Marine Parade



Marine Parade has the distinction of being the first housing estate built entirely on reclaimed land.1 Sited in the east of Singapore, Marine Parade has a wide array of social amenities and recreational facilities, including the beaches on the east coast of the island.2 As of March 2014, there are 7,863 flats and 23,300 residents staying in the housing estate.3

Area before reclamation
Before land reclamation extended the reach of Marine Parade, the area was originally part of Katong and a promenade.4 Private houses dotted the beachfront, while the public areas were popular with swimmers and picnickers who patronised the hawker food stalls there.5 Religious organisations also held a range of recreational and societal activities in the area such as open-air church services and meetings of Buddhist groups.6

After the Japanese Occupation, the beach was in poor condition, with unexploded Japanese shells and rubbish floats affecting the shoreline.7 The British army carried out regular clean-up efforts, and politicians like independent city councillor J. M. Jumabhoy began calling for the development of a promenade and facilities like changing rooms for the public.8

In 1952, there was a dispute between the colonial government and the city council as to who was responsible for the repair of a seawall at Marine Parade that had deteriorated to such an extent that a nearby road was in danger of collapsing into the sea.9 After the dispute was resolved, the city council was allocated S$318,000 to repair the seawall and develop Marine Parade as a seaside promenade complete with changing room facilities, walkway, lifeguard posts and refreshment stalls.10

Land reclamation
As part of a multi-phase project, land reclamation works began at Marine Parade in 1966.11 Hills at Bedok and Siglap were levelled for their earth, 20,000 cubic metres of which were moved via conveyor belt to the sea each day.12 Sand was also sourced from abroad and by 1970, some 405 hectares of land had been added to the coastline.13

The reclamation project featured one of the first large-scale uses of artificial headland breakwaters anywhere in the world.14 These breakwaters mimicked natural formations of bays along coastlines, and created headlands between which beaches formed.15 This method was simpler and less expensive than the traditional utilisation of sea walls to protect reclaimed land from wave action and beach erosion.16

By 1985, 1,525 hectares of land including the recreational beachfront of the East Coast had been added to the coastline, enlarging it by some 18 kilometres.17 The reclamation works cost around S$613 million.18 The costs were considered so prohibitive for public housing use that in 2006, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade, ruled out the prospect of another public housing estate created entirely from reclaimed land.19

Estate development
In 1971, the government unveiled its development plan for the East Coast area, which included Marine Parade.20 The plan included the construction of an expressway, known today as East Coast Parkway, to connect Marine Parade and the other housing estates along the East Coast coastline to the city.21 Public amenities as well as commercial and recreational areas were also zoned to inject vibrancy into the East Coast estates.22

By the end of 1973, the Housing Development Board (HDB) had completed the first phase of the estate development.23 The flats were of the two, three, four and five-room varieties, numbering 6,000 units, and a market, shops and offices were also constructed.24 The second phase of the project would add more commercial and community facilities, including more shops, schools hawker centres, a post office, library and additional public housing.25


The first flats at Marine Parade estate were opened for balloting in 1974.26 Three-room units were priced at S$13,500, four-room at S$20,500, and five-room at S$35,500.27 By 1976, the estate was completed at a cost of S$124.79 million.28 There were a total of 57 blocks of 8,015 flats and 99 shops, alongside office spaces, recreational and community facilities across 42 hectares, accommodating around 40,000 residents.29

By the 1980s, Marine Parade was regarded as one of the most desirable places to live due to its seafront, recreational and commercial facilities and ambience.30 This was reflected by rising prices for resale flats in the area – three-room units which cost S$13,500 originally had risen to around S$50,000 in 1988 and over S$165,000 in 1996.31 In 1992, Marine Parade became the first estate in Singapore to undergo the Main Upgrading Programme, the government’s scheme to upgrade ageing estates.32

Politics
The Marine Parade constituency was created in 1976, and Goh Chok Tong, the former Prime Minister of Singapore, has been its Member of Parliament since then.33 In 1988, the town was incorporated into the Marine Parade Group Representative Constituency (GRC), together with Geylang Serai, and Joo Chiat.34 Currently, the Marine Parade GRC is made up of Marine Parade, Braddell Heights, Geylang Serai, Kembangan–Chai Chee, and Joo Chiat.35



