Ang Mo Kio



Ang Mo Kio is located in the northeastern region of Singapore.1 The name Ang Mo Kio in Hokkien literally translates to “red-haired man’s bridge”.2

History
Ang Mo Kio was largely uninhabited throughout the 19th century. Settlers were attracted to the area around the turn of the century, as a result of the rubber boom.3 In the old maps of Singapore, much of the area now known as Ang Mo Kio was labelled as Ang Mo Kio Forest Reserve, and featured many plantation estates.4 The name Ang Mo Kio in Hokkien literally translates to “red-haired man’s bridge”, where ang mo is a colloquial term for a Caucasian person. The maps showed John Turnbull Thomson’s bridge over the Kallang River, near what is now the junction of Upper Thomson Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1. With the clearing of the land, several villages sprung up, which eventually became known as Ang Mo Kio.5


Immigrant Chinese, mostly Hokkiens, were engaged in rubber-planting and tapping, and where Ang Mo Kio New Town now stands was once a huge rubber plantation. The 1922 and 1932 world slump in rubber prices made many tappers and labourers turn to pig and poultry farming or market gardening. During World War II when Singapore was occupied by the Japanese, more people moved to Ang Mo Kio to take up farming.6

The development of Ang Mo Kio New Town began in 1973 and was completed in 1980.7 The 29-hectare self-contained town centre was built over an elongated valley formerly occupied by squatters.8 It had commercial offices, as well as cultural and community facilities serving at least 174,770 residents.9 In less than a decade, Ang Mo Kio had become a well-planned new town.10

Key features
The design of Ang Mo Kio won the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Outstanding Buildings Award in 1983. The swimming complex at Avenue 1 also won the 1986 SIA Architectural Award for its unique “tetrahedral skylight” design. The first town to be designed in metric dimensions, it was the seventh housing estate town developed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).11 Two mass rapid transit (MRT) train stations, Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio, and a nearby bus-interchange, make travel to and from this location very convenient.12



Author

Vernon Cornelius



References 
1. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore). (1996). Ang Mo Kio planning area: Planning report 1996. Singapore: Author, p. 4. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
2. Brazil, D. (1991). Street smart: Singapore. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BRA-[HIS]) 
3. Yeoh, B., & Kong, L. (Eds.). (1995). Portraits of places: History, community and identity in Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 165. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 POR-[HIS])
4. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore). (1996). Ang Mo Kio planning area: Planning report 1996. Singapore: Author, p. 9. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
5. Brazil, D. (1991). Street smart: Singapore. Singapore: Times Books International, pp. 148–149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BRA-[HIS]); Yeoh, B., & Kong, L. (Eds.). (1995). Portraits of places: History, community and identity in Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 165. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 POR-[HIS]) 
6. Yeoh, B., & Kong, L. (Eds.). (1995). Portraits of places: History, community and identity in Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 165. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 POR-[HIS])
7. Yeoh, B., & Kong, L. (Eds.). (1995). Portraits of places: History, community and identity in Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 164. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 POR-[HIS])
8. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore). (1996). Ang Mo Kio planning area: Planning report 1996. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN); Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 46. (Call no.: RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
9. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore). (1996). Ang Mo Kio planning area: Planning report 1996. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN); Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade & Industry, Republic of Singapore. (2015, September). Popular trends, 2015, p. 58. Retrieved 2016, August 24 from Department of Statistics website:

http://www.singstat.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/publications/publications_and_papers/population_and_population_structure/population2015.pdf
10. Yeoh, B., & Kong, L. (Eds.). (1995). Portraits of places: History, community and identity in Singapore. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 176. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 POR-[HIS])
11. Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore). (1996). Ang Mo Kio planning area: Planning report 1996. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
12. MRT work in Ang Mo Kio. (1985, August 16). The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 1999 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
Arts>>Architecture>>Residential buildings
Urbanization--Singapore
Streets and Places
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings