West Region URA Singapore MasterPlan
URA has big plans for the West Region as showcased in its recent blueprint initiative.
The West Region of Singapore is one of the 5 regions with land size of about 26k hectares. There are about 12 sub-regional areas consisting not just residential towns but industrial zones as well. Two main areas with heavy developmental plans will be Jurong East and Jurong West :
- Bukit Batok
- Bukit Panjang
- Boon Lay
- Choa Chu Kang
- Jurong East
- Jurong West
- Western Islands
- Western Water Catchment
Residential Housing in West Region of Singapore
As listed in the above areas covering the western region of Singapore, there are about less than 300,000 residential homes including HDB, EC, condos and landed properties with about 1 million residents calling it home. The 2013 masterplan featured by URA planning department will probably increase residential capacity by 30-50% with its main residential towns located in areas such as Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Jurong East and Jurong West. Key themes will be about Singaporeans who will ‘live, work, play, learn and create’ supported by a close network of local communities.
The focus will be to improve on quality living environment by upgrading on present amenities while new facilities and services will be introduced with housing developments over time. Over the next few years, HIllview and Keat Hong estates will welcome new community clubs with new and fresh lifestyle programmes and activities for both the young and old residents. Other amenities such as new hawker centres which will also be set up in Jurong West and Bukit Panjang.
Plans for mixed-use developments near transport nodes such as MRT stations and bus interchanges will bring about much option in F&B, retail and entertainment activity. These developments include Junction 10/The Tennery, The Hillion Residences and The Hillier/ Hill V2. New BTO developments now also include child-care facilities, shop clusters, minimarts and convenience kiosks to meet day-to-day needs.
New health and medical care facilities will be put in place to serve the growing healthcare needs of our population. The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the Jurong Community Hospital will begin operations in end-2014 and 2015 respectively. The Ren Ci Nursing Home in Bukit Batok will be ready in 2015. A new polyclinic will open at Jurong West Street 61 in the next few years.
New Urban Community Plans in Jurong East and Jurong West
Jurong East and Jurong West will be of great importance in the West region as key national projects like the High Speed Rail (HSR) terminal, Jurong Innovation District (JID), Jurong Lakeside and Singapore Science Centre take centre stage bringing about a thriving hub where communities, companies and even foreign guests find a place to excel and contribute.
High Speed Rail Terminal
The prospect of a 90 minutes train ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur may not sound appealing to many however this project is more of an economic platform than a tourist one. Perhaps as countries in ASEAN matures, inter-dependencies or even co-opetition will gain more momentum even as language and cultural differences remain. A HSR that links 2 largest economies into a network recognises how 2 countries can focus on each of their strengths and bring important value to the world’s economy.
At Singapore’s end, the HSR terminus will be sited at the Jurong Country Club which is less than 1km from the Jurong East MRT station. As an international gateway terminal, Jurong East will be transformed into a full fledge hub for both commercial and private endeavours supported by world class infrastructures to serve both locals and international guests who might find it hard to differentiate between work and play. Below is a great video showcasing how its transformation may take place taking from launch of Lake Grande.
Jurong Innovation District
With global competition ever hot on its trail, time-to-market is narrowing and the need to jump start ideas, incubate viable ones and eventually move into production is even more crucial. Three parties will be key if success is to be achieved and these are: people, enterprise and technology. The Jurong Innovation District (JID) located from Jurong NTU to Tengah will have a land covering over 500 ha of real estate which will help mould the next era of Singapore’s economic development in areas such robotics, artificial intelligence and driverless car. JID is a massive infrastructural development that could attract the best talents in these fields, be it companies and/or people, supported by state-of-the-art platforms and contained in a conducive environment where research and development and high-tech manufacturing are integrated to better lead market innovation.
Transportation and Connectivity
Transportation is an important part of the development plans for the West Region and some of the following highlight these plans.
The Jurong Region Line (JRL)
The Jurong Region Line will connect areas such as Jurong West, Jurong Industrial Estate, West Coast, Choa Chu Kang, Tengah and the main activity hubs at Boon Lay and Jurong Gateway. The new 20 km track will also stop at Choa Chu Kang station (North-South) and Jurong East (East-West Line) connecting to the planned Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail terminus, the future Cross Island Line and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Trains will be fully-automatic on a 20 km track with a targeted opening in 2025. New developments that will benefit will be Vision Exchange, J Gateway, LakeVille, Lake Grande.
Cross Island Line (CRL)
In one of the most ambitious rail project in recent memory, the Cross Island Line (CRL) will cover about 50 km from West to East. When completed, after 2025, travel time should be significantly reduced travel times as well enhancing comfort level with improved carriages. For instance, commuters travelling from Ang Mo Kio can reach almost any part of Singapore using public transport within 1 hour or less, cutting commute time by 30 to 40 minutes. In addition, Punggol residents will be able to travel directly to Pasir Ris in only 10 to 15 minutes, as compared to a 40-minute bus journey today.
Extension of East-West Line (EWL) to Tuas
The westward extension of the East-West Line (EWL) to Tuas will improve access to the Tuas Industrial Estate.
The Tuas West Extension (TWE) will extend the East – West Line from Joo Koon stations. The MRT extension is expected to carry 100,000 commuters a day to Tuas. The 7.5km extension comprises four above ground stations and a twin tracked viaduct. The stations – Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West and Tuas Link – will improve the MRT connectivity that is currently lacking in the Tuas area. Commuters to the Tuas area can also look forward to savings in travelling time by up to 35 minutes. In addition, a road viaduct that is integrated with the rail extension will be constructed to provide motorists with an alternative to busy Pioneer Road. The 4.8km long dual 3-lane viaduct will run along Pioneer Road to join Tuas South Avenue 3. This will be the first twin-tier viaduct in Singapore which will help relieve some of the heavy traffic in the Tuas area.
Integrated Transport Hubs
Enhancing connectivity via road is the function of public buses. Bus interchanges which are or will be integrated with major MRT stations are currently being planned or built in Jurong East, Bukit Panjang and Joo Koon. These integrated transport hubs will help commuters switch between different modes of public transport seamlessly and with greater conveniences.
Green Park Connectors
Even as planned population increase may dampen air quality with higher carbon footprint, the goal of lowering carbon output is at hand with the ‘car-lite’ initiative. One such plan is from the National Park which will improve connectivity over 590 ha of green spaces linked by 30 km of park connectors network or PCN..