Building on how Singapore has transformed over 50 years

A distinctive global city
A distinctive global city
Endearing homes for all
Endearing homes for all
City in a garden
City in a garden
Shared culture and identity
Shared culture and identity

A distinctive global city

Plans to move the port from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas will free up 1,000ha of prime waterfront land to expand the Central Business District (CBD) and have more residential and commercial spaces there. A second CBD is being built in Jurong Lake District, which will have the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail terminus.

It will be surrounded by beautiful greenery and waters, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said at the Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum yesterday.

Endearing homes for all

The Government will keep building beautiful, well-designed and affordable homes for Singaporeans as it has done for the past 50 years, Mr Wong said.

It will try to do even better in the next 50 years, he added, citing the evolution of Punggol new town, which will be expanded to Punggol North and house the Singapore Institute of Technology campus. Upcoming Tengah new town will be a forest town with a large central park, and will be part of the Jurong Innovation District.

City in a garden

Singapore aims to be not just a modern city, but also one that is green and friendly to the environment.

It can also be a leader in vertical and skyrise greenery.

Great effort is also being made to preserve biodiversity, such as in Kranji, whose marshes are home to over 170 different bird species, and on Pulau Ubin, where another otter species lives.

Mr Wong quipped: "We not only build homes for people. We build homes for animals too."

Shared culture and identity

Singapore has developed a shared culture, from hawker centres to the Botanic Gardens, and local movies like Jack Neo's Ah Boys To Men. There are also more local bands like the Sam Willows, proof that Singapore's cultural scene has become more vibrant, said Mr Wong. An open, inclusive identity is taking shape, and a distinctive Singaporean culture will evolve with time. But it has to happen organically, he added.

Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2016, with the headline 'Building on how Singapore has transformed over 50 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe