URA's new blueprint for developing Singapore

URA's new blueprint for developing Singapore
An artist’s impression of an elevated park connector across the Ayer Rajah Expressway. Smooth connectivity is in the works, with crossings to link cycling paths across roads and waterways, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has uveiled a sweeping plan that points to how the country could develop over the next decade or so, and the central themes that will drive the process.

Cycling paths, walkways, green corridors, a new waterfront city and enhancements to already much-loved areas are all envisioned in a new blueprint drawn up by the nation's planners.

It is part pragmatic - more homes, better transport - but also reaches for the more intangible goals of greater community interaction in a cleaner, greener, more liveable nation.

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan had said in a blog post on Nov 18 that "the underlying philosophy of making Singapore an endearing home and a clean, green, liveable city remains unchanged".

More homes will come up in new housing areas at Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol Matilda, as well as in the established estates such as Sembawang, Yishun, Hougang and Choa Chu Kang. In total, enough land has been earmarked for 500,000 new homes - mostly public housing.

All these are detailed in the Draft Master Plan 2013, which guides land use over the next 10 to 15 years with revisions every five years.

The draft of the master plan include:

- An environmentally friendly city centre with a clean-green overhaul in Marina South, which will include streets that are pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly and energy efficient buildings. Residential areas will characterised by fenceless private housing to better encourage interaction. Marina South will also be an urban residential district, with plans for a mixed-use development in its heart. Amenities such as childcare centres and clinics will be built, as well as offices, restaurants and hotels. A focal point will be an 800m-long pedestrian walkway between the upcoming Marina South and Gardens by the Bay MRT stations.

- At Kampong Bugis, near the Kallang riverside, the focus will be on reducing car usage and preventing floods. For residents, this means driving less in favour of other modes of commuting. They will be encouraged to take the train via two existing nearby MRT stations, Kallang and Lavender, and public buses. They will also be able to get about by water taxis in future. Another feature is bio-retention basins.

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