The first car-free town centre

SINGAPORE — In tandem with Singapore’s push to become a car-lite society, the new Tengah HDB town will feature a car-free town centre, a first for the country.

The town centre, dubbed the Market Place, will have roads and vehicles running underneath it, freeing space on the ground level to make it conducive to walking, cycling and other recreational activities.

At the HDB Awards dinner on Thursday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong revealed the masterplan for Tengah. Upcoming executive condo launches include Hundred Palms Residences ECYio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC.

The absence of cars on the ground will also make for safe and smooth commutes to and from the town centre, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Thursday, as it announced its plans for the town.

Those who live or work in or visit Tengah will be able to use walking and cycling paths on both sides of roads.

To improve the walking and cycling experience, other features such as elevated and underground crossings, shaded paths and rest-stops, will also be planned as part of the park network. There will be easy access to public transport, with most bus stops located within 300m of homes.

The authorities will plan bus services to connect to key amenities within the town and between towns, to nearby MRT stops and to key destinations, including the Jurong Lake District.

Along the wider roads in Tengah will be dedicated bus lanes to enable better traffic flow.

Residential developments will also be within walking distance of an MRT station with the rollout of the upcoming Jurong Region Line, set to be completed in about a decade.

In planning the town, the HDB will provide for future transport networks, and newer forms of travel by autonomous and self-driving vehicles. New-generation neighbourhood centres will be well connected to the transport network and other communal spaces, such as hawker and community centres.

The major facilities situated at its heart — along the Central Park — will include a sports hub, an integrated community hub, and a health and medical-care facility.

With all these within easy reach, residents are not expected to have to venture beyond Tengah to meet their daily needs.