Development guide plans



Development guide plans (DGPs) are detailed short- to medium-term land-use plans completed between 1993 and 1998 as part of a comprehensive review of the Master Plan 1985. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the national land-use planning agency, divided Singapore into 55 planning areas and drew up a DGP for each of these areas. A blueprint of the living, working and leisure environment in Singapore, the 55 DGPs together formed the overall Master Plan 1998, which was gazetted on 22 January 1999. The URA released the first of its 55 DGPs in 1993. The final DGP was released in 1998.1

History
DGPs were first mooted in 1987 as a tool to review the Master Plan 1985 systematically and comprehensively.2 The Master Plan 1985 was primarily a documentation of changes that had taken place since the adoption of an earlier master plan in 1958.3


The development of a new master plan through the process of drawing up DGPs for every part of Singapore reflected a major shift in thinking. The formulation of DGPs required urban planners to look ahead. They had to think about what they wanted Singapore to look like in the future and how they would achieve that vision.4

DGPs marked a bold step forward – plans were comprehensively and proactively drawn up for various uses such as transportation, housing, industry, commerce, schools and open spaces. The plans thus specified the land-use zoning and development intensity that would be allowed.5 DGPs also represented a more open and transparent approach to land-use planning. They gave developers, homeowners and other interested parties a clear idea of what the government’s planning intentions were for specific plots of land in Singapore.6 With the DGPs, anyone could easily find out what kind of development would be taking place in any area of Singapore over the next 10 to 20 years.7 Each DGP was envisaged to cover a planning area with a population of around 150,000, served by a town centre.8

After the government released the Concept Plan 1991, which set out the overall vision and broad directions, the URA started preparing the DGPs to turn the vision of the Concept Plan into reality.9 The five planning regions marked out in the Concept Plan 1991 were subdivided into 55 planning areas, each with its own DGP. After all 55 DGPs were completed, they formed the Master Plan 1998,10 which was gazetted on 22 January 1999 to replace the Master Plan 1985.11

The subsequent master plan reviews in 2003 and 2008 took a different approach.12 Instead of 55 DGPs, detailed land-use plans were drawn up for each of the five planning regions. While these planning regions are still currently subdivided into the 55 areas for planning purposes, the term “development guide plan” is strictly used to refer to the plans that formed the Master Plan 1998.13

Description
DGPs are detailed land-use plans produced by the URA between 1993 and 1998 to shape Singapore’s physical development over the short to medium term. Covering one of the 55 planning areas in Singapore, each DGP laid down the planning objectives for the area it covered, and specified the land-use zoning (for example, residential, commercial, recreation), development intensity (ratio of built-up area to site area) and building height allowed for individual plots of land within each area.14 DGPs are known not only among professionals such as property consultants, developers and architects, but also among the general public. The plans are valued for creating a more informed property market and facilitating development.15


The DGPs were micro-level master plans that formed the second tier of Singapore’s land-use planning framework. At the strategic level, the concept plan provides the overall vision and broad directions that would guide development over the long term (for 2010, 2030, and to an unknown year). The master plan, on the other hand, provides the detailed planning parameters for shaping actual development.16 The Master Plan 1998 was essentially a compilation of 55 DGPs.17

Objectives
DGPs were intended to achieve the following objectives: (i) ensure an optimal mix of land uses; (ii) plan for a balanced community; (iii) plan a hierarchy of commercial centres; (iv) develop an efficient transportation network; (v) create a quality living and working environment; (vi) provide development opportunities and controls to create visually interesting variations in the urban form; (vii) incorporate contingency reserves and flexibility of the Concept Plan in terms of land-use planning and implementation staging.18

Process
On average, each DGP took about two years to complete.19 There were six stages in the process.20

Stage 1: Data collection
Collection of data to understand the planning area.21


Stage 2: Data analysis
Analysis of the collected data to assess the area’s strengths and weaknesses, and to establish the planning objectives and strategies for the area.22


Stage 3: Outline plan
Preparation of an outline plan detailing planning control guidelines such as land-use zoning. For selected DGPs, exhibitions and dialogue sessions on the outline plan were held to gather feedback from developers, industry organisations and the public.23


Stage 4: Draft master plan
Refining the outline plan into the draft master plan, and incorporation of useful feedback.24


