Conversation on Long-Term Plan Review
The Long-Term Plan Review (LTPR) maps out Singapore’s land use plans and needs over the next 50 years to ensure that Singapore remains liveable and sustainable for current and future generations. URA has conceptualised four pillars as outcomes for Singapore’s urban environment – Inclusive, Adaptable and Resilient, Sustainable, and Distinctive and Endearing.
Planning for current and future land use needs requires consideration of opportunities and challenges in the longer-term. How can we creatively use our limited land space to meet the different needs and aspirations of people living in Singapore?
The National Youth Council (NYC) engaged youths in conversations to seek youths’ perspectives on urban planning, allow youths to hear from fellow thought leaders and experts, and gather creative insights to contribute towards the LTPR.
Beyond these conversations, NYC has also provided opportunities for youths to take ground-up action to champion and make a difference in the community.
WHAT WE HEARD
Conversation on Long-Term Plan Review (4 February 2022)
This conversation, organised by the National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, was held on Friday, 4 February 2022 via Zoom, and involved over 80 youths and the following Political Office Holder and invited speakers:
- Mr Alvin Tan – Minister of State (MOS) of Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Ms Hwang Yu-Ning – Chief Planner & Deputy Chief Executive from the Urban Redevelopment Authority
- Associate Professor Chong Keng Hua – Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at SUTD and Director of Social Urban Research Group (SURGe)
- Ms Sharmishta Sivaramakrishnan – Strategy Consultant, EY-Parthenon, Previously at SG Government, WEF & UN, Harpswell ASEAN Women’s Leadership Fellow, NYC INSPIRIT member
Here are the key insights of the conversation raised by the participants:
Meeting diverse needs and strengthening social cohesion through more inclusive spaces.
- Enhancing heartlands with age- and disability-friendly features – Participants acknowledged Singapore’s efforts to build inclusive facilities (e.g. ramps, wheelchair-accessible public transport etc). They called for more facilities to address the needs of the elderly (e.g. non-slip floors) and people with disabilities in community spaces, and for connectivity to be enhanced (e.g. more accessible public transport) in the heartlands.
- Cultivating an inclusive mindset to build stronger bonds – Participants said that while age-inclusive spaces such as Our Tampines Hub increase inter-generational interaction, a shift in mindset was also required to help Singaporeans be truly inclusive. They suggested leveraging existing common spaces to form deeper connections with non-citizens such as foreigners and migrant workers.
- Housing policies to cater to changing family units – Participants wanted more affordable and inclusive housing policies to cater to changing family units and living arrangements (e.g. singles, married couples without children etc).
Ensuring sustainable development against the backdrop of a growing population
- Maximising untapped or underground spaces – Participants suggested exploring the building facilities underground (e.g. high-tech farms that do not require sunlight), and maximising untapped spaces such as roads as solar energy sources.
- Cultivating an innovation hub for sustainable practises – Participants suggested creating a hub to test new localised solutions to improve sustainability practises, such as researching and developing sustainable materials to build eco-friendly infrastructure.
- Enhancing food security – Participants identified food security as a challenge that Singapore may face and suggested integrating urban farms into parks and HDBs to increase local food production. They said that such farms would strengthen Singapore’s adaptability and resilience to disruptions.
Enhancing Singapore’s vibrancy through local heritage and attractions
- Re-evaluating the role of the Central Business District (CBD) – Participants suggested decentralising the CBD and called for recreational spaces to incorporate “work” and “play” as work-from-home arrangements become mainstream. Ms Hwang said that the agglomeration effect of the CBD remains an attraction for Singapore as an economic hub, and that companies still desire office spaces and presence in the CBD.
- More multi-use spaces to flexibly cater to needs – Participants said that a balance between nature conservation and building future-proof infrastructure needed to be struck. They suggested having multi-use flexible spaces that can cater to spontaneous needs, such as parks that can be easily converted into entertainment venues or flea markets.
- Decentralising attractions – Participants said that many iconic attractions were localised in town. They suggested decentralising attractions and having them sited in neighbourhoods to increase inclusivity, access, and interaction within the community.
- Preserving and increasing accessibility to heritage sites – Participants acknowledged the importance of appreciating local culture and heritage, and called for increased accessibility to such sites. They suggested using virtual reality to simulate experiences such as heritage trails. MOS Tan agreed and said that preservation efforts were ongoing and the Government was working to ensure that Singaporeans could easily access these sites via public transport.
Large group sharing infographic:
Panel discussion infographic:
Keen to find out more about the Long-Term Plan Review and what others think about it? Check out these articles:
Realise Your Somerset Project
A platform for youth to shape their vision for the country and take charge of developing and driving plans. Co-create placemaking projects at the Somerset Belt through initiatives like the Realise Your Somerset Project!
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