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1991 Concept Plan is unveiled Sep 1991

The 1991 Concept Plan is Singapore’s second concept plan, the country’s strategic land use and transportation plan. Unveiled in September 1991 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the 1991 Concept Plan came at a time that was very different compared to when its predecessor, the 1971 Concept Plan, was formulated.[1] Many problems associated with the colonial era such as housing and unemployment had already been effectively ironed out and the country was on the verge of reaching developed status with one of the strongest economies and highest GDP per capita in Asia.[2] With this change in socio-economic status, the vision of the 1991 Concept Plan was to turn Singapore into a Tropical City of Excellence that would balance work, play, culture and commerce by Year X beyond 2010.[3]

To realise this higher quality of living environment, the Concept Plan contained a number of key proposals, one of which was a “Green Blue Plan” to establish a connected network of parks, natural green spaces and waterways to create more leisure and recreational opportunities for the people.[4] The Concept Plan also proposed for more conservation efforts to safeguard Singapore’s built heritage in the city centre, as well as measures to promote arts and culture.[5] In an effort to meet the needs of changing economic infrastructure and facilitate the growth of high-technology industries, the Concept Plan called for the creation of technological corridors made up of business parks, science parks and academic institutions. These corridors were designed to provide researchers with integrated working, living and leisure environments. By situating them near existing tertiary institutions, the corridors aimed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and innovation among researchers at all levels.[6] Besides technological corridors, the Concept Plan also put forth the establishment of a new downtown to be located in Marina South in a bid to expand the business district.[7]

With regard to the country’s housing requirements, the 1991 Concept Plan proposed the development of 10 new satellite towns to accommodate a population that was projected to reach 3.23 million by the year 2000.[8] The Concept Plan also revised the “Ring Plan” of the earlier 1971 Concept Plan to a “Constellation Plan”.  Based on a policy of decentralisation, the aim of the revised concept plan was to “fan” commercial centres out to the heartlands so that jobs could be brought closer to homes and congestion in the city centre alleviated.[9] The 1991 Concept Plan also called for the development of regional and sub-regional commercial centres, which would be served by expressways and a mass rapid transport system.[10] This led to the eventual development of the Woodlands, Tampines and Jurong East regional centres in the northern, eastern and western parts of Singapore respectively.[11]

1. Leong,C. T. (1991, September 12). Blueprint for a city of diversity and grace. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Urban Redevelopment Authority (1991). Living the next lap: Towards a tropical city of excellence, p. 9. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority. Call no.: RSING 307.36095957 LIV.
3. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, pp. 4–7.
4. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, pp. 28–31.
5. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, pp. 22–27.
6. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, p. 21.
7. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, pp. 17, 20.
8. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, p. 11.
9. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, pp. 18–19.
10. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, p. 20.
11. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1991, p. 14; Urban Redevelopment Authority (2014, July 24). Concept Plan 1991. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from Urban Redevelopment Authority website: http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/concept-plan.aspx?p1=View-Concept-Plan&p2=Concept-Plan1991


The information in this article is valid as at 2014 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.

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