The Chinatown Experience

Singapore’s Chinatown originated from the unique needs and circumstances of its time period. With time, those requirements have evolved and changed over time, and will continue to evolve. The Chinatown of old cannot be recreated, nor should it. But its spirit could and should be recalled and revitalised in a new enhanced Chinatown.

The master plan explored what the old Chinatown’s uniqueness was, examined the present challenges and opportunities, and offered a vision for Chinatown’s future. It aimed to make people want to spend their time there, whether they live there or simply visiting.

Chinatown, Singapore
Category Mixed-use, Urban Regeneration
Year 1997
Size -
Recalling the Past; Conserving the Present; and Enhancing the Future

In order to be the lively bustling hub that it ought to be in both day and night, a few strategies were proposed. One of the strategies was to create focal points which could concentrate and focus attention on recalling the Chinatown’s spirit. The major focal point would be in Kreta Ayer, the geographical heart and entertainment hub of Chinatown. On the streets, visitors were drawn into the Chinatown experience though individual streets in Kreta Ayer with different themes developed from the existing trades and traditions of the street.

Chinatown could not thrive on visitors alone. Drawing people back is another important strategy to ensure its liveliness and vibrancy. The injection of new life was proposed through injecting residential living, street hawking and crowd-pulling calendar of events developed specially for Chinatown.

Specialist Services

Integrated services provided for this project.