The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore strives to make the Smart Nation sustainable and fully optimized. This project must cater to priorities such as economic growth, enhanced quality of life, sustainability, and resource utilization. These priorities are essential to the Singaporean vision of a Smart Nation.
The responsibility of the URA is to manage Singapore’s land use planning and conservation. It is challenged with creating a balance of land use within Singapore. This is so that land planners may meet current and future needs. Over the past 50 years, the URA has made very impactful decisions of how to allocate land usage. For example, the URA created concept plans for the Changi airport, Jurong Island, various commercial and regional centres, and the infamous Marina Bay. In addition to this, the URA manages the property market, conservation of buildings, shapes key precincts, and facilitates community engagement.
In a recent publication named “Designing Our City: Planning for a sustainable Singapore,” the URA outlined key concepts in planning for sustainability. URA asserts that planning for sustainability must seek public consultation. The Smart Nation vision poses incredible conquests and great challenges for the URA. It must plan to match efficient provision of facilities to the denser living environments.
The URA aspires to meet this growing density and provide a good quality of living for Singaporeans. This does not only concentrate on the conditions of housing or architecture. It also considers the public education, faith, health and leisure facilities that must be easy to access from Singaporean homes. All the while, a key aspect is to ensure that housing is available and affordable to Singaporeans. In meeting a certain quality of living, the URA has also emphasized the introduction of greenery within all parts of Singapore.
The URA plans to decentralize, bring jobs closer to home and promote regional activity in Singapore. It aims to do this through the development of various hubs in the west, north, east, and central. This plan hopes to offset major concentration in city centres. Public Transport is set for improvement to meet the need for conveniency and crowd reduction. The rail network is expected to double to 278 km by the year 2020.
Recent reports by the URA discuss the expected future population range of Singaporeans and how to meet a certain standard of living. It is predicted that there will by 6.5 to 6.9 million inhabitants by the year 2030. With this analytical prediction, the URA may plan land use accordingly.
URA must plan to provide a high quality of life for Singapore citizens while preparing for a more dense population in the future.