Reclaim Land started out as a final-year project by four journalism students — Justin, Shu Yun, Kang Li and Serene — from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in August 2008 that led to this website.

Here, you will find stories about ordinary people who have created their own places despite living in the city-state of Singapore that is just over 700 kilometres-square in size — so small that some have called it a “little red dot”.

This lack of physical space is why the state justifies such a tight control over how land is used. But it is not so much the physical size that limits this city but rather the looming shadow of the state that clouds it. But in the everyday life, one finds pockets of resistance: a street barber, a kampung community and a crew of skateboarders. These are some of the ordinary people in our stories who through their daily actions re-imagine a new geography of Singapore, one of their own, one that gives birth to the question: Whose city is it anyway?


Read all the stories about the people who reclaim land. Then, leave your comments, see the multimedia gallery or share our stories with others using our downloadable PDFs.

Multimedia Gallery
See the people in their places and listen to their voices. Also look out for a multiple-exposure series that shows how this city is reclaimed through time.

Go in-depth with our academics and experts on ways to look at the city and learn how to make Singapore more liveable and lovable.

Find the latest happenings on Reclaim Land as well as recommended events and news


Justin Zhuang is a Singapore boy who enjoys his walk around this city despite the humidity, and because of the ERP. When he is not busy writing or designing publications, he spends his time in search for the elusive typeface that will forever define his written word. His personal website and portfolio is at justinzhuang.com

Wong Shu Yun loves a multi-disciplinary approach to projects, but — alas! — has no discipline to see them through. With this short-attention span, she often craves to pioneer works.

Sam Kang Li uses his camera as a tool to understand society and his place in it. The pictures he takes greatly influence the memories he keeps and he hopes to create a Singapore for himself through these photographs. His website can be found at samkangliphotos.com.

Serene Cheong believes Singapore can be a playground where one can abseil off Ritz Carlton, trapeze-walk at The Gateway and jet ski in the Singapore River. Possibilities abound, if we would only open our eyes and minds.


We would like to thank the following for their help and encouragement along the course of this project

+ Our supervisor, Asst Prof Cherian George
+ Darren, Johnson and Guangzheng for their technical assistance in the multimedia production
+ The academics who gave us their time and insights
+ Interviewees who agreed to share their stories


  1. Hi Justin,

    Your blog has been a great resource that mirrors the project that I have worked on for the past few years, so some of the work might interest you. In case you did not catch the exhibition last year, its making its 2nd run at URA building till 16 June. Drop by if you can.



  2. Please continue to update and allow this website to flourish! It would be a pity to see that not much has gone on since the 2010 period and Singapore has not stopped changing! Would love to see and read more! Do keep carrying on! 🙂