Master Plan 2019 gazetted to guide Singapore’s development

The Chief Planner gazetted Master Plan 2019 on Nov 27, 2019. The Master Plan 2019 is the statutory land use plan that guides the physical development of Singapore over the next 10 to 15 years.

By: Hitesh Khan/

Master Plan 2019As part of Master Plan 2019, the former Railway Station Staff Quarters and the former Bukit Timah Fire Station have also been gazetted for conservation.

In December, URA called for proposals on sustainable rejuvenation wanted for Bukit Timah Fire Station. URA invited developers, architects, environmentalists and business owners to take a shot at dreaming up and carrying out their visions to give the historic Bukit Timah Fire Station a new lease of life.

The conserved fire station and its lush green site was launched today under the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group’s ‘Reinventing Cities’ competition, organised in collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

‘Reinventing Cities’ is a global competition meant to serve as a model for cities around the world. It demonstrates how the alliance between cities and businesses can shape the future through the delivery of healthier, greener and economically viable urban development. The inclusion of Bukit Timah Fire Station will see Singapore as the first and only city in Asia to be taking part.

The competition debuted in 2017 with 31 sites from 14 cities. Now in its second run, 25 sites from 9 cities are launching, inviting proposals that are sustainable and transformative in nature. Unique to the competition is its emphasis on real-life projects, where the winning team will be able to implement its proposal.

“Singapore strives to be innovative and sustainable as we plan ahead for the future. So we welcome the opportunity to be the first city in Asia to participate in ‘Reinventing Cities’. We look forward to inventive proposals for this unique site, which is rich in both history and greenery,” said Chief Executive Officer of URA, Lim Eng Hwee.

Bukit Timah Fire Station, which had its main building gazetted for conservation this year, is strategically located at the crossroads of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Park. There are also several World War II heritage landmarks nearby, including the former Ford Factory and Bukit Batok Memorial. The fire station also sits at the intersection of two key recreational corridors with an islandwide reach – the Rail Corridor, a 24km-long former railway line stretching from the north to the south of Singapore, and the Coast-to-Coast Trail, a 36km-long walking and cycling trail stretching from the west to the northeast of Singapore. It is well-served by multiple public bus routes along Upper Bukit Timah Road and is within walking distance of the upcoming Hume Station on the Downtown Line, which will be completed in 2025.

“As the Bukit Timah Fire Station is sited strategically near key recreational corridors such as the Rail Corridor and the Coast-to-Coast Trail, it will provide visitors seamless connectivity to the nearby Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and nature parks. Visitors will get to appreciate nature while learning more about our native biodiversity and the importance of conserving them,” said Chief Executive Officer of NParks, Kenneth Er.

Bidding teams can consider how to repurpose the node to promote healthy living, community interaction and integration with nature. Proposed uses and public spaces should be welcoming, and encourage community bonding and interaction through creative programming. Proposals should leverage on the site’s unique green settings and be sensitive to the surrounding nature and residential areas. The site should also feature innovative environmentally-sustainable urban solutions that strive towards net zero-energy or positive-energy goals under BCA’s Super Low Energy (SLE) programme, which pushes energy efficiency boundaries beyond current best-in-class standards.

“We are looking for creative ways to rejuvenate this conserved State property and to build a vibrant community through the transformation of the site into a gateway node for visitors to enjoy nature, heritage and adventure. The incorporation of environmentally sustainable urban solutions will see the optimisation of the site towards a sustainable future,” said Chief Executive of SLA, Tan Boon Khai.

Hugh Lim, Chief Executive Officer of BCA added, “The Bukit Timah Fire Station project will serve as a platform to further test and push the boundaries of environmentally-sustainable solutions. It will be testament to how buildings – new and existing – in Singapore can be built to be more climate resilient and energy efficient, amidst the call to mitigate climate change.”

The competition will have two phases. The first phase will comprise the submission of an Expression of Interest from December 2019 to April 2020. Shortlisted teams will then prepare their final proposals for submission with their bid price for submission as part of the second phase, which is targeted to be launched in July 2020. The winning team will be awarded a tenancy of 3+3+3 years for the interim adaptive use of the site. The deadline for applications is 3 April 2020, 5pm [UTC +8].

The gazette concludes the review of Draft Master Plan 2019, which was exhibited at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) from late March till June 2019.

Over 25,000 stakeholders and interested members of public visited URA during the exhibition period to find out more about the proposals, with some 6,000 visitors also signing up for guided tours by URA volunteers and staff. To reach out to more residents, regional plans were also exhibited at Waterway Point, Westgate, Junction 8, Our Tampines Hub and Causeway Point between late July and early August.

Online, there were more than 110,000 visitors to the Draft Master Plan 2019 webpages, while URA’s social media posts on the proposals reached close to 583,000 netizens.

Engaging as URA plans

Over the past few years, URA has engaged stakeholders, including residents, interest groups, professional institutes, grassroots leaders and Advisors, on our plans.

The constructive feedback gathered from these stakeholders through focus groups, dialogues, workshops, briefings and exhibitions have helped to shape our draft plans. In particular, stakeholder feedback from these sessions helped to refine the original plans for Kallang River, Jurong Lake District, Farrer Park, Holland Plain and Lorong Chuan, and shape our plans to support the rejuvenation of Orchard Road and the Central Business District. The refined plans were subsequently exhibited as part of Draft Master Plan 2019. The early engagement had also allowed planners to update stakeholders on the actions taken prior to the Draft Master Plan 2019 exhibition.

URA said that suggestions and feedback for the Draft Master Plan 2019 proposals have been incorporated where appropriate, and will be considered as they develop detailed plans for future areas. URA further assured that it will continue to work with fellow government agencies to engage its stakeholders so that together, they can make Singapore a great place to live, work and play.

Viewing Master Plan 2019

The Master Plan 2019 and the Master Plan Written Statement 2019 are available in hard copy at The URA Centre Atrium for public viewing.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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