Singapore land

Will Covid change the plans and designs of Singapore land usage?

The coronavirus outbreak will change Singapore land use plans and layouts. There are already speculations about how much retail and office space is needed. This is in view of the shift towards eCommerce and telecommuting, said Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah on Mar 5, Thursday, 2021. This will affect the property developers, investors, as well as property buyers.

Aerial View of City during Golden Hour

What is up for discussion regarding Singapore land use plans?

To direct future development, MND and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) have stumbled upon an overview of Singapore’s long term land use plans. This is stated by’ Ms Indranee, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance.

The long-term preparation review is not a brand new exercise. The last important inspection was conducted in 2011. “With changing demands and emerging trends, it is advisable to refresh these plans,” she told Parliament during the argument about MND’s budget. “As more of Singapore’s property is developed, we must aim not just for development, but also for redevelopment.”

“The disconcerting silence of this CBD during circuit breaker sharpened the significance of preparation for more mixed-use in our city centre,” she said.

What are the changes in Singapore land usage till now?

From 2019, the government has incentives to encourage the conversion of older office buildings in the CBD to mixed-use progress. All these could have offerings such as hotels, residences, gyms, food markets and eateries. The SDI similarly incentivises building owners to bond to redevelop and transform precincts. Especially in tactical areas across Singapore.

URA has nine outline applications below the CBD incentive scheme. Six of the applications were given in principle approval. Another three outline applications were given in-principal approval under the SDI plot,” Ms Indranee explained. “We shall continue to track the trends accelerated by Covid-19 and variable insights to our aims,” she said.

What changes in Singapore land use will take place in 2021?

The federal government may also study ways to market community co-working spaces in neighbourhoods. They will explore how to produce these reachable for exposed groups. This is as per the suggestion of Ms Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC). 

The Government is planning to redesign the neighbourhood:

  • To suit the new normal trend of remote working.
  • Cater to the senior citizens of the community.
  • Better suit the evolving mindset of Singaporean’s work, family, preference and lifestyle.

The long-term preparation review will gather feedback from the public, private and public sectors. URA will tap various platforms to engage Singaporeans throughout the year, she stated. Adding that the engagement will begin in April. It will run through means such as polls, workshops and focus group discussions. To make it more effective, these initiatives will take place both in-person and online.

“Given our modest land, challenging discussions on weighing the potential trade-offs, and arriving at the right balance on Singapore land use decisions will develop. Yet, we will not shy away from these types of conversations. We welcome a diversity of views,” explained Ms Indranee.

What to think of this?

The pandemic has brought a big change to the global lifestyle. That includes Singapore as well. It seems the Government is also stepping ahead to attend to the changes that occurred post-Covid. This is to give people a more accommodating living space.

In the presence of such changes, both public housing and private housing will see a change in Singapore land design. Property developers will plan to incorporate these changes by redeveloping to better fit the post-Covid generation. Thus, this change also proposes a great avenue for investors to invest in the property market. They can be a part of the current redevelopment plans to restructure Singapore architecture.

What do you think of the new changes to Singapore land usage? Do you think the Government’s approach is the right way to go?

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