Tengah: Singapore’s first car-free town centre
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Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, recently unveiled the masterplan for the country’s 24th HDB town, Tengah. This upcoming new development aims to further raise the bar for public housing, with its fresh planning concepts, bold ideas and innovative designs.

Located in the Western region of Singapore, Tengah is bounded by the Kranji Expressway (KJE), Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), Brickland Road and Bukit Batok Road. The key driving planning concept behind Tengah is the creation of a ‘Forest Town’, with homes surrounded by lush greenery and nature, where residents can enjoy quality living and connect with the community in a myriad of amenities and green spaces.

The development of Tengah will be guided by six key ideas as follows: creating an evergreen forest town; provisions for moving around with ease; provisions for walking and cycling everywhere; creating five unique housing districts; enabling close-knit communities; and creating a smart and sustainable town.

Tengah will see several ‘firsts’ in its development. It will be the first ‘forest town’ that is planned to be integrated with the area’s surrounding greenery and biodiversity. One major attraction will be the creation of an approximately 100-m-wide and 5-km-long forest corridor, a collaboration with National Parks Board which will form part of the larger network of greenery that connects the Western Water Catchment Area and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This forest corridor will be planted with rainforest tree species to transform it into a rich forest habitat. Amenities such as hiking trails would be incorporated in the corridor for the community to get close to nature and enjoy the rainforest.

For the first time, Singapore will also see a car-free town centre in an HDB town. The Tengah Town Centre will be designed amidst a lush park, with vehicles plying underneath the town centre. It will offer a greener, car-lite, people-friendly and pedestrian-friendly environment. All the roads in Tengah will also come with dedicated walking and cycling paths on both sides of the road, to enable residents to enjoy seamless and safe connections for walking and cycling.

Beyond green living, HDB will also leverage Information and Communication Technology in Tengah to enable ‘smart’ living. The development of Tengah will be guided by the Smart HDB Town Framework, introduced in 2014. The framework covers four key dimensions: Smart Planning; Smart Environment; Smart Estate; Smart Living. Smart solutions can help create a more livable, sustainable and safe living environment. Residents can benefit from more efficient services and greater convenience, both at home, and in the estate.

In addition to these, the public can also look forward to a host of other new and exciting developments in Tengah, such as the creation of:

a) Five new housing districts, namely Plantation District, Garden District, Park District, Brickland District and Forest Hill District. These are designed with community and nature in mind so that residents can experience quality living with nature and greenery at their doorstep.

b) A large Central Park, approximately the size of Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West (about 20 ha), will be complemented with ponds and canals to provide lush greenery and blue spaces.

c) New spaces such as ‘Community Farmways’, where residents can enjoy community gardening and urban farming in their own neighbourhood

d) A good spread of facilities at the town, district and local levels that are easily accessible, so that the daily needs of residents will be conveniently met. For instance, there could be integrated developments with various facilities, such as a sports centre and playing fields which are located near homes and places of work.

e) Road networks are also designed to meet future needs. They could support future forms of mobility, such as Autonomous Vehicles or Self-driving Vehicles; as well as various transportation networks, such as the upcoming Jurong Region Line (JRL) and buses that provide seamless connectivity to neighbouring towns and the city. In addition, most bus stops will also be conveniently located within 300-m of residents’ homes.

The new developments for Tengah will be rolled out progressively, with the first batch of flats to be launched in the Plantation District from 2018 onwards. More details will be made available closer to the actual launch. When completed, Tengah is estimated to provide about 42,000 new homes. Of these, about 30,000 units will be for public housing and 12,000 units will be for private housing.

As the master planner and developer of Singapore’s public housing estates, HDB (Housing & Development Board) is constantly on the lookout for innovative ideas to provide residents with a quality living environment. The Tengah exhibition will be held from 9 to 25 September 2016 at HDB Hub Sales Display Area (1st storey). It will be opened daily, from 9 am to 8 pm. The public is invited to visit the exhibition and give their feedback on the project.