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Flexi-work models feature in Singapore’s long-term urban development plans: URA

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
The URA is planning for more inclusive housing towns, including a mix of public and privates homes in residential estates at Bayshore and area around Upper Changi MRT station.(PHOTO: URA Facebook)




The URA is planning for more inclusive housing towns, including a mix of public and privates homes in residential estates at Bayshore and area around Upper Changi MRT station.(PHOTO: URA Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is planning for more inclusive housing towns, including a mix of public and privates homes in residential estates at Bayshore and Upper Changi, as part of its long-term plan review charting Singapore’s developments in the next 50 years and beyond.

A public exhibition for the long-term plan review was launched on Monday (6 June) following a year-long engagement with 15,000 members of the public to gather Singaporeans' ideas and feedback on their future urban environment.

"Our planning strategies also took into consideration the need to enhance flexibility and optionality of our land use given the increasingly complex and uncertain environment," Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said. "We must also find ways to better optimise the use of our limited land to balance more acute trade-offs for various land use needs," he noted.

As part of the plan, URA and agencies will explore planning for 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 that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agencies will also plan for more towns and estates with “a good mix of public and private homes”. Bayshore and the area near Upper Changi MRT station will have a mix of public and private estates supported by amenities.

The planned relocation of the Paya Lebar Air Base in the 2030s will also free up about 800ha of land which can be transformed into a new generation town with homes, jobs and lifestyle amenities. One of the proposals by the Singapore Institute of Architects and Singapore Institute of Planners is to develop a heritage district which conserves existing infrastructure, such as the old airport runway, terminal building, bunkers and airport hangars.

As part of its plan to “build more inclusive and close-knit towns”, the URA said it was working with various stakeholders to explore how to employ underused spaces for community use, such as the areas under MRT viaducts and expressways.

It also intends to design spaces that can accommodate different users throughout the day, such as a co-working space in the day that can be converted to host community events in the evenings.

Flexibility

Flexible working spaces also feature in URA’s plan, with the agency exploring a “vertical zoning” concept in industrial estates which integrate different but complementary uses within a single development.

Vertical zoning refers to how a single building can segregate floors by their uses, for example, clean industrial activities occupying lower floors, and co-working spaces in the mid-floors, which creates a buffer for residences on the upper floors.

The URA is also exploring suitable locations for business-white zones in industrial areas to accommodate non-industrial uses, such as co-working spaces, retail and food and beverage spaces. Two potential areas are Kolam Ayer and Yishun industrial estates when they are redeveloped.

The government is also seeking to make industrial estates healthier and more convenient for workers by having more green spaces, leisure options and active mobility networks.

Considering the possibility that flexible work arrangements become more prevalent, the government plans to introduce some sites that have shorter leases so that businesses can adapt to fast-changing needs.

In an effort to keep Singapore's future environment distinctive and endearing to its citizens, the URA has developed a heritage and identity structure plan that maps out relevant sites that will be considered as part of future development plans.

In this vein, the URA also introduced the concept of identity corridors which are corridors defined by distinctive characteristics. Five such identity corridors were identified, including the Rail Corridor.

The exhibition titled "Space for our Dreams" is now open to the public at The URA Centre Atrium from 6 June to 4 August 2022.

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