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New Bidadari estate to promote car-lite culture

SINGAPORE — Taking its green theme a step further, the soon-to-be-launched Bidadari estate will incorporate cycling routes, and bike- and car-sharing schemes to encourage a “car-lite” living environment, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said.

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SINGAPORE — Taking its green theme a step further, the soon-to-be-launched Bidadari estate will incorporate cycling routes, and bike- and car-sharing schemes to encourage a “car-lite” living environment, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said.

Among the first 2,139 flats in Bidadari that will be launched as part of a mega sales exercise happening within these two weeks, more than half (1,229) are four-room flats. There will be 567 three-room units, 192 flats offered under the new two-room flexi scheme, as well as 151 five-room units.

These will be spread across three developments — Alkaff CourtView, Alkaff LakeView and Alkaff Vista — with blocks ranging from six to 17 storeys. They will be completed from the third quarter of 2019 to 2020. This Alkaff district — named after the well-known Arab family that opened a magnificent garden in the area — is the largest of four districts planned for Bidadari, which will eventually have 11,000 units.

During a media briefing on Friday (Nov 13), the HDB said bike-sharing schemes have been factored into planning the new estate, which is envisioned to be a “community in a garden” that will feature a 10ha park accompanied by a lake. Space has been set aside for bike-sharing facilities that will be located at convenient spots.

There will also be a 1.6km-long cycling and pedestrian track to get around the estate, to encourage residents to use their cars less. There are also plans to connect the 1.8km-long park connector in the estate to other park connectors or parks.

Despite being a former cemetery, Bidadari has been tipped by property analysts to see hot demand because of its prime location — the estate is bounded by Bartley Road, Sennett Estate, Upper Serangoon Road and Mount Vernon Road. Three MRT stations flank the area — Woodleigh, Potong Pasir and Bartley — and an underground bus interchange will be built in the estate.

Analysts said pricing, which will only be revealed during the sales exercise, will be closely watched by prospective buyers.

Chief executive of Century 21 Ku Swee Yong thinks prices could be high, given hefty investments in infrastructure such as the underground bus interchange and lush green features, on top of the central location and extensive public transport network.

Noting that the majority of the first batch of flats are three- and four-room units, Mr Ku said this suggests the HDB is targeting more first-timers and younger families. Younger families, who might be younger and childless, may have less reliance on cars as well, he said.

Transport consultant Gopinath Menon said proposing a car-lite concept for the estate from the start will help families come round to the idea more easily. “From Day One ... they see a lot of other (transport) options and don’t get too attached to a car, so they start changing their behaviour right from the beginning rather being persuaded to do so later,” he said, adding that cutting the number of parking spaces is a further step the authorities could take to nudge buyers away from using their cars.

Professor Lee Der-Horng from the National University of Singapore said the quality of alternative transport options will be key for whether Bidadari becomes a successful prototype of future car-lite housing areas. “Bidadari as a new estate opens up a brand new opportunity to really inject car-lite right from the start,” he said.

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