Reshaping Singapore to remain competitiveMay 2, 2019 / By
Creative plans and bold initiatives have been proposed by Singapore’s planning authority to ensure adequacy of land resources and infrastructure development to support Singapore’s future growth.
When the Urban Redevelopment Authority announced Singapore’s Draft Master Plan (DMP) 2019, a key initiative is that of “Strengthening economic gateways”. It comprises strategic plans to develop several “gateways” that will encompass key employment nodes and infrastructure in supporting global connection to external markets and strengthen Singapore’s competitive advantage.
Draft Master Plan 2019 – Strengthening Economic Gateways
Western Gateway – Singapore’s port is currently ranked among the largest container terminals in the world. The development of the Tuas Terminal enables it to scale up to be the world’s largest container terminal with a capacity of 65 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2040, up from the current 37 million TEUs (2018). Total trade, which accounts for more than 300% of GDP, will remain vital for economic growth and the Tuas Terminal provides the infrastructure to support that. The development of the Tuas Terminal will be complemented by Jurong Lake District, slated to be the largest business district outside the CBD and the Jurong Innovation District.
Eastern Gateway – Anchored on Changi Air Hub, the gateway will host aviation-related businesses relying on air connectivity to the world. Changi International Airport, a world-leading hub airport, handled 65.6 million passengers in 2018. Changi Terminal 5 is being developed and will increase passenger traffic by 50 to 70 million passengers. As Changi Airport is being expanded, Changi Aviation Park and Changi City, the regional commercial centre, are also being developed. An “Aerotropolis” is in the making – a metropolitan hub whose infrastructure, land use and economy are centred on an international airport, providing the advantages of speed and efficiency in connecting people, goods and services globally.
Northern Gateway – This gateway’s initiative involves intertwining Woodlands Regional Centre, the main commercial hub in the north, with the development of an Agri-Food Innovation Park and Agri-Tech Food Corridor as well as the Punggol Digital District. These initiatives harness technology in the development of new growth sectors.
The Central Area – A major initiative is the CBD Incentive Scheme that encourages older office buildings in parts of the CBD to be converted into mixed-use developments incorporating residential or hotel uses, adding vibrancy to the area. The rejuvenation plan for the old CBD is strategic, as it comes at a time when the New Downtown in Marina Bay is shaping up and clearer plans for decentralisation are put in place in the various “gateways”.
These plans provide greater clarity for businesses and investors on the direction and opportunities for growth. There will be a need for additional business space, housing and supporting amenities in these “gateways” to meet demand from end-users. To facilitate this, we may expect sites to be released under Government land sales in these locations, which could provide attractive opportunities for developers and investors.
The “gateways” may be expected to herald a new and broader investment horizon in Singapore’s real estate market.
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