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Travel to Singapore: Singapore Modern: Photo 12

world pictures Singapore: Singapore Modern

Fortunately for Singapore, the British had bequeathed to their successor 44% of the island's land; moreover, the Land Acquisition Act of 1966 permitted compulsory acquisition of land needed for any public purpose--with compensation calculated without regard to the development value of the land.

Land was available for more construction, and apartments grew larger, too: in 1971, for example, 5-room apartments were introduced. New towns were established: settlements like Clementi, Bedok, and Woodlands, each with housing for 200,000 people. Rather than create Stalinesque monstrosities, the government began experimenting in the 1980s with pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, and tall windows. The results don't compare with the luxurious private housing in neighborhoods like Bukit Timah or Katon, but they're impressive. