New Tengah HDB town heavy on greenery, light on cars

Tengah to have forest corridor and car-free town centre; first flats to be launched in 2018

An artist's impression of the new HDB town in Tengah.
An artist's impression of the new HDB town in Tengah.PHOTO: HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD

A new Housing Board town the size of Bishan will be built in the west, with green features to suit its forested setting. These include Singapore's first car-free town centre and a 5km "forest corridor" with hiking trails.

The first new town to be developed since Punggol two decades ago, Tengah's development will be in line with the Government's push to be green and sustainable.

A forest fringe will run around the 700ha town. And a 100m-wide, 5km-long forest corridor will link Tengah to the surrounding green network between the western and central catchment areas.

"As we build this new town, we will integrate the developments with the surrounding ecosystem, and we will retain much of the existing natural landscape, so residents in Tengah will be able to experience the feeling of being at home with nature," said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong last night in announcing the Tengah master- plan at the HDB Awards dinner.

Located between Jurong East to the south, Choa Chu Kang to the north and Bukit Batok to the east, the Tengah area today is largely forest and scrubland.

  • * Set in a park, the ''car-free'', pedestrian-friendly town centre will have traffic running underneath instead.

    * A 100m-wide, 5km-long Forest Corridor will run through the town, with hiking trails for residents to enjoy the greenery.

    * At the heart of Tengah will be a 20ha Central Park, with an existing concrete canal turned into a ''forest stream''.

    * Wide green stretches called ''community farmways'' will link housing districts with play areas, community gardens and farms.

    * All roads in Tengah will have dedicated walking and cycling paths on both sides.

    * Tengah will be the first fully ''smart'' HDB town. Smart technologies piloted elsewhere - from utilities monitoring to environmental sensors - will be rolled out on a townwide scale.

But it will eventually contain 42,000 new homes: 30,000 units of public housing and 12,000 of private housing. The first public flats there will be launched in 2018.

Greenery will be woven through the town, from a large central park to "community farmways" that run through housing estates with gardens, play areas and farms.

As part of Singapore's car-lite efforts, all roads there will get dedicated walking and cycling paths. A car- free town centre will be set in parkland with traffic running beneath.

Said HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean: "Tengah marks a step for us to develop towns that are greener, more eco-friendly and sustainable, and with a smart element."


One consideration for future residents is that the town is close to the existing Tengah military airbase.

Responding to queries, HDB said Tengah will comply with planning guidelines "which also take into consideration possible surrounding noise sources and the permissible noise level". Blocks will generally go up to 14 to 15 storeys in height.

Tengah is just one part of the west's transformation. Upcoming Jurong Lake District, touted as the second Central Business District, lies to the south of Tengah. The town's western industrial area is also part of the Jurong Innovation District.

Tengah plans will be exhibited at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh from today until Sept 25, from 9am to 8pm. Members of the public are invited to visit and give their feedback.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline 'New HDB town heavy on greenery, light on cars'. Subscribe