Town Planning Review

Re-examining the retail hierarchy in Singapore: Are the town centres and neighbourhood centres sustainable?

Town Planning Review (2002), 73, (1), 63–81.

Abstract

Singapore's retail hierarchy is similar to the traditional hierarchical retail structure of cities in the United Kingdom. The retail hierarchy consists of downtown/Orchard Road, regional centre, town centre and neighbourhood centre, interspersed with numerous private suburban shopping centres. From the mid-1980s, growing affluence and increased mobility of the residents led to the decline of the neighbourhood centres. This is aggravated by the recent development of a regional centre. This paper re-examines Singapore's retail hierarchy and assesses the sustainability of the town centres and neighbourhood centres. The findings show that the town centres have the potential to be healthy centres but many of the neighbourhood centres lack vitality and are no longer viable as retail locations. The analysis indicates that Singapore's present retail hierarchy may not be viable in the longer term, and the functional roles of the different centres have to be rationalised.

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Details

Author details

Sim, Loo-Lee

Yu, Shi-Ming

Malone-Lee, Lai-Choo