Thursday, January 14, 2016

The changing face of Tanjong Pagar

The Government is looking to transform the Tanjong Pagar area into a mixed-use district.

SINGAPORE: By 2027, the Government plans to transform the area around Tanjong Pagar into a space three times the size of Marina Bay, with a continuous 30-kilometre trail connecting Labrador Park to Gardens by the Bay.

Ms Fun Siew Leng, Assistant Chief Planner at URA, said the development will be called the Greater Southern Waterfront area, and the port area of Tanjong Pagar will be part of the plan.

"The plan is a very ambitious one: We are going to inject a lot more (of a) live-in population so that there will be more residential development, but it will also be of a mixed-use character," she added.

The project will also feature green corridors, forming an eco network that aims to promote biodiversity and activities across the area.

This will complement up-and-coming buildings sprouting in the district, such as Eon Shenton, PS100 and Tanjong Pagar Centre, which is set to be Singapore's tallest building at 290 metres, or about 64 storeys including a double-storey urban park.

Ms Valerie Wong, Commercial General Manager at GuocoLand Singapore, said while Tanjong Pagar is an established district, what it lacks is a "focal point, a meeting place for the community, office workers and residents".

But Ms Fun said the district is already "mixed-use in character".

"At the street level, you can find lots of shops that are restaurants, amenities, and it makes the street life more vibrant and lively. It's a very different area in a sense that even after the office hours are over, you will still see quite a lot of street life in the area."

Mr Dietmar Leyk, Project Leader of the High-Density Mixed-Use Cities at the Future Cities Laboratory said the intention to create a mixed-use city or a city quarter is not new.

"But Tanjong Pagar will prove that this really works on a level of preservation aside, but also in the modern buildings, modern developments like the waterfront areas," he said. "There is a not only a next-to-next, or coexistence of users necessary, it needs to be really studied how the synergies between these functions and users work."

Mr Leyk added that offering architecture and settlements which are adaptable for different users helps cities prepare for future urban change, as they become more flexible for future requirements.

"It’s all about difference and diversity. The whole city of Singapore is a huge urban project and it’s important that we create islands with different identities so that they can complement each other."