A master plan for the new Punggol Digital District was revealed on 21 January 2018. The 50 hectares land in Punggol North will be transformed into the heart of digital and cyber-security industries. The district is expected to create 28,000 jobs in different sectors in the digital economy when it’s open progressively from 2023.
The new district will be home to a new array of amenities, education centres, commercial and industrial estates as well as a new car-free Heritage Trail. With this exciting project, combined with current developments at Punggol, running at Punggol will not be equal to running at an ulu place anymore.
The new amenities for Punggol residents will include:
- A new hawker centre equipped with electronic payment technology and an automated tray return system.
- New childcare centres located near the heritage trail to allow children to explore outdoor gardens.
- A “hub parking” system in which all carparks in the district are connected underground, and a pneumatic waste-conveyance system that will tap an underground pipe network to transport waste at high speed into enclosed containers.
- A centralised logistics hub, served by a network of robots or autonomous vehicles that will speed up the drop-off and delivery of goods in the district.
The existing Punggol Road will be transformed into a 1.3km pedestrian road called the Heritage Trail. This 1.3km green link will connect Punggol Waterway Park to the Punggol Digital District and the upcoming residential district at Punggol Point. All the trees along Punggol Road will be conserved to retain the area’s topography.
Runners can soon add this heritage trail in their running route, on top of the nearby Punggol Waterway Park, Punggol Promenade Nature Walk and Coney Island.
University and Business Park
PDD will be home the new Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) campus as well as a JTC business park – with both organisations able to mix and share spaces. An 800m pedestrian street, called the Campus Boulevard, will connect SIT campus and JTC business park, featuring retail and dining options on top of other facilities.
Runners who study at SIT or work at the business park will have plenty of running trails at their doorstep.
PDD will have various public-transport options, including the new Punggol Coast MRT Station along the North-East Line extension, which is expected to be completed by 2023, and a bus interchange below the business park.
To support environmentally-friendly commuting options in the car-lite district, there will be autonomous vehicles, storage racks, showers, changing rooms and lockers for people who live and work nearby. In simple terms, the community can use an autonomous vehicle, walk, cycle or even scoot to their daily destinations.
Punggol residents who work or study in Punggol Digital District can save the time required for commuting. Residents from other parts of Singapore can access Punggol district easily with these new transportation facilities.
The authorities will employ a range of infrastructure and technology aimed at optimising land use and energy and cutting the development’s carbon footprint. For example, SIT’s new campus will be powered by a micro-grid that integrates gas, electricity and thermal energy into a smart network. The network also taps into renewable energy, such as solar. Any excess energy produced going back to the main grid to support the district in times of need. Also, there will be a district cooling system to provide air-conditioning and space heating with a minimised carbon footprint.
Other possible technologies that could be implemented include cameras that detect, classify and count personal mobility devices — such as hoverboards and electric scooters — in public spaces like cycling paths and walkways, as well as environmental sensors that monitor air quality and noise.
The exhibition of the district’s masterplan at Waterway Point will be opened to the public until 28 January 2018 and will move to the URA Centre on Maxwell Road from 3 to 15 February 2018.
Who says running in Punggol is boring?