Singapore uses GIS to master land use planning07/09/2010
With more than five million citizens and limited land area, Singapore faces unique urban design challenges.
Because of this, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) – Singapore's national land use planning and conservation agency – is required to find smart design solutions that guarantee the island has enough space to meet its needs.
To ensure positive future development and economic growth, the URA prepares long-term strategic plans – as well as detailed local area plans – for physical development, then coordinates and guides efforts, in collaboration with the community, to make these plans a reality.
The URA underpins this approach with geodesign, and has implemented an enterprise-wide Geographic Information System (GIS) solution to establish their Integrated Planning and Land Use System (iPLAN).
Operational since 2006, iPLAN was one of the world’s first nationwide enterprise GIS systems for urban planning.
Now, the solution serves as the authority’s central information repository, featuring more than 100 layers of information on areas such as planning constraints, buildings, roads, developments, approvals and land use information.
Using iPLAN, more than 200 URA staff can easily store, search and retrieve information relating to Singapore’s urban planning and development – allowing them to analyse the data to support their decision-making.
iPLAN also strengthens the URA’s Concept Plan and Master Plan – two major programs of work formulated to assist the nation’s strategic development.
The Concept Plan is Singapore's land use and transportation development guide for the next 40-to-50 years. It aims to ensure there is sufficient land to meet anticipated population and economic growth projections.
Conversely, the land use Master Plan guides Singapore's development over the next ten-to-15 years – translating the Concept Plan’s long-term strategies into more detailed, short-term plans that inform Singapore's immediate development.
iPLAN has played an important role in making the city’s Master Plan available to Singapore citizens via an online public-facing website.
Ensuring quick and easy access to the Master Plan, iPLAN allows members of the community to participate in the land use planning process – also providing them with insight into future city and suburban developments.
Moving forward, the URA will continue to use GIS technology to support the city’s development activities.
With geodesign, the Singapore’s government believes it is possible for its land-scarce nation to continue meeting development and economic objectives, without sacrificing quality of life.