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Author: Ravi Philemon
Singapore’s Greater Southern Waterfront is to be remade to take advantage of our coastline, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally Speech on Aug 18.
“Beyond protecting ourselves from rising seas, we also have long-term plans to remake and take full advantage of our coastline. One of these plans is the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW). I first spoke about this in the 2013 Rally. Since then we have worked out more definite ideas. Let me first sketch out the overall shape. The GSW comprises 30km of our southern coastline, from the Gardens by the Bay East, all the way to Pasir Panjang. It contains 2,000 hectares of land: six times the size of Marina Bay and in our terms, double the size of Punggol.”
Greater Southern Waterfront to include PSA city terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, and Brani
“The GSW includes the PSA city terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, and Brani. And it also includes the Pasir Panjang Terminals too. By 2027, the city terminals will move to Tuas. Later on, in 2040, the Pasir Panjang Terminal will also go to Tuas Port. This will free up prime land for re-development. It will be an opportunity to reshape the GSW into a new place to live, work and play.
Let me start with “live”. Here is Keppel Club. It is a golf course. It is close to two MRT stations, and Labrador Nature Reserve. The lease is expiring in two years’ time, so this will be one of the first GSW developments. There is enough land here to build 9,000 housing units – HDB and private housing with waterfront promenades, with greenery, and open spaces. And that is just the start, because there is space and land for public and private housing elsewhere in the GSW too. With GSW the size of two Punggols, you get a sense of the possibilities. Think of it as Punggol by the Bay.”
More office spaces will be developed in Greater Southern Waterfront
“Next, I go on to “work” – the commercial areas. Several big companies already have offices near Labrador Park. Such as Google, Cisco and Unilever. We will develop more office space in the GSW, like this one, which is Mapletree Business City, will bring in more jobs. People can work near where they live, and live near where they work. This will create life and activity both during the day and at night.”
Greater Southern Waterfront to host recreational attractions
“Finally, I come to “play” – the fun part. There are many possibilities for fun and recreation. We will start by redeveloping the two old power stations in Pasir Panjang. These are the Pasir Panjang power stations. They used to supply electricity back in the 1960s, but were decommissioned long ago. We can find creative new uses for them. Just like how we made St James Power Station, near Vivo City, into a nightlife destination.”
“Next, after Brani Terminal moves out, we can develop Pulau Brani together with Sentosa. We will build new attractions on Brani, just like we have Universal Studios on Sentosa. We will also revitalise Sentosa’s beach areas and expand its nature and heritage trails, to keep its island character. We will also link up the GSW with all the surrounding green areas, so that you have a whole connection from West Coast Park to East Coast Park, and also connect up the Rail Corridor and Sentosa. With a new green heart in the centre, Singapore will be even more of a City in a Garden.”
NTUC gets first dibs at Greater Southern Waterfront
“I have already received one special request. When we discussed these plans at Cabinet, Ng Chee Meng put his hand up, and said: “NTUC is very grateful to the Government for Downtown East. How about a Downtown South?” I said, ok, we will do that. We will set aside land for the Labour Movement to build a resort, probably on Pulau Brani. We will make this gesture, to thank our workers for all their contributions to the nation. Because Singapore is for all of us.”
“Our city today comprises multiple layers and the imprints of different eras. The Greater Southern Waterfront will add yet more layers to the city.”
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