Punggol will demonstrate future living in Singapore
By: Hitesh Khan/
Punggol will integrate residential districts, a business park, a university campus, community facilities, and a network of parks and waterbodies, transforming the way we live, work, learn, and play. Bringing together residents, businesses and students, Punggol is slated to become a thriving, tech-enabled, sustainable town showcasing our Smart Nation ambitions. Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean shared these plans at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Punggol Digital District (PDD), and the launch of the PDD exhibition.
Punggol will provide opportunities for industry, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and public agencies to co-create, test and deploy innovative solutions in areas such as cybersecurity and smart facilities management. A multi-agency effort1 will enable greater integration in the planning and running of infrastructure and services, and contribute to a vibrant and innovative ecosystem.
Punggol has been designated as a Strategic National Project for Smart Nation. It will be key in realising Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, and will drive adoption of digital and smart urban solutions throughout Singapore.
The trials conducted in Punggol will be scaled to guide the development of future new towns and districts such as Tengah and Jurong Lake District, as well as the redevelopment of existing towns across Singapore.
Punggol: A thriving, smart and sustainable town for all
Punggol will be a demonstration of the future of living in Singapore. It will showcase how digital technologies can improve liveability and sustainability, create business opportunities, and forge a closer community. This builds on existing efforts by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) to develop Punggol as Singapore’s first eco-town since 2010. The entire Punggol town, with its housing precincts and the PDD, provides a unique environment for innovation to prosper, and for companies, researchers, students and even residents to work together on novel and impactful ideas. Technology will also be deployed to re-engineer services to respond to citizens’ different and changing needs.
Progressively from 2023, Punggol will serve as a living lab to test out new concepts of living, working and service delivery. The wider Punggol community can look forward to:
- New operating and service delivery concepts. Smart amenities that citizens can look forward to include a Specialist Community Club, imPAct@Punggol Digital District, which will be a one-stop social space, with a focus on programmes for youth and working professionals. There are also plans to develop one-stop, seamless public services to citizens in Punggol. Residents can look forward to the Punggol Regional Sport Centre that supports online and offline engagement such as virtual coaching, Augmented Reality gamification and online facilities booking. A hawker centre with a smart facilities management system will use technology to provide more efficient cleaning and maintenance services.
- A smart transport system that improves travelling around Punggol. This includes the pilot deployment of autonomous buses in the early 2020s, to enable the Punggol community to travel around the town efficiently and conveniently.
- A pro-enterprise business environment that nurtures innovation and collaboration. Academia, industry and government will forge a “Triple Helix Partnership” to develop ideas, productise them and overcome regulatory
hurdles; and accelerate the testing and translation of new concepts to tackle challenges in areas like cybersecurity, smart grid and smart facilities management. This will help create job opportunities in key growth sectors of the digital economy.
- A green and sustainable town that minimises wastage and maximises resource efficiency. When completed later this year, residents living in the Punggol Northshore housing district can look forward to having their homes outfitted with built-in smart sockets and smart distribution boards that enable smart applications for the home, such as better monitoring of household energy consumption. Around the estate, features such as smart lighting will help save energy. In addition to the provision of solar panels by HDB on the roofs of housing blocks, JTC, SIT and SP Group will also collaborate on smart energy grid solutions to integrate energy generation and storage systems such as solar photovoltaic and batteries within PDD so as to optimise energy consumption and reduce carbon footprint by up to 1,500 tonnes annually. The implementation of pneumatic waste conveyance systems will also benefit the wider Punggol community. It allows for waste to be collected via air suction in underground pipes, minimising the traffic, noise, pests and smell nuisances associated with traditional waste collection.
PDD: Singapore’s first business park powered by Open Digital Platform
PDD will be the business park that anchors business innovation and activity in the town. Masterplanned and developed by JTC, the PDD groundbreaking marks the first phase of its development. With 210,000 square metres of business park and mixed use spaces available from 2023, PDD will leverage on the larger Punggol town to be a living lab for cybersecurity, smart living and smart estates solutions. The co-location of SIT’s campus with the business park buildings in PDD will provide students with a full-fledged applied learning environment, while businesses will have access to young talents at close quarters.
PDD will be Singapore’s first business park to offer businesses ‘plug and play’ digital infrastructure through the Open Digital Platform (ODP), a smart city platform co-developed by ST Engineering, JTC, the Government Technology Agency, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), and Infocomm Media Development Authority. With district-level data, businesses and students from SIT can tap on the ODP to conduct rapid prototyping and deployment of technology solutions in a real-world setting, which translates to cost savings and greater operational efficiency.
PDD will be an attractive work and lifestyle destination with lush green spaces and an experiential digital environment with smart features. In addition to CSA, the Association of Information Security Professionals (AiSP) has also expressed interest to relocate its operations to PDD in 2023. AiSP plans to organise activities such as conferences, knowledge sharing events, awareness talks, and certification courses for individuals, organisations and the community to build up the cybersecurity sector.
As an environmentally sustainable business park, PDD aims to achieve 30% higher energy efficiency than standard commercial buildings, zero water wastage with eco-ponds to collect rainwater for irrigation and to be reused as non-potable water, as well as 100% food and horticulture waste recycling into fertiliser.