National Day Rally 2019: PM Lee’s SimCity-like plans for the Greater Southern Waterfront

‘Punggol by the Bay’ as he coined it

Photo credit: URA

Key urban development project announcements are a hallmark of the National Day Rally speeches. PM Lee noted in Sunday’s speech that he announced the concept of Jewel at Changi Airport in 2013. Likewise in 2014, he had announced the 2nd CBD, the Jurong Lake District.

Anyway, as PM Lee shared about the urban transformation plans this year, I cannot help but recall the days when I was an avid player of SimCity 2000. What fun it was to build my manicured city! I played till the point where the map was bursting and I could construct megastructures like that futuristic tower with that sphere garden pictured below. If Singapore were PM’s SimCity, his city would be at that latter stage.

Photo credit: Moby Games

This year the spotlight was on the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW), where he announced plans for major redevelopment of the area in view of PSA City Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminal moving to Tuas by 2040.

Photo credit: Prime Minister’s Office

This frees up the area to be repurposed for community use, in the categories of LIVE, WORK and PLAY.

LIVE: One very specific plan for redeveloping GSW is the plan for 9,000 housing units to be build at the current Keppel Club site over the next few years, comprising public and private housing.

Photo credit: Prime Minister’s Office

The lease on Keppel Club has just 2 years left. So, plans for housing here will kick in really soon.

WORK: PM noted that several companies already have offices near Labrador Park. He said these include Google, Cisco and Unilever. Hence, there will be plans to build more business park-type office space, so that people can “work near where they live, and live near where they work.”

PLAY: There are two key ideas for recreation in the area:

  1. Two old power stations in the area will be redeveloped for Play, in the same way St James Power Station near Vivocity was developed to become a nightlife hub.
  2. Pulau Brani will be redeveloped to host new attractions once Brani Terminal moves out. One tangible idea is for it to host the Labour Union’s ‘Downtown South’, similar to Downtown East in Pasir Ris.
Photo credit: Prime Minister’s Office

More information on GSW can be found in this URA video posted by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong:

Bonus: ST did a superb interactive story showcasing urban transformation in Singapore told through the National Day Rally speeches.

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