Car-Lite Precinct Property The Next Generation

car-lite precinct

We humans have a limited time on earth and yet alarmingly, we waste this priceless resource. Furthermore, the snail-paced bumper to bumper procession of hooting autos leads to wastage of our creative work hours and escalates carbon emissions.

Although jams in Singapore, are not as rampant as elsewhere, commuting homeowners have a lot to worry about. Why?

Singapore is a car-heavy society: meaning we love cars. In fact, owning a vehicle means you are achieving the Five Cs of Singapore, which include: Cash, Car, Credit, Card, Condominium, and Country Club Membership.

As a consequence of increased auto ownership, there are close to 1,000,000 vehicles in the nation. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) statistics indicate that as of 2016, the number of registered vehicles (both cars and commercial) was 956,430 – as derived independently. It is obvious that congestion may become common as more Singaporeans purchase vehicles.

Keep in mind that that population of the population of Singapore is growing. Approximately, 6.5-6.9 million people may be living in Singapore by 2030. Our love affair with vehicles and increasing masses, with contribute to more jams, right?

Car Growth Trend Analysis

In spite of the exorbitant costs of buying and maintaining a car in Singapore, as we have seen, owning one is almost a must. What is the status of car growth in the past six years?

Based on statistics from Land Transport Authority (LTA), vehicles in Singapore have increased between 2004 and 2013 from 727,395 to 974,170.

2014 saw the first dip in Singapore’s total vehicles at a figure of 972,037.

For 2015 and 2016 the total number of registered and deregistered vehicles for both years was:

2015 new vehicle registered 86,068
2016 new vehicle registered 118,791

2015 de-registered 100,859
2016 de-registered 119,607

Due to missing statistics for both years, it is necessary to calculate the final value for 2015 and 2016:

2015 972,037 + 86,068 – 100,859 = 957,246
2016 957,246 + 118,791 – 119,607 = 956,430

So based on the LTA website for total registered & de-registered vehicle in Singapore till date as of 2016 we have a total of 956,430 vehicles.

table of total vehicle in singapore
Table of total vehicle in Singapore

From the data, an interesting trend to note is the consistent reduction in the number of vehicles since 2013.

Various events seem to have caused this unforeseen reduction. First, the introduction of disruptive P2P transport technologies like Uber and Grab, secondly, the government’s initiative to promote a car-lite city.

Introduction of Disruptive Technologies

Uber officially entered the Singapore market in 2013, alongside the public transport systems and taxis. It was its first country in Asia, a reflection of the tech-savvy nature of the republic.

Although there was a well-established taxi system, through customer service and convenience, Uber has grown by leaps and bounds. Now there are tens of thousands of drivers throughout the city serving customers numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

Grab, a ride-hailing platform operating similar to Uber, also launched in Singapore in 2013. Since then, the number of private-hire vehicles has grown. However, we can argue that the ascent of these technologies has impacted the demand for cars. They offer both convenience and range of prices. Also, they have made it easy for people to use public systems. For instance, in 2016 about 21% of Uber trips ended near MRT stations.

Government Initiative to Promote Car-Lite

Singapore is fast growing, thus putting pressure on the scarce resources. Currently, the total land size is only 89.2 Sq. Km and roads have taken a sizable 12 percent. Land set aside for housing is surprisingly 14 percent. The government is responding to the scarcity by encouraging residents to walk, cycle and use public transport.

In 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed a 15-year Sustainable Blueprint with an allocated budget of $1.5 billion. It was in line with reducing the dependency on cars and favouring better modes of transport such as buses and trains. For instance, while most car owners’ travel alone; one bus can take about 70 people. For trains, the number is higher thus making public transport sustainable.

By 2030 the government plans to have about 360km of rail set out. New lines have been proposed in the Jurong Region, Downtown, North East and Cross Island. The present lines will also be extended. In a meeting on 8 Mar 2017, the Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan stated that they aim to have 8 in 10 stations 10minutes’ walk away. In addition, he expressed wishes to do away with cars with diesel engines.

Implications of Initiatives to Promote Car-Lite

Pollution

With the number of trips made using public transport systems expected to reach 85% the traffic is expected to reduce. Each year one car emits about 6 tons of greenhouse gases, and with close to one million vehicles in the city, the impact on Singapore’s environment is huge. The government and citizens wish to sustain the natural beauty for future generations.

Land Scarcity

With less traffic, there will be less demand to construct new roads. Thus, land can be utilised for income generation activities such as tourism and housing. Simply ignoring the car growth will further worsen the city’s traffic problems.

Effective Movement of the Population

Singapore’s population will grow consistently into the future from today’s 5.6 million to above 6 million by 2020. Of course, there will be more pressure on the city’s infrastructure, social amenities, and housing. The government is responding by reclaiming areas such as Kallang and turning then to lifestyle centres. It is easier to add to create the capability of the railway system than expanding the roads.

