The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) oversees Singapore's land use and is the country's national planning authority. Their mission is 'to make Singapore a great city to live, work and play in' (Urban Redevelopment Authority, 2012). They aim to make Singapore a sustainable city by carefully planning Singapore's physical development as well as ensure that the country has sufficient land to meet long term population. Using formulating strategic plan like Concept and Master Plan, URA have turned Singapore into one of the most dynamic country which provide high standard of living for her citizens.
Roles of URA
The Urban Redevelopment Authority plays a major role in the development and planning of Singapore land use. The roles of URA are highly needed as without it, there will be no proper planning of land use to ensure the dynamic of the city. The planning process starts with Concept Plan follow by Master Plan. When planning, URA take into account the increasing population, the dynamic of the country in term of changing lifestyle so as to remain sustainable in the long term.
Concept plan is a long-term plan which focuses on ensuring that there will be adequate land use for the future generation, economic growth as well as to provide good living environment (Urban Redevelopment Authority, 2012). The plan is used to guide the development in the next 40 to 50 years and the plan is being reviewed every ten years. Different from Concept plan, Master plan focuses on development in the short term of 10 to 15 years and the plan is being reviewed every five years. Master plan is generally a breakdown of concept plan into fine details which use to guide the development.
In addition to planning, there are also other roles which URA takes on such as being the main government land sales agent where they are able to draw in the private capital investment. Attracting these group of people allow URA to develop sites to support the social and economic development (Urban Redevlopment Authority, 2010). In addition, URA also oversees the development of Marina Bay and is their development agency.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority has been working towards their goal and objectives of creating a great city to live work and play in. They want to provide their citizens with a good living environment as well as making Singapore an attractive destination for businesses and investments. Another main objective of URA is to ensure that there is a balance between economic growth and quality living environment (Urban Redevlopment Authority, 2010).
Planning for tourism development is crucial as it can prevent unforeseen circumstances in the long run such as physical and human impacts. Planning also ensure that there is a balance between area for work, business and tourism which is in line with their objective. In order to improve Singapore's landscape, URA has to work closely with all relevant partners from the public and private sectors such as Singapore Tourism Board (STB) (Chan, 2012). In addition, URA also went an extra mile to walk every single street in order to understand the country's structure and draw up the blueprint of the country.
Over the years, there are many notable changes that URA have done such as Marina Bay and Clarke Quay area. Marina Bay was first reclaimed in the 1970s. Urban planners see the potential in developing the site as one of the attraction hub where there are both businesses and attractions for local and tourists (Planning, 2008). Today, Marina Bay have become one of the main focal point in Singapore with attractions, residential developments, financial centre, garden city and much more. Clarke Quay conservation project was done back in 1993 and the area is now a popular district with entertainments, food & beverages, shopping near the river for both tourists and locals (Clarke Quay Pedestrian Mall, 2003).
Singapore Tourism Development...
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