Author

Alvin Chua



References
1. Housing Development Board. (n.d.). Marine Parade. Retrieved 2016, March 15, from Housing Development Board website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/marine-parade&rendermode=preview
2. Housing Development Board. (n.d.). Marine Parade. Retrieved 2016, March 15, from Housing Development Board website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/marine-parade&rendermode=preview
3. Housing Development Board. (n.d.). Marine Parade. Retrieved 2016, March 15, from Housing Development Board website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/marine-parade&rendermode=preview
4. Housing Development Board. (n.d.). Marine Parade. Retrieved 2016, March 15, from Housing Development Board website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/marine-parade&rendermode=preview
5. Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, pp. 5-8. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM)
6. Open-air service. (1949, October 30). The Straits Times, p. 3; Buddhists meet. (1949, January 20). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Off-shore arms dump grows and grows. (1956, May 20). The Straits Times, p. 11; Dirt on parade. (1961, September 17). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Off-shore arms dump grows and grows. (1956, May 20). The Straits Times, p. 11; Marine Parade dispute is over. (1952, June 20). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Council, govt deadlock over sea wall. (1952, February 8). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Marine Parade dispute is over. (1952, June 20). The Straits Times, p. 7; A better Marine Parade by May. (1955, January 8). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, p. 1. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM)
12. Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, p. 1. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM)
13. Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, p. 14. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM)
14. Making our beaches to order… (1974, September 24). The Straits Times, p, 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Making our beaches to order… (1974, September 24). The Straits Times, p, 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Making our beaches to order… (1974, September 24). The Straits Times, p, 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, p. 1. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM); The great land reclamation at East Coast. (1983, November 11). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. The great land reclamation at East Coast. (1983, November 11). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Why there will never be another Marine Parade. (2006, November 18). The New Paper, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Campbell, W. (1971, August 8). Where 100,000 will live and play on reclaimed East CoastThe Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. Campbell, W. (1971, August 8). Where 100,000 will live and play on reclaimed East CoastThe Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Campbell, W. (1971, August 8). Where 100,000 will live and play on reclaimed East CoastThe Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
23. Marine Parade Estate ready by year end. (1973, August 30). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
24. Marine Parade Estate ready by year end. (1973, August 30). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
25. Marine Parade Estate ready by year end. (1973, August 30). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
26. 400 HDB flats for ballot. (1974, April 5). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
27. Speaker at ballot for 894 flats. (1974, May 31). The Straits Times, p. 8; Marine Parade flats ballot. (1976, January 13). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
28. Marine Parade Estate project will be completed next year. (1975, January 8). The Straits Times, p. 6; HDB spent over $2b since start in 1960. (1978, March 8). The Straits Times, p. 15. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
29. Marine Parade Estate project will be completed next year. (1975, January 8). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
30. Gracious but affordable living in Marine Parade. (1988, March 3). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
31. Gracious but affordable living in Marine Parade. (1988, March 3). The Straits Times, p. 18; Page 27 Advertisements Column 6. (1988, March 3). The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
32. Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, p. 39. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM)
33. 4 more seats in the House. (1976, July 19). New Nation, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Lim, C. (2006). Marine Parade: Community by the seaSingapore: Marine Parade Citizens’ Consultative Committee, p. 42. (Call no.: RSING 307.76095957 LIM); Marine Parade Town Council. (n.d.). Our MPs. Retrieved from Marine Parade Town Council 2016, March 15, from Marine Parade Town Council website: http://www.mptc.org.sg/index.php/webabout/our_mps_new
34. Loh, H. Y. (1988, June 15). Why boundaries have to be redrawn. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
35. Community Development Council. (2015). Information on the five districts. Retrieved 2016, April 27, from Community Development Council website at: https://www.cdc.org.sg/About-CDC/Information-on-the-Five-Districts



Further resources
Campbell, W. (1971, August 8). Where 100,000 will live and play on reclaimed East CoastThe Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Chok Tong recalls boyhood days. (1984, October 11). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

East Coast property prices one of the highest. (1983, November 14). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Holiday habit changes. (1948, March 21). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


Lim, L. Y. (1996). Marine Parade Town Council. Singapore: National University of Singapore.
(Call no.: RSING 307.095957 LIM)

Loh, H. Y. (1988, June 15). Why boundaries have to be redrawn. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Marine Parade Estate will be completed next year. (1975, March 2). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Marine Parade may be seaside park. (1951, August 31). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Marine Parade Town Council. (n.d.). Our MPs. Retrieved from Marine Parade Town Council 2016, March 15 from Marine Parade Town Council website: http://www.mptc.org.sg/index.php/webabout/our_mps_new

Singapore to get new promenade. (1954, March 22). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Teo, E. (2006, November 18). Seaside town with laid-back atmosphere. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 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
Street names--Singapore
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Residential Buildings
Streets and Places
Reclamation of land--Singapore
Arts>>Architecture>>Residential buildings
Residential buildings
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places