A governments assurance to sustainable urban design will have huge implications, especially in a country where over 80% of residents live in public housing. The impact in Singapore could be greater still, being a tropical country where convenience and air conditioning are a way of life.

Singapore is now working on the development of an all-new eco smart city known as a “forest town”, due to its abundant greenery and public gardens. The site was previously home to a brickmaking factory, and later used for military training. The 700-hectare (2.7-square-mile) property had been reclaimed by a widespread secondary forest in the last few years. In its new avatar, the eco city is going to be an example of good and clean living.

This eco-city is aimed at paving a way for a better future, by improving the health and well-being of its residents. The construction is taking place in Tengah, and will have five residential districts with 42 thousand new homes. The new city will be car-free that will help in reduce carbon emissions in the city, and will be a safe zone for pedestrians, and also for cyclists. It is a great way to develop wellness for the citizens, while keeping sustainability in mind.

The five residential districts in the eco city are going to be Park, Garden, Forest Hill, Plantation, and Brickland. Residents will be able to travel in buses to go into town, even though the city will be car-free. Tengah will also be connected with a 328-foot-wide ecological “corridor” running through its centre, providing safe passage to wildlife and connecting a water catchment area on one side to a nature reserve on the other. The forest town is most definitely going to be a one-of-a-kind place where residence can breathe easy, and experience wellness like never before.

According to Chong Fook Loong, group director for research and planning at Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB), the project has proven a tabula rasa for urban planners advocating green design principles and “smart” technology.

“Tengah is a clean slate,” said Chong Fook Loong in an interview. “We’re going for the ideal concept of segregation of traffic, (with) everything underground and then the ground level totally freed up for pedestrians — for people. So, it’s a very safe environment for all.”

“We want a town that allows walking and cycling in a very user-friendly manner,” he added, saying that cycling has “taken off” in Singapore in the “last three to five years especially.”

Chong explains that the master plan will see the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, while the streets are also being “futureproofed” to accommodate emerging technologies. “When we planned the road network, we envisaged a future where autonomous vehicles and self-driving vehicles will become a reality,” he said.


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