the price of urban redevelopment

Running through Tanglin Halt
Open field leading to the Rail Corridor, site of the first wave of demolished housing blocks.

It was bittersweet nostalgia for Loving Husband as we ran through Tanglin Halt which is slotted for major redevelopment: 31 blocks of housing plus the Food Centre & Market will be torn down this year.

Loving Husband spent much of his first 6 years in this neighbourhood: he lived at the Singapore Police Reserve Unit 2 quarters, now known as Special Operations Command. He spent most of the day at Block 60 Tanglin Halt with Mrs Khaw aka Ah Mak, his Teochew nanny, while both his parents were at work.

On the way to Block 60, we wove through exercise stations, playareas and sheltered spaces to sit.

But amidst the relative calm of the morning were reminders that development comes with a price.

As we ran along bits of the Rail Corridor, a green space which is currently undergoing redevelopment, Loving Husband pointed to where the sandpit where he played for the one year he attended Damien Hall Kindergarten, at Blessed Sacrament Church. He remembers how they used to wave at the trains chugging slowly by.

Our conversation then turned to the challenges of juggling conservation and progress. Unfortunately, this Tanglin Halt area as he knew it will cease to exist by the end of this year. It was a refreshing but wistful outing that left us feeling just a little pensive.


This post is my contribution to:

Photos taken on my iPhone on Sunday, 28 Feb 2021.


  1. I love that bench!
    Let’s hope that the new development is done carefully, and feeds back to the environment. I have seen some great new developments around the world, with roof gardens, wall gardens, even virtual roof forests. And I know that Singapore has worked hard to support the environment.


    1. I agree – Singapore has worked very hard to put gardens back into new developments. I just wish we didn’t have to lose so many old trees in the process.


  2. We live in an area where building happens faster than you can blink your proverbial eyes and it makes me sad to see all those open spaces filling up with more and more buildings. True, most of the open areas don’t have much in them, as this is the desert, but they could be made attractive open desert spaces rather than filled with more development.



    1. You see and feel what I do then, Janet! although our landscapes are so vastly different. But I hear you, there is development with profit in mind only, and development with civic interests considered.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Ju-Lyn (PP) for showing me this bit of your home city. The yellow painted bench is lovely. I guess development is necessary everywhere as the population keeps on growing.


  4. njce combo of yellow and ugly
    and you let us be pensive with you in a way that was not too heavy
    -and a top photo was the featured one with the yellow bench and that back city view’


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