Commercial Space in HDB Towns (Singapore) Research Study

HDB Commercial Facilities-Proposed Planning Norm

The City Form Lab, collaboration with the Singapore Housing Development Board (HDB), Savills Real Estate Consultants,  and Lee Kuan Yew Center for Innovative Cities

Date:  2014-2015

Location: Singapore 

Project Team/Credits: Alan Cheong, Andres Sevtsuk, Belinda Yuen, Emily Royall, Onur Ekmekci, Raul Kalvo, Liqun Chen

This project involved preparing a new planning norm for the provision of commercial facilities in Singapore's Public housing towns, which accommodate 85 percent of the city state's population.  The study aims to create a model for: 1. Determining the quantum of commerce, 2.Determining the mix of commerce, 3.Determining the location of commerce and, 4.Determining the typology of commerce in Singapore's future HDB towns.  I was in charge of developing alternative typological strategies for commercial facilities in this project.  We have proposed that retail concentration takes place in order to achieve a certain attraction to the retail trades, that consumers can buy sev- eral things in one trip and can com- pare goods and prices. At the same time, concentration makes it possible to connect the retail centre with pub- lic transport. Commercial spaces can be combined with pedestrian connectors, greenways, water bodies, street furniture, etc. to create an attractive walking atmosphere. Neighbourhood Centres and Precinct Centres in HDB towns would benefit from stretching out along main pedestrian spines between homes and popular pedestrian destinations, such as MRT and bus stations. This would: (a) allow shops to capture the pedestrian movement to and from transit stations, created by costly infrastructure investments; and (b) enable HDB towns to foster diverse, pedestrian friendly public spaces where commerce contributes to activity generation. 


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