A Refreshed Woodlands Waterfront with Interesting Landscaping?

SINGAPORE — The town centres of three mature housing estates — Pasir Ris, Woodlands and Toa Payoh — are set to get a fresh look, as part of the Ministry of National Development’s efforts to continue to jazz up the nation’s urban landscape.

In Pasir Ris, residents can look forward to a town centre with more of a buzz in the form of a mixed-use development that will integrate a new bus interchange and the existing MRT station. But its green and laid-back atmosphere will be maintained, with existing parks like Pasir Ris Park and Beach to be upgraded, and more spaces and facilities to be built for recreational and community activities.

Woodlands residents can look forward to a refreshed Woodlands Waterfront, with “interesting landscaping” and more shaded areas. A town plaza will also be built in Woodlands Central for holding large-scale community activities. This will benefit nearby executive condo residents such as those from Visionaire EC, Parc Life EC , Brownstone ECSignature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, The Criterion EC and Bellewoods EC.

Toa Payoh, Singapore’s second oldest satellite town, is set to get a revamped pedestrian mall in the town centre, with more greenery, rest areas and covered shopping streets at selected stretches. Dedicated cycling paths will be rolled out through the town.

The three towns were selected for the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Remaking Our Heartlands 3 programme last year, and the plans were drawn up after consultation with some 400 residents and community stakeholders.

These plans, revealed by Minister of State (National Development) Desmond Lee during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate on Monday (April 11), will be implemented within the next five to 10 years after they are approved.

Pasir Ris, Woodlands and Toa Payoh Towns — all over 30 years old — are the third batch of towns to come under the programme. The first six towns included Yishun, Dawson, and the Jurong Lake areas.

During the consultation exercise, Woodlands residents said they wanted their town to retain its greenery, but with a good range of facilities for residents of all ages. Toa Payoh residents wanted a balance of old and new, taking into account the town’s history, but with better connectivity within their towns with cycling and walking paths, while Pasir Ris residents hoped for a rejuvenation of their town centre.

Elsewhere, the ministry would continue with efforts to make Singapore “a more car-lite and people-friendly city”, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

The ministry, he said, is “keen” on expanding pedestrianised and car-free zones — already rolled out in central parts of the city — to HDB estates.

Noting the “tremendous” response to the recently-launched Car-Free Sunday SG initiative at the Civic District and the Central Business District area, Mr Wong said: “We recognise that it will take time to bring about this mindset shift towards a car-lite Singapore … That’s why we’ve started by pedestrianising our vehicular roads where possible to create car-free zones, be it on weekends, or even on a permanent basis.”

Meanwhile, the Land Transport Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority will be introducing a new requirement for developers to incorporate pedestrians’ and cyclists’ needs in their development plans.

For example, developers will have to review the locations of vehicular access points, especially in developments that see high footfall such as schools and shopping malls. This is to minimise conflict with pedestrians and cyclists, taking into account key pedestrian and cyclist access routes, and where bicycle parking facilities are.

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