Sengkang often flies under the radar when it comes to Singapore’s best residential options. The more you look into it, the more surprising that is, and there are undoubtedly many residents hoping it remains that way. Geographically speaking, Sengkang is situated in the North East Region, sandwiched between Seletar and Punggol to the north and Hougang and Serangoon to the south while Pasir Ris and Paya Lebar, and Yishun and Ang Mo Kio lie to the east and west respectively.
The area has a rich history, predominantly based around its position on both the Sungai Serangoon and Sungei Punggol (the Serangoon and Punggol Rivers), and the name Sengkang is actually Chinese for “prosperous harbour”. Now, the area is set for largescale redevelopment, but its past is not being forgotten, quite the opposite in fact with several of its neighbourhoods having a marine theme, and the project itself has been subtitled the Town of the Seafarer.
Sengkang’s new role as a modern residential town, is a relatively recent undertaking. Before the mid 1990’s the only residential development being a group of low rise blocks along Punggol Road, built to house resettled pig farmers. To show that some things never change in Singapore, these were subsequently demolished in 2005 to make way for high rise blocks. It was in 1994, however when the story of Sengkang took a giant step forward. A 10-strong design team from the HDB were tasked with coming up with plans for a new town in the area. One of the first things they did was to divide the region into 6 neighbourhoods. Over the years this became the 7 that we are familiar with today. As mentioned, 3 hark back to the area’s roots – Rivervale, Compassvale and Anchorvale, with the others being Fernvale, Senkang West, Lorong Halus North and Sengkang Town Centre. Its connection with the water is also mirrored in the design of its public housing, which incorporate a triple storey pilotis effect, a nod to the stilts common in fishing villages.
Another key feature of Sengkang are not simply the rivers themselves but the way they are used, virtue of green connectors along their banks, to connect to places within the area itself and also to other nearby green areas such as Coney Island and Punggol Park. It was also the first new satellite town on the island to have its HDB’s built hand in hand with its public transport structure, an idea that has since become the government’s preferred method for all future urban developments.
The area is well connected in terms of transport making travel to all other areas of Singapore relatively quick and pain free. With regards to the road network, the TPE, SLE, CTE and KPE all start/end there or travel through it. Sengkang MRT Station and Buangkok are both on the North East Line, while the Sengkang LRT links residents throughout the area to the town centre via its East and West Loops. There are also many bus routes that serve the area including both Sengkang Interchange and the newly opened Compassvale Bus Interchange.