HDB disputes claims that CEO’s remarks could mean Singapore would have 10 million population by 2030

Housing Development Board has disputed claims that comments the group’s chief executive had made at a recent lecture could be taken to mean that Singapore would have a population size of about 10 million in 2030, contrary to the 6.9 million projected by the Government.

HDB’s response is directed at a letter writer who expressed alarm at the population figures presented by HDB CEO Dr Cheong Koon Hean. In her IPS-Nathan lecture, Dr Cheong said that Singapore’s population density would increase from 11,000 people per sq km to 13,700 people per sq km between now and 2030.

The letter writer, Cheang Peng Wah, pointed to Singapore’s land area which is 720 sq km and expressed his unease that the Singapore’s population size could go up to 9,864,000, or nearly 10 million, by 2030 given the chief executive’s projection.

Highlighting that this was not the figure forecast in the Population White Paper of 2013, which projected a population of 6.9 million by 2030, Cheang asked the authorities to explain this new figure on population density and “assure Singaporeans that everything is being planned to prepare for such an eventuality.”

In a letter that was published yesterday, HDB’s Director of Strategic Planning, Jaffrey Aw, clarified that the figures cited by Dr Cheong was on Singapore’s living density and not the nation’s population density.

Aw asserted that it would be “inaccurate” to divine population size from the living density figures presented by Dr Cheong:

“Housing Board chief executive Cheong Koon Hean’s lecture was about how Singapore can anticipate its urban future and develop “liveable density”.
“The figures cited were, hence, on living density, and not population density.
“Living density takes into account only the land available for urban areas, and excludes land used for ports, airports, defence and utilities, among others.
“It would be inaccurate to extrapolate the population size from the living density figure.”

This is, however, not the first time a 10 million population figure has been suggested by a top HDB planner. Dr Liu Thai Ker, former chief executive of HDB made similar comments in 2013, at a forum organised by the Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP) and co-hosted by the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture, on the topic of planning for 2030.

Dr Liu said that Singapore should look beyond 2030 and plan for the year 2100, with 10 million people in it. “The world doesn’t end in 2030, and population growth doesn’t end at 6.9 million,” he said, referring to the planning parameter in the Government’s White Paper on Population.

Dr Liu argued that population growth is necessary for economic growth. He insisted that since Singapore’s land area is essentially fixed, higher density is inevitable. Dr Liu was optimistic that “high density and a better living environment are mutually compatible”. He suggested that by alternating denser and less dense areas, liveability can be preserved with adequate amenities and buffers of greenery.

One National University of Singapore (NUS) study, however, suggests that  localised residential density may not only impact property prices in Singapore, but  may also have unattended negative effects on welfare. The findings of the study said: “land use restrictions such as anti-sprawl measures that increase urban density as a by-product may have unattended negative effects on welfare.”

Did HDB CEO suggest Singapore’s population may rise to 10 million instead of 6.9 million projected by White Paper?

29 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone from the Govt seems to be lying.
    They will openly tell the truth when the population reached 10 million and make the ppl lan lan just like the current HDB assets enhancement scam.

  2. So typical. After fked up alredy then try to change tune. Pls..all the world planners use overall population density to plan for land use. Nobody on the right mind will subtract parks..army training ground…from the equarion. Why ? Coz these are dynamic land set aside and will constantly be changed according to needs. A scew up is a screw up..stop covering with another Scew up.

  3. Another classic case of shifting goal poles, flipping prata and lying with a straight face. Hallmark of the white camp. Instead of giving ambiguous figures just come clean on the population planning isn’t that clearer and easier than beating round the bush??!!!!

  4. She is telling the truth that only the selected pyramid knows. Slip of tongue. Disclosed highly classified info. She should be charged and sent to jail. “Do not pass home, do not collect $200.”

  5. Mah bow tan was the first to moot the idea of a10million population, not that liu thai girl la! That thai girl was just echoing the pap’s plan for 10 million population size. Now that HDB disputes this, and with the removal of paya lebar airbase by 2030, the pap is probably scheming 15 to 20 million !

  6. 我想这是PAP政府想转移人们对6百90万人口的反对声音,它真正的目瞟还是2030年6百90万的人口。现在只不过是让几个人在发表1,000万人口的看法而让人们忘了反对6百90万的声音。

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