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Singapore’s HDB leverages GIS for land use planning

Nurdianah Md Nur | July 14, 2016
Enabled by GIS, iPLAN captures data within a single system to allow HDB’s planners and architects to retrieve development inputs instantly.

Bukit Ho Swee public housing estates
Public housing estates around the Bukit Ho Swee area. Credit: Nurdianah Md Nur.

Since land-use planning is vital in a land-scarce Singapore, the republic's Housing & Development Board (HDB) has leveraged Geographic Information System (GIS) technology in its Integrated Planning and Analysis system (iPLAN) to better plan the design and development of housing estates.

Prior to using iPLAN, planning inputs used to be gathered through email consultations and past records before they were translated into plans for visualisation and analysis.

To counter this, iPLAN  captures data within a single system to enable HDB's planners and architects to retrieve development inputs instantly, which translates to time savings and efficiency gains.

Users are also able to map and explore different layers of geospatial data to analyse existing and proposed town developments and facilities within a certain area.

To further utilise iPLAN, HDB plans to further develop the features within iPLAN to enhance town planning capabilities, to better anticipate and respond to future needs of the community.

In recognition for the innovative use of GIS technology to solve real-world challenges, HDB was recently awarded a Special Achievement in GIS award by global mapping giant Esri.

Commenting on its win, HDB's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean said, "This award is an affirmation of our efforts to adopt more innovative approaches, which will improve the quality of our planning in a more productive way.  We will continue to improve our planning capabilities, and tap on innovative technologies to create more well-designed, sustainable and community-centric towns for our residents."


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