9 new precincts to join pilot Business Improvement District programme to drive efforts in enlivening city

The nine precincts are China Place, City Hall, Jurong Gateway, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Paya Lebar, Raffles Place (above) and Tanjong Pagar.
The nine precincts are China Place, City Hall, Jurong Gateway, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Paya Lebar, Raffles Place (above) and Tanjong Pagar. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Nine new precincts will join the pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme to drive efforts in enlivening the city, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Monday (Sept 17).

With more active participation by stakeholders, the public can look forward to more vibrant districts and attractive public spaces, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Monday at URA's annual Place Management Seminar.

The precincts will also host activities and programmes that the public can participate in.

The nine precincts are China Place, City Hall, Jurong Gateway, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Paya Lebar, Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar.

URA said in a statement that the precincts are of a good mix, with different characteristics, from historic and civic districts to mixed-use precincts in and outside the city centre.

URA said that stakeholders will take on a more active role in transforming their precincts and surrounding public spaces under the pilot BID programme.

The Government will support them in their efforts to enliven the precincts and improve visitor experience.

Selected precincts will develop detailed business plans and have to get at least 51 per cent support from stakeholders within the defined boundary in their respective precincts to form pilot BIDs.

The Government will then provide dollar-for-dollar matching for the membership fees collected by each pilot BID up to a cap of $500,000 per year, for the first four years of the pilot programme.

The funding will help the pilot BIDs kick-start the initial phase of their place management efforts and set the foundation for them to expand their plans over time.

In September last year, URA had invited the stakeholders to form pilot BIDs by submitting their proposals to bring vibrancy to the precinct over four years.

URA received nine submissions and they were all selected to join the pilot programme.

The authority added that their submitted proposals have leveraged the distinctive characteristics of the various precincts.

Singapore River One (SRO) was the first pilot BID formed in 2017.

Over the past year, the area has observed greater participation from stakeholders in place management and higher footfall to the area, the URA statement said.

Its two key festivals, St Patrick's Day Street Festival and Singapore River Festival, also attracted more visitors through more coordinated marketing and promotion.

SRO executive director Michelle Koh said that joining the pilot BID programme has given the precinct more certainty in its resource planning.

"We are now able to plan activities for the longer term, explore infrastructure improvements and implement robust marketing campaigns to draw visitors to the precinct," she said.

These are some of the proposed initiatives for each of the nine precincts:

China Place 

  • Place outdoor furniture and sculptures in public spaces
  • Regular road closures in China Street for connectivity
  • Extend festive light-ups from Chinatown to China Place
  • Introduce health programmes in partnership with agencies and tenants

City Hall 

  • Curate signature annual food, wine, arts and culture events that will include street art exhibitions, cultural performances, heritage trails and a variety of wine and dine experiences
  • Create temporary artworks, trails and photo spots to engage community and create social conversations with focus on home-grown talents
  • Train concierge and doormen to become precinct ambassadors to promote the “hidden finds” and “must-visit locations” in the area to visitors

Jurong Gateway

  • Create an attractive and welcoming public realm through improved wayfinding and pedestrian comfort
  • Position Jurong Gateway as the focal point for people in the western region to gather and connect through targeted outreach and coordinated precinct programming

Kampong Glam

  • Create signature events that highlight the precinct’s heritage and culture
  • Create more car-free zones to create a connected community
  • Introduce colour crossings to connect precinct to main arteries around Kampong Glam, providing clear entry points into the precinct

 Marina Bay

  • Design a unique Marina Bay experience for community and visitors through heritage trails, arts, and fitness activities
  • Organise regular pop-up stalls and activities to enhance the vibrancy and attract evening crowds to the precinct
  • Improve and enhance connectivity among the developments, such as wayfinding

Marina Centre

  • Enhance inter-development connectivity and accessibility to the precinct through commissioning a study on ridership patterns, improving wayfinding, and identifying locations that require better transport connectivity
  • Establish a loyalty programme for the precinct

Paya Lebar

  • Strengthen community and cultural identity through events and activities such as festival celebrations, and heritage trails and markers to reflect the rich Malay and Peranakan heritage
  • Introduce collaborative programmes and initiatives such as precinct-wide community and sporting events 

Raffles Place

  • A survey will be carried out to better understand the tenants and workers’ needs, in order to introduce meaningful programming and useful shared services to enhance the workplace experience
  • Attracting more visitors through events and activities. An upcoming public space at Market Street will offer more spaces for community events

Tanjong Pagar

  • Create more events and activities at the public spaces that showcase the old and new aspects of the area such as the City Room at Tanjong Pagar Centre and the open spaces at Tras Link Park
  • Create digital platforms for marketing of precinct offerings. There are plans to have a website and a concerted social media marketing campaign to share the range of events and offerings within the precinct
  • Add car-free zones and outdoor furniture in public spaces