News: Singapore wants people to live, work and play in one place

Apr 5, 2019

This comes as the financial district is bustling by day, but is close to deserted by night and over weekends.

The Singapore government hopes to transform the central business district into a place where people can live, work and play.

This comes as the financial district is bustling by day, but is close to deserted by night and over weekends, reported Bloomberg.

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Under the URA Draft Master Plan 2019, the government is encouraging firms to convert existing office space to residential developments and hotels. Buildings will also be allowed to have higher plot ratios, which means more subdivisions of floor space.

“Urban regeneration is a journey that Singapore needs to take to emulate the success of cosmopolitan hubs like Manhattan, London and Shanghai,” noted Moray Armstrong, managing director of CBRE in Singapore.

“We’re excited that some of the older buildings are now part of the plans to revitalize the CBD,” he said, adding that allowing developers to breathe new life into their old office stock will unlock a lot of value.

Transforming office buildings into hotels will also help alleviate the shortage within the hospitality sector given that the current pipeline of hotel rooms is not expected to meet the forecasted increase in tourists.

The URA Draft Master Plan 2019 also includes a proposal to bring facilities such as storage and utilities underground in a bid to free up more space for living. The number of green spaces such as parks and park connectors will also be increased. In fact, the government aims to have over 90 percent of households within walking distance of a park.

The move to have more residential developments does not mean that Singapore’s CBD is devoid of any apartment living. In fact, the Marina Bay financial district comes with luxury apartments such as The Sail and Marina Bay which was built seven years ago. Other projects in the vicinity like V on Shenton and One Shenton Way feature bars, retail stores and restaurants at their base.

However, Christine Li, head of research for Singapore at Cushman & Wakefield, shared that families shun these neighbourhoods “due to the lack of amenities, childcare and school options for young children. The target pool of residents remains mostly expatriates, singles and dual income no-kids couples”.

Check out PropertyGuru’s properties for sale in the CBD! Alternately, refer to our handy buying guidesor read more about the hottest areas to live in with PropertyGuru’s AreaInsider


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

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