Stage 5: Statutory exhibition
Public exhibition of the draft master plan to allow the public to lodge any objections. The exhibition must be held for a minimum of two weeks, as legislated by the Planning Act.25

Stage 6: Statutory master plan
Revision of the draft master plan after all objections from the public have been evaluated. Gazetting of the finalised master plan to replace the old master plan.26



Author
Valerie Chew



References
1. Cheong-Chua, K. H. (1995). Urban land-use planning in Singapore: Towards a tropical city of excellence. In G. L. Ooi (Ed.), Environment and the city: Sharing Singapore’s experience and future challenges (pp. 102–128). Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies; Times Academic Press, p. 119. (Call no.: RSING 363.70095957 ENV); Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1996). Urban Redevelopment Authority annual report 1995/96. Singapore: Author, pp. 2, 15. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.5957091 URASAR-[AR]); Tan, S. (1999). Home, work, play. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, p. 162. (Call no.: RSING 307.1216095957 TAN)
2. Yeo, S. (1994, November 5). Visualise it at the micro level. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
3. Yuen, B. (Ed.). (1998). Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation. Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
4. Yuen, B. (Ed.). (1998). Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation. Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, p. 3. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
5. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1998). Urban Redevelopment Authority annual report 1997/98. Singapore: Author, p. 10. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.5957091 URASAR-[AR])
6. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore master plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 17–18, 25. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
7. Yeo, S. (1994, November 5). Visualise it at the micro level. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
8. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Downtown core (part) planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, preface. (Call no.: RSING 711.49095957 SIN)
9. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1997). Downtown core (Central and Bayfront subzones), Straits View and Marina South planning areas: Planning report 1997. Singapore: The Authority, preface. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN); Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Downtown core (part) planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author. (Call no.: RSING 711.49095957 SIN); Cheong-Chua, K. H. (1995). Urban land-use planning in Singapore: Towards a tropical city of excellence. In G. L. Ooi (Ed.), Environment and the city: Sharing Singapore’s experience and future challenges (pp. 102–128). Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies; Times Academic Press, p. 119. (Call no.: RSING 363.70095957 ENV)
10. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2016, July 28). Introduction to Master Plan. Retrieved on 2017, July 7 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/master-plan/view-master-plan/Introduction-to-Master-Plan
11. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1999). Urban Redevelopment Authority annual report 1998/99. Singapore: Author, p. 3. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.5957091 URASAR-[AR])
12. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2016, July 28). Introduction to Master Plan. Retrieved on 2017, July 7 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/master-plan/view-master-plan/Introduction-to-Master-Plan
13. Revised master plan: Written statement. (2003). Singapore: Ministry of National Development, Planning Dept., p. i. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
14. Tan, S. (1999). Home, work, play. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 307.1216095957 TAN)
15. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1996). Urban Redevelopment Authority annual report 1995/96. Singapore: Author, p. 3. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.5957091 URASAR-[AR])
16. Cheong-Chua, K. H. (1995). Urban land-use planning in Singapore: Towards a tropical city of excellence. In G. L. Ooi (Ed.), Environment and the city: Sharing Singapore’s experience and future challenges (pp. 102–128). Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies; Times Academic Press, p. 119. (Call no.: RSING 363.70095957 ENV)
17. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1999). Urban Redevelopment Authority annual report 1998/99. Singapore: Author, p. 12. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.5957091 URASAR-[AR])
18. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 17–18, 25. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
19. Wee, L. (1996, February 14). Mapping out land use in S’pore. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Tan, S. (1999). Home, work, play. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, p. 173. (Call no.: RSING 307.1216095957 TAN); Yeo, S. (1994, November 5). Visualise it at the micro level. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
21. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 18–20, 26. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
22. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 18–20, 26. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
23. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 18–20, 26. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
24. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 18–20, 26. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
25. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 18–20, 26. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
26. Shekhu, P. (1998). The making of the new Singapore Master Plan. In B. Yuen (Ed.), Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation (pp. 17–30). Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners, pp. 18–20, 26. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)



The information in this article is valid as at 2008 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Land use--Planning--Singapore
City planning--Singapore
Politics and Government
Urban renewal--Singapore
Law and government>>National development>>Land use