WITH the relocation of Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) from the 2030s onwards, which frees up 800 hectares of land, the space and its surrounding areas are set to be redeveloped into a new and green live-work-play town, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced at the launch of its Long-Term Plan Review (LTPR) Exhibition on Monday (Jun 6).
The URA’s partners, the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP), gathered ideas from the public and proposed ideas and concepts for the PLAB, including self-sufficient and walkable neighbourhoods. The redeveloped site will also house buildings with smart-city technology and integrated live-work areas to bring employment closer to residents.
“The PLAB will help Singapore meet its future housing demand and create districts with distinct identities based on the site’s rich heritage and differentiated characteristics. Besides housing new developments to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the population, the town can contribute to building a strong sense of ownership and belonging among its residents too,” URA said.
The PLAB will be part of URA’s LTPR to provide more homes for new needs and growing aspirations of Singaporeans. This will be done by building closer to key amenities and job nodes; diversifying housing types to meet different household’s needs; and integrating nature and heritage assets.
There will be a wider variety of housing designs to cater to households of different sizes and needs, which can be adaptable to accommodate changes in lifestyles.
The URA will also prioritise development on brownfield sites “where possible”, such as the Greater Southern Waterfront, which is planned to be developed into attractive live-work-play areas.
To build more inclusive and close-knit towns, the URA plans to create a “better mix” of public and private homes in both new and existing developments. This will help facilitate interactions and sharing of facilities among residents from all walks of life.
The URA also hopes to create homes that contribute to healthier lifestyles and provide spaces that accommodate different uses throughout the day. “For instance, a co-working space during the day can be converted to host community events in the evenings,” URA said.
URA plans to rejuvenate ageing towns by adding more greenery and improving accessibility and connectivity within ageing towns to promote more active lifestyles such as walking and cycling.
Meanwhile, SIA and SIP envision PLAB to be a sustainable and energy efficient town. Half of PLAB’s energy could be derived from renewable resources such as solar farms and waste-to-energy plants.
PLAB is envisioned to be a town with people-centric mobility networks. Only autonomous vehicles and active mobility modes of transport will be allowed in neighbourhoods.
In addition to the future Cross Island Line running through the region, SIA and SIP envisage nature corridors and park connectors to be added into PLAB to support biodiversity.
PLAB’s history as an international airport and an air base will be integrated into its future development. Existing infrastructure, including the former passenger terminal buildings, control tower, airport hangars, runway, bunkers and other historic buildings, could form the foundation of its transformation through adaptive reuse. New districts in the redeveloped site could be centred on a key heritage feature, such as the hangar or the runway.
As the PLAB’s development will stretch over many years, adaptable spaces of different scales can be set aside as flexible zones. This will provide room for future developments and to meet unexpected needs.