Singapore will always be a work in progress. The Ministry of National Development (MND) seeks to plan and build a better Singapore, for current and future generations of Singaporeans.
Building our City and Home
Homeownership remains the key social pillar of our nation. It gives Singaporeans a tangible stake in our country, and a critical sense of belonging. In the second half of this term of Government, we will build on the progress we have achieved so far to build a more inclusive home.
We are tapering the building of new flats to a more sustainable level, but we will continue to maintain a sufficient supply to meet the housing needs of Singaporeans, from young families, to seniors and singles. We will also ensure that public housing remains affordable for all Singaporeans. We have enhanced housing grants significantly for both new and resale flats in recent years, and will continue to review our policies to keep Housing Development Board (HDB) flats affordable.
The new HDB flats will be spread across mature and non-mature estates. The waiting times for these flats are typically around four years. But we have brought forward the construction of some of these new flats, so that the waiting times can be shortened to about two to three years. We will launch a total of 3,000 such flats with shorter waiting times in 2018 and 2019, and will explore doing more in the future.
In the second half of 2018, we will launch the first batch of flats in the new HDB town of Tengah. Tengah will be designed as a “Forest Town”, surrounded by lush greenery and nature. Residents will have convenient access to a wide range of amenities and will enjoy quality living with homes equipped with smart and eco-friendly features. Residents will also benefit from more seamless connectivity within the town, be it by public transport or dedicated cycling paths, as well as new forms of mobility such as autonomous or driverless vehicles.
Even as we do more to improve the design of new towns, we will continue to renew and rejuvenate our existing housing estates and flats through various initiatives such as the Remaking our Heartland programme, Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, and Home Improvement Programme.
At the same time, we will pay special attention to the housing needs of particular groups of Singaporeans.
a) For our seniors, we will pilot a new model of assisted living that combines housing with care services, to enable them to live independently and with dignity. We will review and update the Enhancement for Active Seniors programme with new items such as accessibility solutions for flats with multi-step entrances. We will also do more to help seniors who wish to monetise the value of their flats for retirement.
b) We will continue with efforts to help vulnerable Singaporeans, especially those living in rental flats. The Fresh Start Housing Scheme has given second-timer public rental families a better chance to own a home again. We will study how to further support the homeownership aspirations of our tenants in public rental.
Beyond our housing policies, we will plan and build a smarter, greener, and more liveable city.
a) We will continue with our master-planning efforts to shape a distinctive Singapore – one with the comforts of a modern city, and with its own character, charm, and identity. Our Civic District is a good example of what is possible, with its well-utilised public spaces, and beautifully-restored heritage buildings adapted for arts and cultural uses.
b) We will partner stakeholders to create public and green spaces for all to enjoy. Fort Canning Park will be rejuvenated with enhanced heritage trails, new galleries, and more family-friendly spaces. There will also be opportunities for communities along the 24km Rail Corridor to shape its programming and development. By 2021, the Rail Corridor will be linked to parks, nature areas, and trails such as the Coast-to-Coast Trail and the 150km Round Island Route, giving Singaporeans multiple options to explore green spaces all over our island.
c) We will support the local farming sector to boost productivity and enhance our food security. We released new farm land for the first time in over two decades, and the enhanced Agricultural Productivity Fund will help local farms adopt more productive technologies. We will also do more to strengthen the overall food ecosystem to keep our food supply safe and resilient.
d) We will work closely with the built environment industry on its transformation, to raise productivity and to develop innovative urban solutions. We target to double the adoption of productive construction methods from the current 20% to 40% of all new projects by 2020. Facility Management (FM) and property transaction services will also be part of this industry transformation, with a strong push on Design for Maintainability and smart FM to keep our built infrastructure in good shape.
New Phase of Transformation
The work we do over the next few years is critical because it will set the foundation for longer-term major projects that are in the pipeline. Over the coming decade, Singapore will be undergoing its most extensive transformation yet. We have new and tremendous possibilities to make Singapore stand out as a leading city for Asia and the world.
We are building Changi Airport Terminal 5 and Tuas Port to expand our airport and sea port capacities, and to position ourselves for the future. We are also building two new connections to Malaysia – the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail and Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link. All these will strengthen our air, sea, and land links with the world, and enhance our status as a regional and international hub.
Within Singapore, we are developing new regional centres in Jurong and Woodlands, as well as new clusters outside of the downtown core, for example, the Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District. These will enable us to broaden our urban development, attract more investments, and support the creation of jobs closer to home.
Where possible, we will introduce district-level infrastructure such as common services tunnel, district cooling, and pneumatic waste conveyance systems in these new developments for greater resource efficiencies. We will also see how best to deploy advanced technologies such as real-time integrated FM, autonomous vehicles, and smart energy grids. We want to make full use of technologies to uplift our quality of life, and to take Singapore’s sustainable development to the next level.
At the same time, we are redoubling our efforts to green Singapore, and enhance our City in a Garden. By 2030, 90% of Singaporeans will live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and our network of green corridors will be expanded from 310km to 400km.
Shaping our Future Singapore Together
In this next phase of urban transformation, we must work even harder to distinguish ourselves from other global cities. We want Singapore to be a truly outstanding city for Asia and the world, where the human spirit flourishes. We want to be an inclusive city for Singaporeans of all ages and abilities; a home where everyone has a place, and everyone belongs.
To achieve this, we must move beyond the status quo. That is why we have set out bold plans to transform our city. We want to partner all Singaporeans – the community, businesses, and other stakeholders – to shape our future city together.
Singapore is our home, where we raise our families, create shared memories, and forge close bonds with one another. Together, we can build a better home and a better Singapore, for our families and for future generations of Singaporeans.