Straits Times: URA has bold ideas to balance development, conservation: PM

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) new blueprint for the country has "bold ideas" to balance development with conservation and green space, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post yesterday.

 "How to allow new development, while protecting space for green living and conservation on our little island, is a constant challenge," he wrote.

 "Urban Redevelopment Authority's team has come up with bold ideas to strike a good balance, and improve our quality of life."

 Among the plans he highlighted were more jobs closer to people's homes, 90 per cent of households living within 400m of parks and 700km of cycling routes integrated with the public transport network.

 He invited readers to read National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan's blog post yesterday on the same subject.

 Mr Khaw wrote that the response to the Draft Master Plan 2013 has been "very encouraging", with 20,000 people visiting the exhibition at the URA Centre in its first week.

 The plan guides land use over the next 10 to 15 years, with revisions every five years.

 URA is seeking feedback on proposals such as community-friendly, fenceless residential precincts with fewer cars, planning of cycling routes, shaping public spaces and developing the Southern Waterfront area.

 Mr Khaw added that the cycling community has been sharing ideas with URA and is excited about the plans to promote cycling as a green mode of transport.

 "There has also been positive feedback on our plans to enhance the Civic District into a pedestrian-friendly precinct," he said.

 Besides the exhibition, the plans are also detailed online at Mr Khaw noted that there have been close to 250,000 unique visitors to the website.