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HomesingaporeMore homes planned in central locations like Pearl’s Hill, Marina South to...

More homes planned in central locations like Pearl’s Hill, Marina South to let more people enjoy city living

SINGAPORE: For the first time in 40 years, public housing flats will be launched in the Pearl’s Hill area near Chinatown.

This is part of the government’s efforts to provide more housing types in central locations and rejuvenate the city centre into lively mixed-use districts. 

The move allows more people to enjoy the benefits of city living, such as greater transport connectivity and closer proximity to workplaces and amenities, said observers. 

The plan was shared on Nov 3 at the launch of the My City, My Home exhibition to showcase new neighbourhoods in the works over the next decade. The free exhibition will be held at the Singapore City Gallery until Feb 2 next year. 

ONGOING EFFORTS TO TRANSFORM CITY CENTRE

The new residential neighbourhood planned at the foothills of Pearl’s Hill City Park will provide some 6,000 new homes, with a mix of public housing, rental flats and private homes.

Public spaces and amenities will also be included for social interaction. 

Developments will capitalise on the hillside location, with its rich history and good accessibility, by having car-lite pedestrian areas and open plazas. The area’s heritage will also be retained by adapting old buildings.

A mixed-use development will also be integrated with Outram Park MRT station. 

Ms Chou Mei, group director of conservation and urban design at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), said: “We see a lot of opportunities to create new mixed-use neighbourhoods in more central locations, where residents can really benefit from the exceptional convenience of being very close to transport nodes, workplaces and a whole myriad of amenities and recreational offerings that are already present in the city centre and in more central locations.”

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Four other neighbourhoods have also been earmarked in the city centre, and will be developed using the same principles of conserving natural landscape and heritage features.

These include Bukit Timah’s Turf City, Mount Pleasant and the former Keppel golf course site.

Meanwhile, studies on housing options are also underway at Marina South.

A 45ha site has been designated as a community-centric and inclusive mixed-use residential neighbourhood with more than 10,000 new homes. 

The prime area overlooks Gardens by the Bay and the Straits of Singapore. Currently, two sites there have been launched and could yield more than 1,500 new private homes. 

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Having more homes in more central locations will allow people to live closer to their workplaces in the central business district, and give them better access to MRT stations and various amenities, said observers. 

This is part of ongoing efforts to transform the city centre into a place for people to live, work and play.

However, these homes in more central locations will also come with a heftier price tag.

MEASURES TO KEEP HOUSING SYSTEM FAIR

To tackle this, the government has introduced various measures to keep the system fair.

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Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said there is a need to ensure that Singaporeans from different walks of life have the opportunity to stay in these central locations, where there can be a good social mix that reflects the country’s diverse society. 

As Singapore develops, there will be fewer large tracts of undeveloped land to build new towns and estates, he noted, adding that Singaporeans have also asked for more greenery and heritage to be protected. 

As such, the country has to “consider redeveloping and rejuvenating existing developed areas”, many of which are in central locations, to offer new housing opportunities.

“Developing these new neighbourhoods and launching more HDB flats in central locations, including with our generous market discounts and grants, will require the government to spend more,” said Mr Lee. 

“This is in line with our commitment to keep areas in Singapore diverse and inclusive, and public housing affordable and accessible for Singaporeans.”

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