History & Origins
Paya Lebar used to be a large swampy land located near the Kallang River, which explains its name, which means “wide swamp” in Malay. It was one of the last Malay settlements in Singapore, and its heritage has been preserved till today with places like Kampong Ubi Community Centre and Wisma Geylang Serai. Singapore’s first international airport was built there in 1955, and it has become a notable landmark known as Paya Lebar airbase. The airport had served civilians for a good 26 years until Changi Airport was completed in 1981.
Condominiums are the most common form of housing in Paya Lebar, followed by landed properties and public housing. Those interested to reside there can look out for upcoming launches like The Lilium.
Transportation & Connectivity
Paya Lebar is currently served by three MRT stations on the East-West and Circle Lines - Paya Lebar MRT Station (EW8/CC9), Eunos MRT Station (EW7) and Bartley MRT Station (CC12). Numerous bus routes also service the residents of Paya Lebar. These include: 24, 28, 43, 70 and 76.
There are 16 schools in Paya Lebar, including eight primary schools, seven secondary schools and one international school. Examples include Geylang Methodist Primary School, Maha Bodhi School, Manjusri Secondary School and Nexus International School. Other schools that are nearby include Cedar Primary School, Cedar Girls’ Secondary School and Maris Stella High School.
From City Plaza, PLQ mall, Paya Lebar Square, KINEX (formerly OneKM shopping mall) to Tanjong Katong Complex, residents at Paya Lebar are indeed spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping.
Apart from an abundance of food haunts such as Haig Road Food Centre and Geylang Serai Market, there is also the serene Geylang River that you can cruise near on your bikes. You can also experience the area’s rich cultural heritage in places like Wisma Geylang Serai, a community civic centre that exudes the kampong spirit with its architecture and cultural events.
URA Master Plan
According to URA, Paya Lebar airbase will be relocated from the 2030s onwards, and the area will be transformed progressively into a highly liveable and sustainable town. URA’s development plans for this area will be built on its unique identity as a former airbase. For instance, parts of the airport buildings and runway will be retained and repurposed.
Did You know?
- Singapore’s first international airport was built in Paya Lebar in 1955.
- Paya means “swamp” and Lebar means “wide” in Malay - its name is derived from its historical past as a large swampy land as well as a Malay settlement.