3rd Precinct in Singapore’s 2nd Central Business District

July 18, 2016

URA unveils a third precinct at Jurong Lake District – Singapore’s Second Central Business

The government has recently announced a third precinct – Lakeside Gateway in Jurong East, Singapore’s second Central Business District in addition to the existing Jurong Gateway (57 ha) and Lakeside (191 ha). At 112 hectures and comprising mostly the land currently occupied by Jurong Country Club, the third precinct is more than twice the size of Jurong Gateway and there are plans to integrate the High-Speed Rail terminus to the surrounding to attract a diverse range of businesses to relocate to the second CBD.

The Lakeside Gateway precinct is expected to yield high quality offices, business facilities, entertainment and food and beverage outlets, shops, waterfront homes, hotels, recreational facilities that include parks and open spaces. The 112-hectare of land will yield a gross floor area of approximately 4 million to 5 million sqm of built up space.

Map of Jurong Lake District (Source: URA)
Map of Jurong Lake District (Source: URA)

Singapore’s Second Central Business District – What else can we expect?

An unique identity needs to be established for the second Central Business District to take off and be sustainable in the long term. With financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, technology firms dominating the footprint in the Raffles Place/Marina Bay/Tanjong Pagar area, the area in Jurong has seen the likes of leading infrastructure and building services provider CPG consultants, consultancy firm BECA and other more diverse businesses such as National Instruments, Daimler and aviation giant Lockheed Martin Global locating in Westgate Tower; one of the latest Grade A office buildings in Jurong Gateway.

Just like how Mapletree Business City is to tech giants like Google and Microsoft, Changi Business Park is to back-end operations of banks and financial institutions and One-North for biomedical research and innovative tech start ups, Lakeside precinct has to establish its identity in order to attract a slew of related businesses to locate to the area. With International Business Park (IBP) in close proximity, there could be plans to integrate IBP into Lakeside Gateway so that a more diverse range of office/business space solutions can be provided.

Features that might help Jurong Lake District differentiate itself from the main Central Business District in Raffles Place/Marina Bay

Starting from ground zero, with an eye for a long term sustainable future, the Jurong Lake District has to have a vision for the next 20-30 years and beyond. These additional features could help differentiate itself from its main ‘competitors’:

Open space: At least 30% of the space could be set aside for open sides, that includes parks, gardens that could make use of storm water systems (collection of rain water for irrigation for landscaping and man-made gardens). As we battle the heat, air-conditioned space could be made available for various events to bring the community closer together and a more sustainable crowd for the retailers on weekends.

Car-lite: The authorities could implement a light rail or tram system connecting the MRT stations, HSR terminus to various strategic buildings/stops pretty much like the light rail that Sydney has adopted to boost its connectivity within the CBD for pedestrians. This would dramatically reduce carbon emissions. The rail could be extended to help various logistical companies in their fulfillment of their services to their customers. There could even be boat rides during the Jurong Lake to provide connectivity from one side of the lake to the other, pretty much like Brisbane’s Citycat. Needless to say, walkways and tracks for bikes and personal mobility equipment should be provided for as well.

Underground connectivity: Singapore is pretty good at this. There will be a seamless connection between HSR terminus and Jurong East MRT station (which has MRT lines converging at the station). This will help commuters ease into the local train network and get on with their journey to various parts of the island. You can expect all major buildings to be connected to one another via basement passageway or covered walkway on the street level. In addition, don’t be surprised to find a city within the entire underground network.

Waterfront areas: There would be a host of food and beverage concepts, including covered areas outdoor, with water features for events, concerts etc to be held while bar-goers down their tequila shots amidst the beautiful sunset. The Jurong lake, in addition to be admired, could be turned into a place where water activities such as canoeing, water skiing could take place. This would benefit the executives working nearby and people living within close proximity.

Environmental and Power Sustainability: All street lightings could be powered by solar energy and stored. Given the space constraints, the challenge would be to make use of available space for the solar panels to garner enough energy to be effective for consumption.

Finally, I am highly doubtful that the two gardens in the Lakeside Precinct (I am digressing) would continue to exist in its present state. As a native Singaporean myself, I have never been to the gardens all my life as I have never found the need to, neither have I been attracted to. I am quite sure a plan that would preserve the flora and fauna as well as turn the place into an attraction relevant to today’s context would be great plan and I suspect it will be quite innovative.

It will be an eye opener to see how these ideas could be potentially incorporated into the RFP by multi-disciplinary companies/town planners. I am sure whichever direction URA takes, their aim is to ensure Lakeside Gateway complements the current Central Business District and shine in its own right.

The article is written solely at the discretion of the author of this article. It doesn’t represent the views of any multi-disciplinary company or the views of the public in general.