Singapore's long-term development plans to include flexible homes and workspaces: URA

By Atiqah Mokhtar / EdgeProp Singapore | June 6, 2022 8:10 PM SGT
The "Space For Our Dreams” exhibition maps out URA’s long-term planning concepts for Singapore's development over the next 50 years and beyond (Photo: URA Facebook page)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Building more inclusive housing options, providing flexible workspaces and bringing recreational spaces closer to homes are among the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) focus areas for Singapore’s development over the next 50 years.
These strategies were unveiled at a public exhibition launched by URA on June 6 following a year-long public engagement seeking ideas and feedback from over 15,000 Singaporeans as part of its long-term public review (LTPR) of Singapore’s development plans, which is conducted every 10 years.
The exhibition, titled “Space For Our Dreams”, maps out URA’s long-term planning concepts across key pillars such as live, work, and play, among others. Underpinning the concepts is the key idea of flexibility, says Lee Sze Teck, senior director (research) at Huttons Asia. “As this is a long-term plan, lots of flexibility has to be built in to factor the unknowns in the future – more mixed uses, time-sharing of facilities, flexible usage of space, shorter leases, faster development cycle,” he comments.

Flexible homes, workspaces

Major strategies highlighted by URA include plans to explore a wider variety of internal layouts for homes that support demographic and lifestyle changes, as well as unforeseen needs, such as the shift to hybrid modes of working following the pandemic.
URA also intends to provide more housing options aimed at Singapore’s ageing population, including a tender that will be launched for a pilot project for private assisted living at Parry Avenue in Kovan.
To better optimise land use and enhance flexibility, URA says it will explore more time-sharing of spaces for different uses, such as a co-working space during the day that can be converted to host community events in the evenings.
Under the work pillar, URA highlights plans for more attractive and flexible workspaces, such as “vertical zoning” in industrial estates which integrates different uses within a single development - for example, a building with clean industrial activities on the lower floors, co-working spaces on the mid-floors, and residences on the upper floors.
It is also exploring suitable locations for Business-White Zones to accommodate non-industrial uses such as co-working spaces, retail, and F&B. The Kolam Ayer and Yishun industrial estates have been identified as potential areas for such zones.
Commercial and office spaces may also be leased out on shorter terms in selected areas to help businesses adapt more nimbly to fast-changing economic trends. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)

Future development sites

Under the LTPR, URA highlights it is studying the creation of a “Long Island” along the south-eastern coast from Marina East to Changi. Besides offering coastal protection against floods and rising sea levels, the reclaimed land site may be potentially developed to include housing, along with coastal parks and recreational spaces.
Huttons’ Lee believes that up to 15,000 public and private housing may be built on the island with an open waterfront promenade similar to the Keppel area. “We see this as an extension of the Greater Southern Waterfront which will bring Singapore’s transformation to the next level,” he comments.
The exhibition also features concept proposals for the Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB). Upon relocation in the 2030s, PLAB will free up about 800ha of land in the East region. A conceptual master plan for the site, crafted by the Singapore Institute of Architects and the Singapore Institute of Planners showcases a new precinct integrating live, work, play and mobility features.
The “Space For Our Dreams” exhibition is currently being held at The URA Centre Atrium until August 4. It will subsequently be rotated around select locations in the heartlands.

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