Development guide plan
Development guide plans, or DGPs, are detailed land-use plans that were 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. Together, the 55 DGPs formed the overall Master Plan 1998, which was gazetted on 22 January 1999.
DGPs were first mooted in 1987 as a tool to review the Master Plan 1985 systematically and comprehensively. The preparation of a new Master Plan through the process of drawing up DGPs for every part of Singapore reflected a major shift in thinking. While the Master Plan 1985 was primarily a document recording the changes that had already taken place since the preceding Master Plan was published, the formulation of the DGPs required the 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.
The 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. 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. Previously, one could only guess.
After a major review of the Concept Plan was completed in 1991, the URA set about preparing the DGPs to turn the vision of the Concept Plan into reality. The five planning regions marked out in the Concept Plan were subdivided into 55 planning areas, each with its own DGP. After all 55 DGPs were completed, they formed the Master Plan 1998, which was gazetted on 22 January 1999 to replace the 1985 version.
The subsequent Master Plan reviews in 2003 and 2008 took a different approach. Instead of 55 DGPs, detailed land-use plans were drawn up for each of the five planning regions. Today, these planning regions are still subdivided into the 55 DGP areas for planning purposes, but the term "development guide plan" is strictly used to refer to the plans that formed the Master Plan 1998.
DGPs are detailed land-use plans that were produced by the URA between 1993 and 1998 to shape Singapore's physical development over the short to medium term. Each DGP covered one of the 55 planning areas of Singapore. The DGP laid down the planning objectives for the area that it covered and specified the land-use zoning (e.g., residential, commercial, recreation), development intensity (i.e., the ratio of built-up area to site area) and building height that were allowed for individual plots of land within that area.
The DGPs were micro-level Master Plans, forming the second tier in Singapore's land-use planning framework. At the strategic level, the Concept Plan provides the overall vision and broad directions that will guide development over the long term (40 to 50 years). At the local level, the Master Plan provides the detailed planning parameters that will shape actual development. The Master Plan 1998 was essentially a compilation of 55 DGPs.
The DGP Process
On average, each DGP took about two years to complete. The process could be broken down into six stages.
Stage 1: Data collection
Data is collected to understand the planning area.
Stage 2: Data analysis
The data collected is analysed to assess the area's strengths and weaknesses and to establish the planning objectives and strategies for the area.
Stage 3: Outline Plan
An Outline Plan is prepared, detailing the planning control guidelines such as land-use zoning. For selected DGPs, exhibitions and dialogue sessions are held on the Outline Plan to gather feedback from developers, industry organisations and members of the public.
Stage 4: Draft Master Plan
The Outline Plan is refined into a Draft Master Plan. Any useful feedback that was gathered earlier is incorporated.
Stage 5: Statutory exhibition
A public exhibition of the Draft Master Plan is held to allow the public to lodge any objections. As a statutory requirement under the Planning Act, the Master Plan exhibition must be held for a minimum of two weeks.
Stage 6: Statutory Master Plan
The Draft Master Plan is revised after all objections from the public have been evaluated. The finalised Master Plan or DGP is gazetted to replace the existing Master Plan for the area that it covers.
Jul - Dec 1993 : Statutory exhibitions were held on the DGPs for Kallang, Simpang, Bukit Timah and Bukit Merah.
Mar - Nov 1994 : Statutory exhibitions were held on the DGPs for Bedok, River Valley, Queenstown, Changi, Orchard, Tanglin, Geylang, Marine Parade, Newton, Rochor, Singapore River and Bishan.
Jan - Nov 1995 : Statutory exhibitions were held on the DGPs for Toa Payoh, Novena, Jurong East, Hougang, Serangoon, Bukit Panjang, Outram, the existing Downtown Core, Pasir Ris and Tampines.
Jan - Dec 1996 : Statutory exhibitions were held on the DGPs for Yishun, Bukit Batok, Tuas, Paya Lebar, Southern Islands, Choa Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Clementi, Sembawang, Boon Lay, Pioneer and Jurong West.
Feb - Nov 1997 : Statutory exhibitions were held on the DGPs for Sengkang, Mandai, Changi Bay, Marina East, Seletar, the Museum, Woodlands, Sungei Kadut, Central Water Catchment, Lim Chu Kang, North Eastern Islands, Tengah, Western Islands, Western Water Catchment, the Downtown Core extension (comprising the Central and Bayfront subzones), Marina South and Straits View.
Jul 1998 : Statutory exhibition was held on the Punggol DGP.
22 Jan 1999 : Master Plan 1998 was gazetted.
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. 109-128). Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies; Times Academic Press.
(Call no.: RSING 363.70095957 ENV)
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.
(Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 PLA)
Tan, S. (1999). Home, work, play. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority.
(Call no.: RSING 307.1216095957 TAN)
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Urban Redevelopment Authority Annual Report 1993/94 [Microfilm: NL 26815]. Singapore: Author.
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Downtown Core (part) planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RSING 711.49095957 SIN)
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Urban Redevelopment Authority Annual Report 1994/95 [Microfilm: NL 26815]. Singapore: Author.
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1996). Urban Redevelopment Authority Annual Report 1995/96 [Microfilm: NL 26816]. Singapore: Author.
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1997). Downtown Core (Central and Bayfront subzones), Straits View and Marina South planning areas: Planning report 1997. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1997). Urban Redevelopment Authority Annual Report 1996/97 [Microfilm: NL 26816]. Singapore: Author.
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1998). Urban Redevelopment Authority Annual Report 1997/98 [Microfilm: NL 26816]. Singapore: Author.
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1999). Urban Redevelopment Authority Annual Report 1998/99 [Microfilm: NL 26816]. Singapore: Author.
Wee, L. (1996, February 14). Mapping out land use in Singapore. The Straits Times. Retrieved on February 1, 2011, from NewspaperSG.
Yeo, S. (1994, November 5). Visualise it at the micro level. The Straits Times. Retrieved September 10, 2008, from Factiva database.
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2008, September 12). Planning areas. Retrieved September 12, 2008, from http://www.ura.gov.sg/student/planning_areas.htm
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.