Jurong - “ulu” no more
Image adapted from: National Technological University Facebook
As the neighbourhood situated on Singapore’s western end, Jurong’s been the butt of many ulu jokes. But as the area’s being developed into Singapore’s second CBD, called the Jurong Lake District (JLD), all our jokes about the butt-cramp inducing MRT rides there will soon be things of the past.
That’s ‘cause exciting stuff, like driverless buses, 90-hectare national gardens and the High-Speed Rail terminus have been lined up for Jurong. But a closer look reveals the former industrial estate’s less sleepy than you’d think - even right now. Here’s what you can do when you journey to the West:
1. Whizz along on dedicated cycling paths
Cycling from place to place, with wind in your hair and sun in your eyes sounds like a pretty idyllic plan. That is - until you need to work ‘em muscles pedalling upslope, carrying your bike down flights of stairs, and meandering past pedestrians.
That’s why the newest cycling path network in the Jurong Lake District and around it is such a game changer for cyclists. With this 15km-long path, zipping from Jurong East, Chinese Garden, and Lakeside on 2 wheels has never been more convenient.
P.S. As part of the efforts to make JLD car-lite, you can look forward to 39km of cycling paths in the future for you to zip around on bikes or scooters!
2. Rearrange furniture at Singapore’s first “smart” void deck
We’ve heard of smartphones, smart TVs, and smartwatches - but this smart void deck at Block 224 Jurong East Street 21’s a first.
A project by design firm COLOURS: Collectively Ours, it’s got built-in smart lighting panels that that can detect different furniture layouts.It will immediately respond by changing the lighting and ambience of the area.
For instance: arrange the furniture into a study room layout, and the bluish light scheme will be activated to get you more alert as you mug away.
3. Book a staycay at the West’s first hotel
Image credit: Resorts World Sentosa
Good news for all Westies: you won’t need to make a trip down to the city for your next staycay, ‘cos you can have one right in the comfort of your ‘hood.
Check yourself into the West’s first hotel, Genting Hotel Jurong - a swanky 15-storey hotel within walking distance of Jem, JCube, and Westgate.
Image credit: Soph Leow
When it comes to filling your waking hours, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Soak in spectacular views at the sky lounge, take a dip in the rooftop swimming pool - or indulge in retail therapy at one of Jurong’s 3 malls.
Image credit: Resorts World Sentosa
Psst, plans are underway for even more waterfront alfresco dining spots, so there’ll be more spots in Jurong than ever before to just sit back and relax.
Address: Genting Hotel Jurong, 2 Town Hall Link, Singapore 608516
Telephone: : 6577 8899
4. Check out eco-friendly hospitals with unique architecture
Image credit: deciBel
Major props to the brains behind Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH)’s design. Those wave-like structures you see aren’t just aesthetic. It means every patient can enjoy a window full of lush greenery, abundant natural light and well-ventilated rooms - all the better to speed up recovery!
The hospital is also eco-green.Think using solar energy to power its hot water supply, and NEWater for its air-conditioning cooling towers!
Address: Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, 1 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 60960
Telephone: 6716 2000
5. Take a symmetrical shot for your IG at the J Link walkway
This walkway links JCube to the shops at Jurong Gateway, and along the 270-metre path, snag some shots for your feed with the intriguing structures along the way. These are circular, wave-like and even resemble movie reels!
After posing, peer at the panels to learn about Jurong’s rich history. Did you know that the estate used to host Asia’s largest drive-in cinema, for instance?
6. Learn how to farm with residents
Image credit: Housing and Development Board
Residents of typical neighbourhoods gather at void decks or coffee shops. Not the aunties and uncles of Jurong - you’ll find them at one of 3 hobby farming gardens in Yuhua estate.
All gardens are lovingly maintained by residents, who use recyclable materials as planting receptacles and soya bean/coffee waste as fertiliser!
Find these hobby farming zones at Block 217, Block 223A, and Block 232 Jurong East Street 21.
