Proposals for Paya Lebar Air Base development to be ready next month

by Albert02

Proposals for Paya Lebar Air Base development to be ready next month

Proposals for Paya Lebar Air Base development to be ready next month. Connectivity, empathy, and community building are urban development buzzwords, and when proposals for the Paya Lebar Air Base area are shared later this year, the public will soon see how such concepts translate into built form.

When the Paya Lebar Air Base is relocated in the 2030s, 800ha of land between Hougang and Serangoon to the west and Pasir Ris and Tampines to the east will be available for development.

Two teams from the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and the Singapore Institute of Planners are currently developing conceptual ideas and proposals for the area in collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which are expected to be ready next month.

In an interview with The Straits Times earlier this month, the SIA’s newly elected leadership stated that because the URA’s long-term land use plan review is taking place concurrently with the Paya Lebar planning exercise, architects and planners have been able to incorporate some of the ideas raised during the review into their plans for the area.

“You can always talk about connectivity and empathy, or building for communities in a meaningful and endearing way,” said Tiah Nan Chyuan, the institute’s first vice-president.

“There is now a chance to turn some of these words into actual working drawings and diagrams.”

National Development Minister Desmond Lee stated last month that those working on the project have proposed turning the cluster of old airport buildings on site into a heritage district, while others have proposed turning the area into a “happiness project” that promotes community bonding.

The teams have completed the concept master plan for the area, according to SIA president Melvin Tan, 47, and have moved on to the urban design phase, which is expected to be completed next month.

He went on to say that the public sector has been working more closely with the private sector as well as the general public on the long-term plan review.

The institute, for its part, organized a review workshop for its members, with participants bringing drawings and sketches to illustrate their ideas.

Mr Tiah, 45, stated that some of the workshop discussions piqued the URA’s interest, and that the agency intends to engage SIA members further.

While the discussions are still in their early stages, Mr Tiah believes a diverse range of stakeholders will be involved.

“The idea here is that policy is no longer solely the domain of the public sector; the private sector plays a role,” he explained.

Aside from discussions, Mr Tan stated that he believes the Government’s increasingly consultative approach means that private sector architects will have more opportunities to help Singapore achieve some of the targets it has set for the coming decades.

This is welcome to him, given architects’ role in the built environment, which includes more than just building design but also upstream planning.

Mr Tan stated that architects are well-positioned to help the country achieve its sustainability goals, such as plans to phase out internal combustion engines by 2040, because of their “integrator role.”

Coordination of the work of various parties, such as developers and engineers, as they collectively translate policymakers’ goals into on-the-ground infrastructure changes is required.

According to Mr Tan, while the government sets policy and land developers have visions for their projects, architects will translate these into tangible outcomes for everyday users, such as planning for substations for increased power load and vehicle charging provisions.

With limited new land to build on, Mr Tiah added that brownfield sites – previously developed sites – will play an important role in Singapore’s development in the coming years.

Mr Tiah mentioned that adaptive re-use of buildings can be more sustainable because it avoids the carbon footprint of demolition and rebuilding, and that schools are one building type that lends itself to new uses.

“A lot of these structures sit in existing neighborhoods and communities, and when they’re torn down, it’s a big disruption,” he said, adding that the government has already re-used some school campuses.

“These are perfect examples of infrastructure that has already served its primary purpose and is now beginning to serve the community in different ways,” Mr Tiah said, adding that many aspects of schools can be easily adapted for different uses, such as using canteens for communal dining, halls for activity spaces, and school fields for urban farms.

Mr Tan continued, “In addition to creatively repurposing built infrastructure, there is room to consider how Singapore’s green and blue spaces may change over time and how these can be factored into the country’s plans.”

Mr Tan stated that green and blue spaces are not static and that planning should account for this, citing Dover Forest, a former plantation site that has been covered by secondary forests since the plantation was abandoned.

In the case of Dover Forest, the Housing Board revised its plans for it last year, announcing that development plans for the forest’s western half will be paused and reviewed in about a decade. Meanwhile, a large nature park will be built there.

“Green and blue spaces can dynamically evolve with the city and be integrated into our developments,” Mr Tan said.

Click the image to read the full details of report.
Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/proposals-for-paya-lebar-air-base-development-by-architects-planners-to-be-ready-next-month


 
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