A Look at Tengah, the Bishan-sized New Town That Has ‘No Cars’

Last Updated on 2020-02-19 , 2:59 pm

With Singapore’s population shooting through the roof, the demand for housing estates has similarly followed suit. However, that’s not really a good thing, seeing how the supply isn’t doing the same thing. Thankfully, HDB has done us all a great favour by imposing an all-new HDB Estate in Singapore. Meet Tengah, the Bishan-sized New Town that everyone’s excited for (because new flats, yo).

Image: HDB

Sprawling over 700ha, the new Tengah estate will feature the country’s first car-free town centre, as well as a healthy dose of nature.


Infrastructure work is due to commence early next year. The first line of Tengah HDB flats is expected to kick-start from 2018.

Projected to be fully developed over two decades, the town could consist of up to 42,000 new homes, with public housing taking up more than 70 percent of the units.

How big will it be?

The Tengah estate, which has been called the “Forest Town”, will be around three quarters the size of Punggol.

The town will consist of five housing districts: Plantation, Park, Garden, Brickland and Forest Hill. Each will be designed to be in tune with a part of the town’s identity.

Image: TODAYonline

How will the design be like?

As an example, the Plantation District, the first to be constructed, will have a community farm way going through its housing precincts.

Image: TODAYonline

It has room for community gardening and urban farming, and activities such as sales of organic produce could also be planned there.

Hold on… isn’t Tengah a military base or something?

For all the Army kakis, you’ve probably heard of Tengah Airbase.

And you’re right; Tengah has been used as a military training ground since villagers there were relocated in the 80s and 90s.

Yet at the same time, this might also sound kinda weird to some of you. How exactly will a military-themed land host an entire Town Centre?

Well, it’s certainly do-able, according to the Ministry of Defence.

“Military training in the area will be adjusted accordingly in line with the HDB’s Masterplan for Tengah,” it added.

But hey, if you take it the positive way…

Tengah will be the safest town in Singapore.

Although it still wouldn’t matter a single notch if someone decides to dump an entire atomic bomb on us.

Not size-shaming here; just stating the cold, hard truth.

How will the town be like?

For one, it will be a town “that would be sensitively integrated with the ecosystems surrounding it”.

Image: TODAYonline

“Taking into consideration the surroundings, topography and watercourses, the plan is to recreate a forest corridor that runs through the town in an East-West direction,” HDB said. “Where it makes sense to integrate with the town greenery, we could retain some existing vegetation.”

So yeah, you can expect it to be pretty… green.

For two, there will be a 100m-wide, 5km-long Forest Corridor that will make up part of the broader network of greenery connecting the Western Catchment Area and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

A continual stretch of lush greenery will also complement the town’s periphery.

For three, a new 20ha Central Park will lie right at the heart of the town.

Image: TODAYonline

Apart from an amphitheatre, the park will also be fused with water bodies to present a picturesque space for recreation.

Image: TODAYonline

Last but definitely not least, Tengah will be Singapore’s first car-free HDB town centre (this is in line with the Government’s efforts to induce people to reduce overall car usage). However, it will only be implemented when the town hits critical mass.

Image: TODAYonline

Roads and vehicles will operate beneath the town centre.

I don’t know about you, but that’s futuristic-sounding stuff there.

More living and recreational options

On another note, Tengah is ready to offer “more living and recreational options for those working in the 600ha Jurong Innovation District, with its first phase slated for completion around 2022.”

If you’re wondering why Tengah is being such a kaypoh, it’s because the district lands partially within the town’s boundaries.

So Tengah has no choice but to give a bit of welfare lo.

Anyways, I’m pretty excited for the upcoming HDB estate. No, not because I’m queuing for a flat.

Rather, it’s pretty simple: I’m just one of them Singaporeans, you know.

I get excited for new stuff.

Even though technically…

I won’t be a part of it.