A chance to build inclusive and walkable district

20131120-st-a-chance-to-build-inclusive-and-walkable-district-pic THE juicy prospect of a vast slice of coastal land being freed up once the ports move from Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar to Tuas by 2027 has planners sharpening their design pencils.

Some ideas have already emerged from government planners for the 1,000ha area that will be known as the Greater Southern Waterfront. These range from erecting a barrage around Pulau Brani to form another reservoir and network of streetside canals, to creating a single continuous waterfront promenade that snakes around the coast.

Other ideas include creating several waterfront districts from Labrador to Marina South, each with its own unique character.

These could include varied styles of housing, such as island living on Pulau Brani or piers and marinas.

Green corridors of open space linking Mount Faber to Pulau Brani are a possibility, as is extending a central linear park in Marina Bay to the waterfront.

The Central Business District and nearby housing could be extended to the waterfront as well.

The Government wants the public to contribute ideas for the new waterfront area too.

When the port move was announced last year, Business Times reader Ee Teck Siew suggested that the land be used for public housing and common amenities like parks and water sport facilities instead of "expensive waterfront estates that cater to only a few nouveaux riches".

Other input has come from Dr Lai Choo Malone-Lee, director of the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities at the National University of Singapore, who is a lead contributor to an upcoming report on Singapore 2050 by the Institute of Policy Studies.

She said the Greater Southern Waterfront is an opportunity to plan an inclusive, public-transit-oriented and walkable district in a way that would be harder in more developed areas.

It ought to be a dense multi-use area with diverse land uses such as housing, arts facilities and even universities, she suggested.

"If you merely have an extension to the CBD, it will be another mono-use commercial centre."

The Urban Redevelopment Authority said the plan for the waterfront is a large-scale project and it welcomes ideas.

caiwj@sph.com.sg

Source: Straits Times, 20 Nov 2013