Developers and businesses to enhance vibrancy in nine precincts

Nine precincts will participate in URA’s pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme, where businesses and community stakeholders play a more active role in placemaking, transforming the precincts and enhancing the public spaces within them. The nine precincts are China Place, City Hall, Jurong Gateway, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Paya Lebar, Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar. They are a mixture of historic, civic and mixed-use precincts within and outside the city centre.
In September last year, URA invited stakeholders to submit preliminary business plans with proposed initiatives and collection of membership fees to fund the proposals. The government will support the pilot BIDs and provide dollar-for-dollar matching of membership fees collected by each BID, up to $500,000 a year for the first four years, to help BIDs implement their business plans.
China Square Central by Frasers Property Singapore is one of the anchor developments in the China Place BID (Picture: Frasers Property Singapore)
“With more active participation by stakeholders, the public can look forward to more vibrant districts and attractive public spaces,” says Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development. He was speaking at URA’s annual Place Management Seminar on Sept 17.
Lifestyle and heritage
The first pilot BID that was formed was Singapore River One, in 2017. At the time, it was motivated by the negative reputation of the Circular Road and Boat Quay areas, owing to touting and overcharging, the minister says. The stakeholders of Singapore River One introduced car-free zones on weekend evenings; improved outdoor areas; and initiated signature events such as the annual St Patrick’s Day Street Festival, as well as introduced heritage trails, all of which have successfully transformed the area into a vibrant waterfront district, Wong notes.
Some of the latest pilot BIDs also want to capitalise on their districts’ heritage to help revitalise their precincts. In the Paya Lebar BID, Lendlease, which is developing the landmark integrated development Paya Lebar Quarter, and other stakeholders envision a precinct with a “distinctive cultural identity, reflective of the rich history and culture of Paya Lebar”, says Ng Hsueh Ling, CIO of Lendlease Asia. Lendlease has set aside 100,000 sq ft of green public spaces at PLQ for event spaces to be used for festive and community events.