URA Draft Master Plan 2013: Exciting plans, but execution could be difficult, say experts

An artist's impression of the Kampong Bugis precinct. Property consultants warn that while the plans offer "exciting" new proposals for some areas, the difficulty would be in the execution of these plan. -- PHOTO: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
An artist's impression of the Kampong Bugis precinct. Property consultants warn that while the plans offer "exciting" new proposals for some areas, the difficulty would be in the execution of these plan. -- PHOTO: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

The latest blueprint for Singapore's development offers "exciting" new proposals for some areas, while fleshing out details of ambitious plans that been hinted at previously, property consultants said on Wednesday morning.

But they warned that the difficulty would be in the execution of these plans, many of which aim to make Singapore a greener city.

Their comments came after the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released the Draft Master Plan 2013 at 3am on Wednesday.

The URA's proposals include planning details of the new Greater Southern Waterfront area that will be created after the ports move from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas by 2027. They also expound on the development of Marina South as a mixed-use residential district and on the enhancements of other well-loved areas including Holland Village and Kampong Bugis.

In particular, the plans to develop Kampong Bugis could potentially make the area more exciting than Jurong, said Savills Singapore's research head Alan Cheong.

"Kampong Bugis has grown organically over the years, driven partly by a mix of social and economic developments as Singapore grew," he said. "It's not like Jurong East - which was built on manmade reclaimed land - so it's easier to develop."

Suntec Real Estate Consultants' director and head of research and consultancy Colin Tan added that the "freeing up of land for more waterfront districts", such as in the Greater Southern Waterfront, is a timely move.

"Towns are becoming denser; this would make Singapore more liveable," he said.

But he also noted that some of the plans announced by the URA could be difficult to execute. In Kampong Bugis, for instance, the URA is hoping to encourage car-sharing and bicycle-sharing programmes so that fewer commuters drive to work.

The concepts "are nice but they still seem to be a utopian situation that we're working towards", Mr Tan said. "These plans are very far in the future and for now residents of Kampong Bugis could be finding it hard to imagine commuting by bicycle when they're taking the MRT to work every day."