6.9 Million Residents in Singapore?The recent government white paper on population, released by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), has created a bit of a stir online. We were quite surprised, however, that there wasn’t a greater response.

Due for parliamentary debate in the coming session on 4 Feb 2013, its most eye-catching statement is that we will have a population of 6.9 million in Singapore by year 2030. Almost half of that figure will be foreigners, including (but not limited to) Permanent Residents, pass and permit holders, domestic workers and students. These 6.9 million will be visiting attractions, patronising eateries, using transportation infrastructure and occupying housing just as the current five million plus residents, like you and me, are currently doing.

Let’s imagine what it will be like, shall we, by the time 2030 comes around. Housing will have to be built closer, smaller or both. Rooms in apartment may well start to approach “shoebox” size, just as they have in Hong Kong. And just as in Hong Kong, apartments will be built even closer to each other, in some cases right across a narrow street, or right next to a bridge. This will reduce livability and will be even less conducive for starting a family. Moreover, the demand for living space will mean fewer open public spaces and communal gardens in residential developments. Even if such spaces increase in absolute size, it is doubtful that they will increase in size per resident.

Personal privacy, both in and out of the home, will suffer as a consequence. Not only will there be less spaces for people to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, there will also be less personal space in the home.

Likewise, infrastructure will also be overloaded, both in your housing as well as out. As buildings grow closer, taller and more dense, shared facilities such as elevators, car parks, barbecue pits and swimming pools will become overloaded, especially during peak periods. Lift lobbies may start to resemble Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations during rush hour currently.

The Parc Condominium, West Coast, SingaporeSpeaking of MRT, public transport will become even more crowded than currently, as our rolling stock and rail network are already stretched near to the limit. This will require even stricter maintenance schedules. It may even be that proximity to an MRT station may no longer be a vaunted feature that people pay a premium of hundreds of thousands dollars for. Imagine crowds of many thousands of people congregating every morning and evening, right at your doorstep of your “premium” property!

It won’t just be public transport either; the road network will suffer even greater strain, with the danger of a traffic gridlock situation looming even greater than ever.

In addition to the practical effects of the difficulties outlined above,  they all have a more intangible social impact as well. The smaller residences, loss of privacy and lack of a conducive environment for relaxing activity, will all lead to an increase in general stress levels and lowered social awareness, as everyone is pushed further into survival mode.

Now, we are the first to admit that all the above are quite subjective, and is more of a qualitative analysis of what might happen. The degree to which it happens is still open to debate, but no one can say that it will never happen. We feel it is only prudent to sound the warning now, especially the in property arena, instead of waiting until the problem is well on its way to becoming reality.

In a following article, we will explore another issue in a more quantitative manner. Keep a lookout on our blog, or follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. You can also leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

Share

  2 Responses to “6.9 Million Population – Part 1, Qualitative Assessment”

  1.  

    The increase in population will only create more problems for the common folks as more competition in all ground. Inflation is definetly be high as demand is high and consumers will be the scapegoat and create high inflation in the area of transport, housing and necessity items for householders. So it depend on how their earning can match the high inflation.

  2.  

    On one hand the cooling measure came out strong and then come the population grow before the cooling measure take place. What does the Govt want to tell the public ?

 Leave a Comment

(required)

(required)