Reimagining Singapore: How the city might look like in the future

A review of Singapore’s long-term land use plans is under way, with planners keen to strengthen the flexibility, resilience and inclusiveness of the city and its built environment. The Straits Times unpacks what the review seeks to achieve, and what the country might look like in the near future.

Keep S'pore flexible with 24-hour nodes, creative use of space for evolving needs

Singapore is changing its approach to long-term planning. Rather than deciding the development needs of future generations for them, the Government is now setting a path for them to make land use decisions for themselves, when the timing is right.

To facilitate this process, the nation's latest review of its long-term land use plans will focus on flexibility and developing options - a shift away from generating a single concept plan, which has been the product of each of four such reviews since 1971.

Keeping plans flexible and adaptable will help future generations cope with the uncertainties to come, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on July 17 at the launch of a year-long public consultation for the review.


Connectivity, safety key in planning for S'pore's silver population

Preparing for a greying population is more than just installing handrails and ramps in homes and outdoor spaces, as clever land use planning can play a big role in supporting active ageing.

Easy access to amenities such as medical facilities, retail outlets, community centres and green spaces is one way to help seniors age in place, said Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) architecture and sustainable design assistant professor Peter Ortner.

Ideally, seniors should be able to reach a good variety of necessities and amenities within a six-minute walk, or about 400m, from their homes, he said. This can be achieved by having more mixed-use developments within or next to residential districts.


Integrate nature with built environment as climate shifts in S'pore

Singaporeans living with the reality of temperatures creeping upwards can take comfort that mitigating the impact of climate change may not require drastic changes to land use, but can be achieved by using land efficiently in integrating nature with the built environment.

The role of vegetation in cooling and shading can only become more relevant in time to come as the planet warms, said conservation scientist Roman Carrasco from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Greenery can be intensified on rooftops and building facades, for example, so that scarce land resources can be put to multiple purposes, he said.


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