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Softer, progressive approach towards urban redevelopment needed: Senior Minister Puthucheary

The Singapore government needs to shift its approach towards urban redevelopment and land acquisition from a "very aggressive" one to a "softer" and more "progressive one, according to Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Janil Puthucheary.

Speaking at a dialogue session on designing and structuring future cities at the World Economic Forum on the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Hanoi on Wednesday (12 Sep), Dr Puthucheary said much of the effort towards urban redevelopment is being channelled into the southern area of Singapore, where S$20 billion will be used to enhance the public transport system, as “people will continue to want to go to Orchard Road and Marina Bay”.

He said: “Going forward, realistically, we need to take a softer, and much more incremental, progressive approach, and diffuse some of these (renewal) opportunities across various parts of Singapore."

Citing the issue of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), Dr Puthucheary maintained that the pricing of roads was structured and implemented correctly.

As a result of the heavy maintenance costs that is involved in car ownership due to taxation and other upkeep costs such as fuel, private car ownership has observed a drop from 46 per cent in 2012 to 39 per cent in 2016 in spite of population growth, according to Dr Puthucheary.

He revealed that in a bid to "encourage Singaporeans to walk, cycle and use public transport," the Government will be setting up "multiple centres in every town, 'walkable' access to facilities and amenities, and distribution of businesses and business opportunities," to facilitate Singaporeans' commute to and from their workplaces.