Singapore Wants More Residential Homes In Its Central District, Underground Plan In The Works

Singapore CBD
A cleaner rides past the skyline in a vacuum sweeper vehicle in Singapore March 5, 2019. Picture taken March 5, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) recently revealed in a draft master plan that it is planning to move a number of facilities underground as part of a grand scheme of freeing up living space for its residents.

According to the Business Mirror, the draft master plan suggested that industrial facilities, storage areas, transport setups, and other utilities will be moved underground so there will be more surface land where residents can live and be closer to recreational spaces and their workplace.

Faced with an increasingly complex environment, we need to build a resilient city by continually reviewing and enhancing plans to stay relevant to our people's needs and be ready to adapt to changing trends," the plan stated.

Singapore has been promoting clean and green living to its residents and visitors and industry analysts believe that the underground plan will help solidify this cause. Through bigger spaces on surface land where green living can be encouraged, experts believe the city-state can have a more competitive edge over other nations.

Last week, The Straits Times reported that part of the grandiose underground scheme is a 50km Greater Rustic Coast that will run along Singapore's northern coast. A 24 km "green vein," the Rail Corridor, was also entailed in the plan. The Rail Corridor is expected to be completed by 2021.

A large number of parks and park connectors will also be established to further promote green living among residents. Building rejuvenation plans were also mentioned to help boost the interest of building owners who want to take part in Singapore's goals.

Some analysts pointed out that the draft master plan for Singapore's central business district (CBD) may have been prompted by calls for better living spaces. The CBD area is currently dominated by corporate developments but the government is now looking at welcoming residential spaces where families can live closer to each other and to their workplaces.

Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, said last week that while the CBD is quite busy during the weekdays, not much is going on during the weekends and at night time. For Wong, the CBD should be "a vibrant place to live and play," thus the plan to integrate residential living areas in skyscraper-dominated spaces.

One of the priorities of the draft master plan is to provide better experiences for commuters and residents who want to have improved connections with their families. Many working residents in the CBD live away from their parents and relatives but with more residential options through the underground scheme, this trend may be dissolved.

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