By The Straits Times/ANN
From 2,000 new flats that will help keep multi-generational families close, to an elevated "highway" linking the MRT station to a waterfront park, Pasir Ris' coastal charms will become more accessible to more people.
More dining and shopping options are also on the cards, in the form of a new mixed-use development that the Housing Board wants to build next to Pasir Ris MRT station.
These are some of the plans for Pasir Ris announced yesterday by the HDB, as part of the town's rejuvenation.
The upgrading will be the town's first major one since flats were built there 30 years ago.
HDB plans to build 2,000 public housing units adjacent to Pasir Ris Park. The new flats come on top of the town's 29,500 existing stock of public flats.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, unveiled the plans and said the new flats will help cater to the needs of multi-generational families.
He said: "This is important for all of you, because your children grow up, they're settling down and looking to buy a home. I know many of you hope that your children can continue to live close by with you here."
An upgraded town centre is also on the cards, with an improved bus interchange - one that will come equipped with a dedicated pickup and drop-off point for full-time national servicemen undergoing military training on Pulau Tekong.
Another key feature of the upgrading is the 1.2km-long Central Greenway, which will run from Pasir Ris Park, through the town centre, and end near the Tampines Expressway where the existing Costa Ris HDB project is.
A 500m stretch of it will be elevated above ground, allowing residents to get from Pasir Ris MRT station to Pasir Ris Park in just 10 minutes on foot, or five minutes by bicycle. The greenway removes the need for people to stop and wait at traffic lights.
This feature will make Pasir Ris Park, Singapore's only readily accessible coastal public park, even more convenient to get to. Park-goers need only hop on an MRT and take a short walk to get there.
Singapore's other coastal parks include East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Sembawang Park and West Coast Park.
In explaining why the Central Greenway is a feature unique only to Pasir Ris, Dr Chong Fook Loong, HDB group director for research and planning, told The Sunday Times it is because Pasir Ris is the only estate to have its town centre located within 500m of the regional park and coastal beach area.
Costa Ris resident Michelle Leong, 29, said the greenway would make it more convenient for her to take her eight-month-old daughter Megan to the park for outings.
There are other treats in store for the current 110,600 residents of Pasir Ris, including the upgrading of four existing neighbourhood centres and improved neighbourhood parks with more amenities such as new playgrounds, linkways and fitness corners.
The plans for Pasir Ris come under HDB's Remaking Our Heartland programme. Nine towns and estates were identified for renewal, with Pasir Ris rounding up the list. The plans are now on display next to Pasir Ris MRT station for public feedback. A budget has yet to be finalised.
IT professional Daniel Dong, 46, moved from Tampines six years ago as he enjoyed the nature in Pasir Ris. However, he still goes to Tampines to run errands, as there are more malls and amenities, such as banks, there.
He welcomed the enhancements to Pasir Ris. "With the new facilities, I wouldn't have to go to Tampines to run errands any more."