Covid-19 has changed how we live, work, socialise and play beyond anyone's contemplation. Climate change is posing different challenges in tandem to complicate the equation. Clearly, Singapore will need game-changing ideas to maintain its lead for the future.
We need to re-think our entire strategy from masterplan to development guidelines to infrastructure planning and operational strategy. These need to factor in the lessons learnt from the pandemic which conceivably is here to stay for some time.
One thing is clear – our living style will need to change and technology will be an inherent part of our lives and systems. A single office-only CBD would be a reminiscence of the past.
We should think in terms of multiple decentralised CBDs, offering all types of buildings - including mixed-use office, residential, hotels, entertainment, F&B and retail - to make it self-contained and 24/7 vibrant. This will inherently reduce traffic, optimise energy use (with different peak loads mix) and indeed facilitate a more efficient working environment.
This will require higher plot ratios, much taller buildings and centralised services over the entire CBD. This will facilitate operations and maintenance and minimise disruptions. ''Rome was not built in one day'', but we can lay the groundwork, for the future.