The Draft Master Plan 2019 (Master Plan) was recently announced by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to chart out the government plans for land usage in Singapore over the next 10 to 15 years.

The Master Plan will affect how citizens work, live and play in a future Singapore. One of the main proposals include increasing residential developments in and around the Central Business District of Singapore. URA states that the purpose of doing so is to allow residents to live closer to their workplace and rejuvenate the downtown area after office hours.

URA also plans to add new housing and public amenities to mature towns such as Upper East Coast, Dakota Crescent and Farrer Park. It aims to do so by integrating new amenities and community hubs together with existing landmarks in the area. The Master Plan also includes greater ‘car-lite’ and greenery spaces whilst preserving iconic landmarks of heritage value.

Additionally, the Master Plan charts out the future economic hubs of Singapore by segregating industries in various regions of Singapore and connecting them to existing public infrastructures within its respective area.

Read the full article on Channel Newsasia: URA draft master plan: More housing planned for CBD, Marina Bay area


The Master Plan marks a significant shift in urban planning in Singapore. In previous Master Plans, the government heavily focused on segregating regions as designated residential, industrial or commercial zones. Some examples include developing Punggol as a waterfront residential zone or Marina Bay as the new financial hub of Singapore.

In contrast, the latest Master Plan aims to create greater mixed commercial and residential zones in both the suburban and downtown area of Singapore.  It is likely that the aim of this shift is not solely to add vibrancy to different regions of Singapore, but also to create smaller communities and specialised business districts. Arguably, the Master Plan seeks to tackle the secondary issue of Singapore’s congested roads and overcrowded public transportation systems through reducing urban density and thereby resulting in shorter commutes for residents to their workplace. In this respect, research suggests this will likely create a more productive workforce and economy.

Furthermore, by tapping on existing public infrastructures, creating specific commercial zones and linking academic institutions to industries, this will also likely drive greater innovation and collaboration which will further benefit Singapore’s future economy.

Questions for further personal evaluation:

  1. What are the adverse consequences of rapid development in cities which face land scarcity?
  2. To what extent should urban planners place importance in deriving economic benefits through their development of cities?

Useful vocabulary:

  1. ‘rejuvenate’: to make something such as an organization, system, or place good or effective again
  2. ‘vibrancy’: the state of being full of energy and life

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