History About Tampines
Tampines is a residential and a planning area situated on the south-eastern coast of the East Region of Singapore. Tampines borders Pasir Ris to the north, Paya Lebar and Bedok to the west, Singapore Straits to the south, and Changi to the east. Tampines New Town is found in the northern part of Tampines planning area.
In terms of size, Tampines town ranks 3rd in Singapore occupying more than 2089 hectares. It also comes at position 3 as the most populated town after Bedok and Jurong West. The town is also home to Tampines Regional Centre for the eastern region.
Previously, the Tampines area was occupied by swamp, forest and sand quarries. The forest majorly consisted of Iron Wood trees, referred to as tempinisin Malay. Some part of the area was used as military training grounds until around 1987. The sand mined in the area was used in the development of HDB towns. Due to the high demand for the construction material, the number of sand quarries increased to 26.
The Jackson and Franklin map of 1828, was among the first to record the name of the area ‘Tampines’. The name is derived from Sungei Tampines, that owes its name to tempinistrees that used to occupy the area.
Connecting Tampines is Tampines Road whose construction started in 1847 as a tract for pedestrians and horses. Tampines Road started from the 6th milestone of Serangoon Road running to Changi Road. The early kampong dwellers established settlements along the road. Some of the early villages included Teck Hock Village, Kampong Teban, Kampong Tampines and Hun Yeang Village.
At the beginning of the 1900s, most parts of Tampines were covered with rubber plantation. Some of the plantation estates that existed in the area include Hun Yeang and Teo Tek Ho. Tampines was also a producer of sand for a long period through its sand quarries.
Development of Tampines new town began in 1978. The construction of Neighborhoods 1 and 2 ended in 1983 and 1987 since they were given a priority. The construction of Neighborhoods 8 and 9 began in 1985 and 1989. Neighbourhood 5 followed and its construction ended in 1989 alongside Tampines Town Centre. In 1986 and 1988, Neighborhood 4 and new Tampines North Division became completed. Tampines Town expanded into 4 areas, Tampines West, Tampines North, Tampines Changkat and Tampines East divisions.
The use of better construction methods fastened the development of Tampines’ infrastructure. The town was also developed using advanced designs, and more attractive colours and beautiful finishing, unlike the earlier public housing units. To achieve a unique urban design, the Town Centre was engineered with an hourglass shape. Before handing over the management of the town in 1991 to Tampines Town Council, the Housing and Development Board managed it. The transfer of management enabled the town to be managed by residents and local leaders.
Following the developments in Tampines, the United Nations through the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) named Tampines as a World Habitat. It was awarded after it was chosen as a representative of Singapore’s planned community because of its remarkable contribution to human settlement and development.
In 1991, Tampines town was made the first Regional Centre in Singapore. The idea by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of designating regional centres was to encourage growth in the suburban areas. Consequently, big corporations started establishing their business in Tampines marking another phase of the town’s development. The concept also opened the way for the construction of big shopping malls in Tampines like Tampines Mall and Century Square.
Today, Tampines is among the most attractive areas in Singapore for property investors despite being among the oldest regional centres in the island. The towns attract a large population and feature multiple shopping malls. It serves as a major commercial hub that is connected to the CBD. Tampines Central is home to branches of various businesses including Citibank, UOB, DBS, and OCBC and financial institutions like NTUC Income and AIA. It is also well connected with roads and MRT lines.