7. Treat the needy to a cup of kopi/tea at the kopitiam
Image credit: Fatboo
While a cup of kopi and teh at the kopitiam might be a standard breakfast affair for most of us, there are needy residents who feel the pinch of this $1.10. That’s why the Pay It Forward Scheme’s great news for them.
At Jurong’s BEST coffee shop and NTI food court, these lower-income residents can redeem free cups of coffee or tea as a treat from other customers. All they need to do is present a special card of eligibility!
BEST Coffee Shop
Address: BEST Coffee Shop, Block 959, Jurong West Street 92, Singapore 640959
NTI Food Court
Address: NTI Food Court, Block 964 Jurong West Street 93, #01-340, Singapore 640964
Telephone: 6792 5123
8. Stay ahead of the curve with energy and labour-saving features
Jurong’s on its way to becoming an energy-efficient neighbourhood, with green efforts already in place in Yuhu estate.
The lighted chutes show the path of the waste as it gets transported to the centralised bin.
Yuhua’s Pneumatic Waste Conveyance system uses air suction to transport household waste via underground pipes to a Centralised Bin Centre. This saves the manpower needed for manual waste collection.
We’ll soon see similar green efforts acros JLD, including a district cooling system that’ll provide air-conditioning to all Jurong residents through vents. No more hefty aircon compressors outside your home!
9. Jog or cycle around the Jurong Lake Gardens
2018 isn’t just the year Deadpool 2 will be released - it’s also when Jurong Lake Gardens West opens to the public.
Image credit: NParks
A beautiful Jurong Lake Gardens is in the works - this first phase will see a meandering boardwalk and floating wetlands that’ll bring visitors close to the lake. After a long day’s work, it’ll be perfect for a relaxing stroll or a more vigorous jog.
Look forward to a moon lantern terrace and hanging bonsai terrace, among others, when the rest of the gardens open in 2020!
Image credit: URA
Fun fact: In addition to the Jurong Lake Gardens, there’ll also be 16 hectares of new parks of open spaces to be added in JLD’s overall plan, bringing the total amount to over a mindblowing 100 hectares - aka 100 football fields.
10. Call for a driverless bus to pick you up
Driverless bus named Arma. Image credit: National Technological University Facebook
We’ve heard of driverless cars and taxis. Next on the cards: driverless buses. One such bus is being piloted in NTU now, and they may be available on-demand in Jurong in the near future. Just call for them at bus stops, and they’ll react in real-time to pick you up.
The buses don’t need to follow prescribed bus routes, which means they’ll always take the most efficient route to get you to your destination.
Travelling past 28923173 bus stops before your stop - that’ll soon be a thing of the past.
A Jurong that has upped its game in more ways than one
Gone are the days when Jurong meant boring. With the upcoming plans of JLD, it’s well on track to becoming the second CBD. And if you’d like to be in on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s plans for JLD, get a peek at the JLD Master Plan Exhibition from 8 to 17 September!
Get a glimpse at the future JLD with augmented reality! Image credit: URA
Check out the proposed new High-Speed Rail terminus where you’ll be whisked to Kuala Lumpur directly in a 90-minute ride, or learn about JLD’s upcoming public transit corridors that’s a big step to making Singapore a car-lite city.
These “public transport only” zones are well planned that you can walk to a park, bus, MRT station or shop within just five minutes! Image credit: KCAP/SAA/Arup/S333/Lekker
Considering that the area will bring 20,000 new homes and 100,000 new jobs, it’s best to stay ahead of the curve and get to know this second CBD a whole lot better.
Besides, admission to the exhibition is FREE and it’s conveniently located in Westgate Mall. So, even if you’re a far Eastie, this is one preview that’ll be worth your travelling time!
Jurong Lake District Master Plan Exhibition
Address: Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, Singapore 608532
Date: 8 to 17 Sept 2017
Opening Hours: 10.30am - 8.30pm
Telephone: 6908 3737
This post was brought to you by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.