NUS Master of Urban Planning Student's Reimagine Jurong Lake District in 2050
The NUS Master of Urban Planning (MUP) programme is a joint initiative of the Department of Architecture, College of Design and Engineering, and the Department of Real Estate, Business School. The NUS Master of Urban Planning programme offers students the opportunity to leverage the experiences of Singapore and cities in the region as “laboratories” of planning thought and practice.
The 2022 MUP Year 2 planning studio project brief (Jan - Apr) challenged six groups of students to re- imagine Jurong Lake District (JLD) in 2050 in the context of changing trends in live, work and play brought about by the pandemic, and other environmental and global issues, to develop a master plan proposal that would support Singapore in maintaining its competitiveness on the world stage. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) provided the background planning details JLD during a sharing session at the start of the semester, which set the framework and background understanding of the site.
The NUS MUP students envisioned planning approaches for JLD in line with the district’s vision as set by the URA. The students then presented their proposals in April 2022 with guest attendance from URA’s JLD team.
Interesting ideas explored by the students include:
a. Weaving Nature
Exploring the potential of improving accessibility to greenery within the district by re-aligning the Jurong River. This would be done through reclamation, and by extending the river east-wards into Pandan Reservoir. This bold move would connect JLD to other green sites such as Teban Gardens and Jurong Lake Gardens through the Park Connector Network (PCN). This could create a potential for a new eco-trail and support eco-tourism in the area.
Figure 1 - Proposed realignment of Jurong River and connections to PCNs proposed by Group 3
b. Industrial-Living Cluster Model
JLD could potentially spearhead Jurong’s industrial transformation by redefining industrial communities and spaces as a healthy, vibrant and life-giving oasis.
Figure 2 - JLD positioned to redefine industrial communities with synergies alongside adjacent innovation drivers proposed by Group 5
The model proposed by the students moves JLD away from the traditional segregation of industrial zones, towards being an intersection for industry, living and business – ultimately exploring how industry can be reintegrated into communities. The key principle is that each cluster will possess capacity for employment, production and living spaces, while ensuring that green spaces are equitably distributed for all residents.
Figure 3 - Industrial Identity and Cluster Model proposed by Group 5
c. Mobility and Amenities
In line with the sustainable living vision of JLD, mobility paths within the community will be restricted to cycling and walking, encouraging active mobility while still being equipped with a road adjacent to each community for emergency access. The communities will also be integrated with other supporting functions such as co-working spaces and retail facilities.
Figure 4 - Walkable Neighbourhoods and Access to Amenities proposed by Group 2
The flexible grid system proposed by the students was designed based on the geographic and physical context. Boundaries are formed by vehicle paths that provide the necessary connections to nearby cells and create the backbone of the road network. This basic model allows the flexibility to change the type or location of the interior lanes to create numerous permutations. The interior lanes can be converted into car lanes, making different network traffic volumes possible. In addition, these interior lanes can vary in density to accommodate different scales of development.
Figure 5 - Flexible Grid System Illustration as proposed by Group 6
e. Dynamic Land Use
In line with JLD’s positioning as a mixed-use business district, the students also proposed flexible and adaptable land use type dubbed the ‘Dynamic Land Use’ - composed of open spaces and light-touch structures. Under normal circumstances, they can function as stores and offices, but these could be easily removed when new needs arise. Planners could potentially start by creating a basic structure of dynamic land use on a network or axis, where light-touch structures adapted to different uses will be developed as default.
Figure 6 - Dynamic Land Use Illustration as proposed by Group 6
f. Sustainability and Passive Urban Design
Roofscapes in JLD will be equipped with solar panels to generate and supplement local energy supply. Passive design should also be considered by considering the predominant wind direction within JLD to ensure cross-ventilation between the built-up areas. The abundance of urban greeneries also mitigates against excessive energy consumption while ensuring optimal thermal comfort for pedestrians closer to the ground level.
Figure 7 - Passive and Sustainable Urban Design proposed by Group 5
Through this studio project, the students have provided the URA Jurong Lake District team with fresh perspectives and interesting ideas on urban planning and sustainability, which hopefully can help make the district more attractive to live, work, play and learn for our future generations.
For more information on the NUS Master of Urban Planning programme, please visit https://cde.nus.edu.sg/arch/programmes/master-of-urban-planning/
Group 1 – Ms Ashley Elizabeth Kwan Ka-Yan, Ms Lina Liu, Mr Liang Xiucheng, Ms Wang Jiaxuan, Ms Zou Hongyi
Group 2 – Ms Chen Shuting, Mr Yang Jindian, Ms Zhang Xinyuan, Mr Zhang Yikai
Group 3 – Mr Alex Yeung Hey, Ms Chen Minglu, Mr Francoise John Espares Ying, Ms Vanessa Ho
Group 4 – Mr Archisman Chattopadhyay, Ms Huang Ke, Ms Siti Nurfarah Nadhirah, Mr Wen Ruiwen
Group 5 – Ms Gu Qianhua, Mr Huang Zhiye, Ms Wang Shiyu, Mr Wong Yi Suen
Group 6 – Mr Alviedo Dionne Robin Menez, Ms Athira Radhakrishnan, Ms Chen Bingling, Ms Wang Jing
Master of Urban Planning Programme Director: Associate Professor Cho Im Sik
Studio Tutors: Mr Jeffrey Ho, Mr Rahul Mittal, Mr John Achari
Teaching Assistant: Mr Ahmad Osman