Pasir Ris



Pasir Ris is located in the eastern region of Singapore, and is bounded by Sungei Serangoon, Tampines Expressway, Upper Changi Road North and the Serangoon Harbour. It was originally a low-lying, undeveloped area with kampongs and villages. The beach was a popular venue for water skiing in the 1950s.1 Today, the landmarks in the area include NTUC Downtown East and Pasir Ris Park.2

History

Pasir Ris, which means “white sand” in Malay, describes the stretch of white sandy beach along the northeastern coastline of Singapore.3 The name was conjectured to be a contraction of Pasir Iris, where Pasir means “sand”, and Iris means “to shred”.4 The name was first referenced to a village, Passier Reis, in 1852, where the headman’s son was purportedly killed by a tiger.5

Pasir Ris was originally a low-lying, undeveloped area with kampongs and villages, such as Kampong Pasir Ris, Kampong Bahru and various Chinese kampongs along Elias Road.6 The area was well-known for its many plantation estates, including the Singapore United Plantations, Loh Lam Estate, Hun Yeang Estate and Thai Min Estate.7 The beach was a popular resort for water skiing in the 1950s.8 There was also the Pasir Ris Hotel, venue of many memorable parties and picnic gatherings from the 1950s to the early ’70s.9 In the late ’80s, the government built Pasir Ris New Town, and developed the Costa Sands and Aloha Loyang resorts.10

Key features
Pasir Ris today comprises seven sub-zones, and covers a total area of approximately 1,533 ha.11 The NTUC entertainment hub, Downtown East, is popular with locals. The 14.7-hectare hub boasts eateries, a bowling alley, chalets and several theme parks.12 The popular landmark embarked on a five-year redevelopment project in 2012. The first phase was completed in July 2015 with the opening of D’Resort, Singapore’s “first nature-inspired resort with an integrated waterpark experience”.13 When the second phase is completed in 2017, Downtown East will have a world-class water park, six new attractions, 500 renovated chalets and a 1,000-seat amphitheatre.14

Pasir Ris Park, located off Elias Road, is popular with residents due to its proximity to the beach. The park also contains a six-hectare mangrove forest.15 New projects are planned for Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines in Pasir Ris.16

Density
According to the 1990 population census, an estimated 147,500 people lived in Pasir Ris. Much of the area was undeveloped then, and space was allocated for residential, industrial and recreational uses. The town was envisioned as a coastal residential area with waterfront recreational facilities.17 The first occupants of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats moved into Pasir Ris in 1988.18 By March 2015, the town had 111,000 HDB residents.19

As part of the 2014 East Region Masterplan, the cycling route network in Pasir Ris was slated for expansion to boost sustainable transport. This continuous network of cycling paths will link housing, amenities and work places, as well as provide residents with more transport choices. Cycling routes linking towns and major parks, including Pasir Ris, Tampines and Bedok, were also planned.20



Author

Vernon Cornelius 



References
 
1. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Pasir Ris planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, pp. 5, 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN) 
2. Town by the beach. (2008, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 82. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Housing & Development Board. (2015, October 1). Pasir Ris. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Housing & Development Board website:  http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/pasir-ris
3. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Pasir Ris planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
4. Savage, V., & Yeoh, B. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 290. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
5. Buckley, C. B. (1902). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore. Singapore: Fraser and Neave Limited, p. 565. Retrieved from BookSG.
6. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Pasir Ris planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
7. Town by the beach. (2008, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 82. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Pasir Ris planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
9. Town by the beach. (2008, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 82. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Fact. (2011, June 5). The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Pasir Ris planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
12. Town by the beach. (2008, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 82. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Downtown East. (2016). Refreshing Downtown East. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Downtown East website: https://www.downtowneast.com.sg/events/refreshingdowntowneast#.WEQyJ8u7r4g
14. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2016, July 26). East Region masterplan. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/master-plan/View-Master-Plan/master-plan-2014/master-plan/Regional-highlights/east-region/east-region
15. Housing & Development Board. (2015, October 1). Pasir Ris. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Housing & Development Board website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/pasir-ris
16. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2013). Pasir Ris: Draft masterplan 2013. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/-/media/dmp2013/Planning%20Area%20Brochures/Brochure_PasirRis.pdf?la=en
17. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Pasir Ris planning area: Planning report 1995. Singapore: Author, pp. 10, 14. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN); Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2013). Pasir Ris: Draft masterplan 2013. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/-/media/dmp2013/Planning%20Area%20Brochures/Brochure_PasirRis.pdf?la=en
18. Town by the beach. (2008, September 23). The Straits Times, p. 82. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Housing & Development Board. (2015, October 1). Pasir Ris. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Housing & Development Board website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/pasir-ris
20. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2016, July 26). East Region masterplan. Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/master-plan/View-Master-Plan/master-plan-2014/master-plan/Regional-highlights/east-region/east-region



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 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
Suburbs--Singapore
Recreation>>Places of Interest
Street names--Singapore
Streets and Places
Urbanization--Singapore
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Law and government>>National development>>Land use
Places of interest