SINGAPORE - Two concept masterplans for the Paya Lebar Airbase area are in the works, and findings from these plans will be shared with the public next year, said Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah on Thursday (Sept 16).
The plans are for a new town that will be built after the airbase is relocated in the 2030s.
Each plan is being developed by a team comprising members of the Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP) and the Singapore Institute of Architects, in collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The airbase's relocation, announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 2013 National Day Rally, will free up about 800ha of land for housing and industry needs.
Speaking at the SIP's planning awards presentation ceremony on Thursday, Ms Indranee said she hoped the collaboration would pave the way for future partnerships between planners from the private and public sector.
"To achieve the optimal outcomes, it is imperative that planners from both the private and public sectors collaborate," she said.
"As the airbase will only be phased out after 2030, the collaboration provides a good platform to make use of the long lead time to gather ideas and reimagine how the area can be reshaped into a great place to live, work and play.
"I look forward to seeing some of these findings shared with the public next year, so that we can better incorporate the hopes and aspirations of our citizens to create better urban spaces for our future generations."
SIP president Wilfred Loo said the plans will be completed in April next year.
At the awards ceremony, which was held in a hybrid format, Mr Derek Chik, an urban planner with the Housing Board, won the inaugural SIP Young Planner of the Year award.
This award recognises planners below 40 who have contributed to the advancement of the planning profession in Singapore.
Mr Chik was involved in recent projects such as masterplans for Tampines North and the upcoming Tengah town.
He also helped to develop the HDB's Town Design Guides, which were introduced in 2018. Each of the 24 towns in Singapore will have its own guide by 2023.
"It's a great honour to receive this award as the inaugural winner," said the 38-year-old.
"I feel that it's a recognition of not just myself but all the teams at HDB. We put our heart and soul into our planning, and that is what I hope we will continue to do."
It is important for planners to always focus on communities and residents in their planning, Mr Chik added.
"Planning is about the people. You will not be able to plan if you do not understand the needs on the ground."
Looking ahead, the architecture-trained planner said he hopes he will be able to work on projects that tap his interest and skills in both planning and architecture.