URA strives for a greener, more resilient, and more inclusive Singapore

By Bong Xin Ying / EdgeProp Singapore | March 28, 2019 8:06 AM SGT
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has unveiled key proposals focusing on a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient city under the Draft Master Plan 2019.
Future residential precincts will continue the themes of sustainability, and community-centric and car-lite lifestyles. Co-locating amenities will be available in one-stop hubs such as the upcoming Bukit Canberra and Punggol Town Hub, and more than 90% of households will be within walking distance of a park. There will also be more Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters projects over the next five years.
The island-wide network of play corridors, parks, sports facilities and green spaces will be expanded, with about 1,000ha of upcoming parks and park connectors. This includes key recreational corridors like the Round Island Route, Rail Corridor, Kallang River, Coast-to-Coast Trail, Bukit Timah-Rochor green walk, and park connectors like the 50km stretch of Greater Rustic Coast that links Changi to Lim Chu Kang in the Round Island Route.
The Rail Corridor will be more connected by 2021 to neighbouring estates like Queenstown, Buona Vista, Beauty World and Sungei Kadut. The former Station Master’s Quarters and Bukit Timah Fire Station will be conserved. The site will be transformed into a gateway node with a visitor centre.
The number of people staying within the Central Area will be increased as a variety of homes and amenities are planned in areas such as Downtown, Marina South and Rochor. Apart from being enhanced as a lifestyle destination, Orchard Road will also connect the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park. New housing and amenities will be added in areas such as Bayshore, Dakota Crescent, and Farrer Park.
Three major gateways in the west, north and east are being planned. The western gateway comprises Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District and Tuas Terminal. The future Jurong Region and Cross Island Lines will improve transport connectivity. Two major universities, the Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, are also in the vicinity, to boost synergies through knowledge sharing and collaborations between industries and academia.
With the new Agri-Food Innovation Park at Sungei Kadut, the northern gateway is anchored by the Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor. It aims to be the portal to growth opportunities in the agri-tech and food sector. Woodlands Regional Centre will also continue to grow as the largest business node in the north, serving as the corridor’s strategic centre, while Punggol Digital District will increase the vibrancy in the northeast.
“Moving jobs closer to home and even homes closer to work can alleviate the stress on the public transport network. In land-scarce Singapore where more than 10% of land is set aside for roads, this can reduce the need to build road capacity,” states Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia’s head of research.
Meanwhile, the eastern gateway at Changi will host aviation-related businesses at the Changi Aviation Park, in line with Changi Airport’s expansion. An innovative lifestyle business cluster, comprising the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Changi Business Park, and the future Changi East Urban District, will also be at Changi City.
“Over the longer term, with further ambitious plans to develop Terminal 5 and the Changi East Urban District, we think the Changi region is poised to become a major commercial, employment and leisure destination in Singapore,” says Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore, Colliers International.
Looking ahead, URA will also tap 3D technology to improve the use of underground space by relocating utilities, transport, storage and industrial facilities there. For a start, URA will roll out 3D underground maps for Marina Bay, Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District, showing the underground uses and planning requirements in these three pilot areas.
Two key areas – Greater Southern Waterfront and Paya Lebar Air Base – will be redeveloped.
About 1,000ha of land will be freed up for development at the Greater Southern Waterfront, which will have a total area of about 2,000ha, including areas like Keppel Club and Sentosa. The Pasir Panjang/Labrador area will be a significant waterfront node along the waterfront. Singapore’s first 230 kV underground substation, integrated with a commercial building, will be developed next to Labrador Park MRT Station. The Pasir Panjang Power District will be connected to the rest of the waterfront area via the new Pasir Panjang Linear Park. The site occupied by Keppel Club will be redeveloped for housing after the current lease expires.
The longer-term relocation of Paya Lebar Air Base will free up 800ha of land. URA will hold an ideas competition later in the year to seek the public’s views and aspirations for the site’s future.
Overall, CBRE Research thinks the residential market in general is unlikely to see any immediate impact from the announcement of the Draft Master Plan as “it remains marred by measures and a looming supply in the next few years”.