Sustainable and Pleasant Spaces

With surging populaces and congestions, Singapore may lose its appeal both to residents and tourists. Sustainable cities ensure the health of its citizens, and comfort, which is an aim of the 15-year Sustainable Blueprint. The country’s measures are in line with the philosophy that reduced cars mean reliable cities because of reduced pollution and noise.

How This Will Affect People Looking to Buy a Property in Future

In a future where the use of cars is openly discouraged, Singapore will hopefully become greener. However, the reliance on the MRT would increase. These factors and more will change the approach taken by people when purchasing a home in new launch condominium.

Inevitably, customers would need to buy properties in areas close an MRT station. The government aims to make MRT stations, about 10 minutes away from eight to ten people. With an emphasis on healthy living, citizens would opt for residences located near scenic parks. Here they would get the chance to relax and unwind.

Some buyers will feel the need to live as a possible to the city. Closer the proximity, more options for transport. For instance, a distance of two or three kilometres would allow for walking, biking or even jogging to work.

Fast and easy access to recreational spaces will play a role in the final decision to buy. The proximity of other amenities such as restaurant and supermarkets is sure to impact the buys decision. An area with a lot of facilities would promote settlements as a consequence.

Home buyers may favour car-lite friendly areas. An example of such a space is the Kallang Riverside development. The approach is first to make the neighbourhood comfortable to the pedestrian. It is accomplished through the construction of paths, underpasses, and MRT stations near mixed-use developments. Also, the paths are being sheltered to keep cyclists and pedestrians from the elements.

Keep in mind that much of the government efforts are to protect the pristine beauty of Singapore. Plans to reduce overdependence on vehicles are further aimed to make the city liveable.

Kallang Riverside a Freehold Development

As per the goals of creating a liveable city and anticipating the growing population the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) plans to recover spaces along Kallang River into a lifestyle centre. Currently, about 800,000 people live within two kilometres of the river. By utilising land previously left inhabited, URA hopes to create 100,000 houses in the coming 20 years.

Hype on Kallang Riverside a new development, which will be the first car-lite friendly neighbourhood in Singapore. The area is about 17.4 in ha, bounded by the Kallang Road, Crawford Street, and Kallang River. Previously, Minister Lawrence Wong proposed granting the tender to one master developer instead on of a plot basis.

Despite the exciting developments, some years back, the river was neglected. It played a less role in the lives of citizens. However, current developments aim to make it possible for residents to jog, walk and cycle along the river, which originates from Lower Peirce Reservoir. All through, the paths will be created spanning from the source, through the Gardens by the Bay and the CBD.

The government has proposed the establishment of a cyclist’s bride the crosses the Pan Island Expressway. It will aim to make it safe and comfortable for jogger and cyclists to cross the busy PIE. Currently, all cyclists have to use an overhead bridge made for pedestrians. Besides the cyclist bridge, plans are underway to build underpasses across Upper Boon Keng Rd and Kallang Bahru Rd.

Ultimately, the URA aims to turn the once predominantly Industrial Estate into a mixed-use, car-lite friendly neighbourhood with an intricate system of paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

References: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/master-plan/view-master-plan/master-plan-2014/master-plan/key-focuses/transport/transport

Why Live in the Neighbourhood?

Spectacular views patiently await buyers in the upcoming parts of Kallang Riverside. The time to invest is now, due to the growing population and pressure on the available land. Sure, buyers will not fail to enjoy the 360 views of the winding Kallang River, which leads to the Marina Reservoir?

From your high rise apartment in the new launch condominium, you will see the happenings of the city including the waterfronts, iconic city buildings, excellent skyline, and parks. Getting to the heart of the city would take you only five minutes. The Orchard Road by car is just 10minutes away.

On a neighbourhood stroll, you will find yourself at the Sports Hub. For entertainments, food, and beverages would also take a few minutes. Furthermore, the Kallang Wave is just close by. If you are an investor, this development in the coming will transform the area. Only growth and potential await buyers.

On development, you will find both dining and retail options. Thus, you don’t have to leave the new launch condominium.

Hype on Kallang Riverside merely is set for the future. Much of the government’s plans might materialise by 2020. At this moment, you will already enjoy the offerings of Kallang Riverside. Rest assure that the area is already car-lite friendly with all the amenities of the future.

Bottom Line

Heading out to the future, Singapore is on a commendable track. Japan is a country in the region that has emphasised the importance of the public transport system. In fact, even the upper middle class use public transport. From 2018, the government is reducing the allowable car growth to 2018.

New buildings are being advised to use less space for parking. Other developments like the North-South Expressway, designed with dedicated cycling paths and express bus lanes, serves to reaffirm the firm commitment of the government. For adults, it is going to be hard to abandon the car, but kids can be taught to use and trust the public transport system.

When looking for property, keep this trend in mind. Soon the walkway, proximity of residential buildings to public transport system is only that will matter.

At, Kallang Riverside, end your search for somewhere to live. It is an oasis in the middle of the busy country, complete with all the comfort you might need.

James Yang

James Yang

Associate Division Director at Huttons Asia Pte Ltd
James identifies the latest property trends to bring the most relevant advice to his clients.
James Yang