Jurong East: From swampland to Singapore’s next CBD

Mention Jurong, and some instinctively think of a no man’s land, factories with smoggy air, or the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It’s not hard to understand why from their perspective. On Singapore’s map, Jurong lies to the island’s southwest and has always been thought of as nudging the country’s edge.
Once little more than a vast swathe of swampy mangroves, Jurong—named after the Malay word for “shark”, or “jerong”—later discovered new purpose as Singapore’s industrial hub, and a miniature city centre was born. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Jurong gradually shed its old skin as a plantation area dotted with fish and prawn ponds (and a few crocodile-infested rivers), and morphed into a self-sufficient town.

The dividing lines

Jurong East is adjacent to Clementi and Jurong West. Source: URA
Today, Jurong is divided into two zones—Jurong West, western Singapore’s largest town with more than a quarter of a million HDB residents; and Jurong East, a more modest township with an HDB resident population just shy of 80,000.
While home to a significantly smaller HDB population compared to Jurong West, Jurong East is big on personality, with a clean and welcoming infrastructure. Photo credit: Loh Xiu Ruth
There are 10 subzones within Jurong East: International Business Park, Jurong Gateway, Jurong Port, Jurong River, Lakeside, Penjuru Crescent, Teban Gardens, Toh Guan, Yuhua East, and Yuhua West.
This area is part of Singapore’s largest industrial area, and intriguingly, has also carved a niche for itself as Singapore’s Orchard Road of the west.It’s not hard to see why. Multiple extensive malls—including JEM and Westgate—have come up in the area.
Westgate is a large and modern mall with comfortable areas encouraging relaxation. Photo credit: Loh Xiu Ruth
The government has also announced the upcoming development of Jurong Lake District (within Jurong East) under the URA Draft Master...