Supporting Singapore’s public housing with geographic insights


Supporting Singapore’s public housing with geographic insights

For over 55 years, Singapore’s public housing authority, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) has provided affordable quality public housing to generations of Singaporeans. Part of HDB’s efforts include planning and developing vibrant and sustainable towns, building homes and transforming the living environment to provide an active and cohesive community for all, while providing commercial, recreational, and social amenities in the towns to meet the growing needs of the residents.

HDB has leveraged new technologies to improve the way it plans and designs its towns, precincts and buildings. With the use of good planning tools, HDB towns and estates can be made more liveable, efficient and sustainable for residents.

One example is the new application developed by HDB called iPLAN (Integrated PLanning & ANalysis), with the use of Esri’s Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

What is iPLAN?

iPLAN is a map-centric application designed to integrate spatial and textual data to provide interactive map queries and visualisation for town planning and analysis, and underpins HDB’s critical urban planning and design work areas.

An interactive web application developed using the ArcGIS JavaScript API and other web libraries, iPLAN interacts seamlessly with Map Servers, Feature Servers, Geocode Server and Geometry Server in the ArcGIS for Server to visualise, filter, select and locate spatial features. The ArcGIS capabilities helps in performing real-time complex spatial relationships to filter and retrieve spatial data dynamically from the ArcGIS for Server and data from the databases.

What does iPLAN do?

iPLAN plays an integral role in facilitating the planning of HDB towns and estates– acting as a crucial decision-making platform that helps HDB make informed choices and better assess the wide-reaching impact of their planning initiatives. The application allows users to map and explore different layers of geospatial data to analyse existing, under construction and proposed town developments and facilities island-wide or within a certain boundary. It also provides HDB’s planners and architects with intuitive and effective access to up-to-date information, without the need to search through different data sources.

Prior to the implementation of iPLAN, a large part of planning work involved the manual gathering of inputs and past records before they were translated into plans for visualisation and analysis. With the implementation of iPLAN, the manual process has been reduced and streamlined. Data is now updated regularly in iPLAN. Planners are able to integrate data from different geospatial data layers by overlaying them. They can also generate aggregated statistics and charts in iPLAN at the touch of a button. Planners are better equipped to understand the site context and synthesise urban solutions.

Moving forward, HDB plans to further develop the features within iPLAN to enhance town planning capabilities, to better anticipate and respond to future needs of the community.

Supporting Singapore’s public housing with geographic insights