Buzz of a new CBD in the West

100,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes. And that’s just the cream on top of the new CBD (Central Business District) cake.

Jurong CBD 20 years in the making

By 2040, there will be 360 hectares in the Jurong Lake district filled with new homes, commercial buildings, waterfront retail and a good many more MRT stations. Under the government’s masterplan, the Jurong Lake District (JLD) will jumpstart Singapore’s next economic phase. Hopes are for it to mimic the Jurong Industrial Estate which kickstarted the manufacturing sector 50 years ago.

A comprehensive transport network is in the works. The High Speed Rail terminus which will be completed in 2026. This will optimise connectivity between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Second business district – Challenges and Potential

There are concerns about whether a second central business district will take off in a small country like Singapore. But there are lessons to be learnt from cities with successful regional hubs – Parramatta in Sydney, Canary Wharf in London and Pudong in Shanghai.

There is hope for a symbiotic relationship between the current CBD and the new one. There is not expectation for an immediate boom in the Jurong Lake District. After all, it took Pudong 20 years before its popularity began to surpass that of Puxi.

Early and flexible planning will be key in the development of the JLD and the redevelopment or rejuvenation of the current CBD.

Jurong Lake District aims to be eco-friendly

While Tampines took longer than expected to become a regional hub due to logistical and congestion issues, lessons learnt here will be applied when planning to the JLD.

Plans have already been made to decentralise delivery points and the layout will be more open, to facilitate cultivating a car-lite environment. Besides high-rise offices and condominiums, there will also be a range of landed and low-rise properties with waterfront views. As far as planning goes, the government seems to be on track in planning for the targeted 6.9 million population by 2030.