URA eyes more homes for Singapore Downtown in 2019

Its Draft Master Plan 2019 includes turning Anson Road, Cecil Street, and Tanjong Pagar into urban neighbourhoods.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has unveiled key proposals to enhance Singapore’s Downtown, comprising the CBD and Marina Bay, with its Draft Master Plan for 2019.

According to minister for national development Lawrence Wong, the government plans to inject more homes Downtown and raise its live-in population. “There are opportunities to tap on the draw of Downtown living, amenities in the area, high transport connectivity, and the convenience that city living brings, to introduce more housing in the area. The injection of new housing options in Downtown will bring more homes to where jobs are, and cut down on commuting times for workers to and fro work,” he said.

URA also proposed to turn mostly commercial, CBD fringe areas like Anson Road, Cecil Street, and Tanjong Pagar into urban neighbourhoods.

“Ample public spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets will function as attractive spaces conducive for community gatherings and interactions. In addition to these streets and squares, more seamless connections through developments lined with shops, eateries and amenities will make Downtown more walkable and delightful,” Wong said.

Agencies are also studying the possibility of transforming Robinson Road into a transit-priority corridor for public transport and active mobility. According to URA, more space can be given to buses, cycling paths and pedestrian walkways.

URA also eyes adding over 5km of cycling paths to the existing 22 km network in the Central Area by 2021.

The agency also said that state properties can be revitalised through short-term uses by allowing the insertion of unique lifestyle concepts that complement existing uses in the area. “A shorter tenure provides for some flexibility and responsiveness to evolving needs,” it added.

Economic gateways
URA also unveiled plans patterned according to Singapore’s “economic gateways” in the east, west, and north that serve as links to employment areas and transport infrastructure.

For the Changi region in the east, URA identified two key growth nodes, namely Changi Aviation Park and Changi City. It proposed to inject recreation and tourism attractions connected by the Round Island Route and wider cycling network. “In the longer term, a waterfront district to the south could be developed to offer exciting new recreational and tourism possibilities,” URA said.

There are also plans to improve road and rail connectivity to the area, such as the recently announced Cross Island Line. With the proximity of Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to the future Terminal 5, there is potential for seamless “fly-ferry” linkages, URA said.

Meanwhile, the development of the new Agri-Food Innovation Park (AFIP) at Sungei Kadut and Punggol Digital District is expected to improve the prospects of the northern gateway. The AFIP will be located in Sungei Kadut, forming part of a larger Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor with food-related industries, such as those in the Senoko Food Zone and the farms in Lim Chu Kang.

Woodlands Regional Centre (WRC) is expected to grow as the largest economic hub in the north region. “Over the next 15 years, new spaces for business, industry, research and development, and learning and innovation will be introduced to WRC on over 100 ha of developable land,” URA said.

Amenities will also be added into WRC. “Notably, WoodsVista Gallery and North Coast Vista–running through Woodlands Central and Woodlands North Coast respectively–will link public spaces and create pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly backbones to both precincts,” URA said.

WRC will also have enhanced connectivity to other parts of Singapore via the Thomson East Coast line, with new stations at Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South opening in 2019. In the future, there are plans for the Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System Link to connect Bukit Chagar Station in Johor Bahru with Woodlands North.

Meanwhile, Punggol Digital District (PDD) is expected to be on the receiving end of plans for land use mix to be curated at the district-level. It will bring together a business park, the Singapore Institute of Technology, and community facilities and will be connected to the greater Punggol area. It will also be served by the North East Line extension.

Lastly, URA’s plan for the western gateway, which includes the surrounding Tuas and Jurong industrial estates, will use improved transport linkages and Tuas Terminal’s global maritime connectivity.

At 360ha, Jurong Lake District is expected to be the largest district outside the CBD. “It will offer a complementary leisure and recreation cluster around Jurong Lake to leverage the area’s unique lakeside and garden setting and enhance the environment for both workers and residents,” URA said.

It will be connected to the rest of the island via the existing North-South and East-West MRT lines and the future Jurong Region Line (JRL) and Cross Island Line (CRL).

The upcoming 360ha Jurong Innovation District (JID) is expected to cover Nanyang Technological University, CleanTech Park, Bulim, Bahar and Tengah and will be served by the upcoming JRL.

URA also unveiled plans for Tuas Terminal. The container terminal is expected to be fully developed by around 2040 to have a capacity of up to 65 million TEUs supported by the extensive use of automation.

The Draft Master Plan 2019 exhibition is held at The URA Centre Atrium from 27 March 2019 to 24 May 2019. The public is also encouraged to provide feedback on the plan at URA’s website. 

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