On 25 August 2017, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) unveiled the master plan proposals for Jurong Lake District (JLD) in Singapore, which is slated to become the country’s future second Central Business District (CBD).
The ambition is to develop the district into the largest commercial and regional centre outside the city centre, anchored by a new mixed-use business area built around the future Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) terminus. Qualities of the plan are its vibrant live-work-play elements, charming waterways, and extensive greenery on and above ground that weave through the entire district to give it a distinctive identity.
The proposal maximises vertical urban greenery to create a streetscape network for active mobility, walkability and interactive public spaces. The integrated, sustainable urban systems maximise the streetscape by proposing to place major transport and utilities below the city, creating layers of optimised infrastructure and a car-lite district. Existing heritage buildings, landscapes and ecosystems are respected and repurposed in a powerful dialogue with the new development. With its strategic location, open environment and live-work-play programming, the area will become a new gateway to Singapore and can also be the new hub for the future economy, and various sectors in West Singapore, including maritime services, energy, IT, infrastructure and the built environment.
The 2008 Master Plan unveiled the blueprint for JLD as a new growth area with two precincts—Jurong Gateway, as the commercial hub; and Lakeside, for leisure and recreational activities.
URA launched a Request for Proposal (RFP) in July 2016. A key focus of this master planning exercise involved developing proposals for the new mixed-use business area around the future HSR terminus. The shortlisted multidisciplinary teams submitted their conceptual master plan proposals in December 2016. An Evaluation Panel comprising senior representatives and practitioners from government agencies, academia and industry carefully assessed the proposals in four broad areas: master plan and urban design, district-level infrastructure and underground space optimisation, environmental sustainability and innovativeness.
Four key strategies were proposed to transform JLD into the second CBD:
Vibrant, lively CBD with adaptable spaces for the new economy
JLD is envisioned as a lively, vibrant mixed-use business district with a live-in population and an attractive street life for both locals and visitors. To achieve this, 20,000 new homes will be injected and close attention will be paid to place making.
Flexibility and adaptability will be incorporated into the plans at the onset. To cater to the changing needs of developers, businesses and workers, a regular grid structure that allows land parcels to be adjusted through subdivision or amalgamation was adopted. This enables flexibility in providing large land parcels for larger floor plates or smaller parcels for meeting evolving business needs.
The bulk of the mixed-use business area will be zoned ‘White’ to allow for flexibility in uses. Landlords can combine or co-locate non-traditional uses—such as schools, community facilities, hotels, MICE facilities, attractions, museums and event spaces for companies and universities to meet and showcase their prototypes—to accommodate the needs of tenants and the market.
The ground floors of the developments will have generous public spaces, courtyards, through-block pedestrian links, and possibly retail and F&B offerings to encourage interaction, networking and participation in activities.
Green and blue spaces and places for people
Sixteen hectares of new parks and open spaces will be added in the district. They include the Central Park above the HSR terminus and the area around the former Jurong Town Hall. A green connector loop, which can be used for various sports and recreational activities, will encircle the new business area. Together with the 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens, there will be over 100 hectares of extensive greenery and open spaces that will be extended into the surrounding neighbourhoods.
In addition, the proposal calls for a new water channel by the eastern shores of the lake that will create another island in Jurong Lake, making a total of three islands after its completion. The new channel will increase the total length of waterfront space to 17 kilometres and create more waterfront areas for social and community activities, as well as spaces for recreation, retail and F&B.
Under the Landscape Replacement Policy, new developments in strategic areas such as JLD will need to replace 100 per cent of the ground-level greenery that is lost during construction. These can be replaced in the form of communal or rooftop gardens, as well as
skyrise and vertical greenery, forming a ‘green carpet’ in the sky and enhancing biodiversity in the district.
Car-lite, commuter-centric JLD
A commuter-centric approach will be adopted, with convenient public transport and seamless connectivity between transport nodes. The target is for each development to be near a bus stop or an MRT station. Beyond the existing North-South and East-West MRT lines, it will be served by the new Jurong Region Line and the Cross Island Line. The target public transport mode share for JLD is thus more than 80 per cent, higher than the current islandwide average of 66 per cent.
A significant amount of all road space will be set aside for public transport. Streets will be beautifully landscaped and carefully designed with more space for pedestrians, cyclists and personal mobility device users. This will not only minimise potential conflict between users but also create active, walkable and lively streets. In addition, new concepts for car parking, such as fringe hub parking, are being explored.
Sustainable district-level systems
All new buildings will be required to achieve a Green Mark rating to reduce energy consumption by up to 30 per cent. The grid structure will also be oriented in an east-west direction to help buildings reduce heat absorption and allow for more wind flow to create a cooler ambient environment.
With the development of the area around the future HSR terminus, there will be an opportunity to implement integrated urban systems across JLD to benefit businesses and residents. Some of these include the common services tunnel, district cooling system, pneumatic waste system and urban logistics management systems. Such systems can help to reduce energy consumption, save manpower and create a better quality living environment. Where it is practical and cost-effective, these urban systems will be placed underground, freeing up above-ground space for people-centric uses such as homes, offices, parks, open spaces and other community facilities.
An integrated district management platform could also be set up to tap on data to develop insights to address urban issues, optimise resource usage, influence lifestyle choices and help build up the digital economy.
Project Name: Jurong Lake District Master Plan
Location: Jurong Lake District, Singapore
Status of Construction: Master planning stage
Expected Completion: Beyond 2040
Project Site Area: 360 hectares
Client: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
Master Planner: KCAP Architects&Planners
Urban Designer: S333 Architecture + Urbanism Ltd
Build Environment: Lekker Design Pte Ltd
Executive Architect: SAA Architects Pte Ltd
Structural Design Engineer: Arup Singapore
Landscape Architects: KCAP; SAA; Arup; S333; Lekker
Green Building Consultants: KCAP; SAA; Arup; S333; Lekker
Images: KCAP; SAA; Arup; S333; Lekker; URA