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From NTU to Tengah, one raised platform to join them all
The environmental deck (e-Deck) intends to be the backbone within a new ecosystem of an R&D institution, university, manufacturing industry and a residential area.
By: Livia Yap
THE brain may be a body's control centre, but the spine supports all its movements. It holds the head up and provides balance for the entire skeletal frame; much like how the environmental deck (e-Deck) intends to be the backbone within a new ecosystem of an R&D institution, university, manufacturing industry and a residential area.
Proposed to be called 2 West, the integrated industrial township is planned to contain the upcoming Clean Tech Park (CTP), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Wenya industrial estate and part of Tengah estate.
The 700 hectares will see the e-Deck feature as a main activity spine that will connect and integrate them into one community. It will be an elevated platform raised above the road, stretching all the way from NTU to Tengah and providing communal facilities such as food and beverages (F&B).
The deck could also provide an environment-friendly people mover system that straddles the area.
This is the vision of the future conveyed by David Tan, assistant chief executive officer of the Technical & Professional Services Group, JTC Corporation, in his presentation on the 2 West Conceptual Master Plan at the Urban Sustainability R&D Congress 2013 yesterday.
While it is still in the conceptual exploring phase, 2 West is born of the aim to "position Singapore as a leading innovation hub in the region centred around three main clusters: world class universities, high value industries and established R&D institutions", said Mr Tan.
It is a follow-up to One-North, the first integrated industrial township in the west, and JTC has plans to add an extra "make" element to the existing development formula of "work-live-play-learn".
This is demonstrated by the intention to include manufacturing activities within 2 West itself, to allow the geographical proximity to bridge the gap between R&D (that may be conducted within the CTP) and manufacturing (that may occur in Wenya industrial estate), with a focus on the areas of prototyping, pilot testing and process optimisation.
Business industrial buildings, business parks, offices, retail facilities, residential areas and recreational facilities and amenities will also be brought in to create a vibrant setting that aims to be highly liveable. At the centre of these activities will be the e-Deck that connects the four different areas.
On top of the deck will be an efficient, environment-friendly people mover system - multiple ideas such as a tram system or driverless pods are being explored - that will help transport residents and working people throughout the district. Beyond the deck, walking and cycling paths or even a smaller people mover system will be provided.
It is intended that the e-Deck will be a maximum walking distance of 10 to 15 minutes away from anywhere within 2 West and might even be connected to the MRT system in the future. Therefore, it will be convenient for drivers to park their cars beneath the deck in "hubparking", or communal parking, reducing the need for individual buildings to require separate car parks.
Under the deck will also be communal service tunnels that provide shared utilities to all four areas, similar to that constructed under Marina Bay.
Another major feature of 2 West will be the Estate Good Mover System that facilitates the movement of goods between companies. There are plans for a Central Distribution Centre that might be linked to the future Tuas Port, where all goods will be consolidated. Thereafter, they will be distributed to individual warehouses via an automated system. Both an overground rail system and an underground conveyer belt-like system are currently being explored.
Also being explored is the possibility of air rights development whereby the space above roads will be utilised for facilities such as research labs, offices, or even F&B and retail services. The arterial road that will be built between NTU and CTP is being explored for this use.
As for the time frame for the implementation of the master plan, JTC was unable to commit.