been conducted since the mid-19th century.
The Kai Tak Development, abbreviated as "KTD" and formerly called South East Kowloon Development (東南九龍發展計劃), refers to the redevelopment of the former Kai Tak Airport site in Kai Tak, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Dalian Jinzhouwan International Airport is an airport being built to serve the city of Dalian in Liaoning Province, northeast China. Once open it will replace the existing Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport as the city's main airport. It is being built on 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi) of reclaimed land off the coast of Dalian. Expected to open in 2024, it is set to become the world's largest offshore airport.
The reclamation of land from surrounding waters is used in Singapore to expand the city-state's limited area of usable, natural land. Land reclamation is most simply done by adding material such as rocks, soil and cement to an area of water; alternatively submerged wetlands or similar biomes can be drained.
Lantau Tomorrow Vision is a development project in Hong Kong launched by Chief Executive Carrie Lam in her 2018 policy address which includes the creation of a third core business district by constructing artificial islands with a total area of about 1,700 hectares through massive land reclamation near Kau Yi Chau and Hei Ling Chau of the eastern waters of Lantau Island. The project has met with controversy and opposition for its high cost of estimated HK$500 billion – amounting to half of the city's fiscal reserves, as well as environmental concerns.
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