Protecting the Vertical Space of Cities: Perspectives for Singapore

25 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 18, 2017


Singapore and other global cities are increasingly exploring the vertical space – vertical urbanism - to address challenges from land scarcity and growing urbanisation. As urbanisation can shape the nature of crime and security threats, there would be a need for vertical urbanism to be an essential consideration in the forward planning for vertical policing strategies by homeland security agencies. While threats to high-rise buildings are not new, vertical urbanism is changing the environment even as it optimises space utilisation (including lower airspace) and this may plausibly expand the attack surface of cities by presenting additional vectors for threats. Existing regulatory frameworks and policies, and operational procedures need to adapt to address the plausible threats that may ascend amid the social and economic vibrancy of the vertical space of future cities. Currently, such frameworks generally look into drone regulations and high-rise building security as separate domains rather than subsets of the vertical space. This paper employs a documentary approach to envision the vertical space and its security dimension, plausible vertical security challenges and concludes with a specific policy recommendation that may be helpful to cities including Singapore.

Keywords: Vertical urbanism, vertical cities, homeland security, drones, building internet of things

Suggested Citation

Rahman, Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul, Protecting the Vertical Space of Cities: Perspectives for Singapore (August 18, 2017). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 17-19 , Available at SSRN:

Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rahman (Contact Author)

Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) ( email )

Blk S4, Level B4
Nanyang Avenue
Singapore, 639798

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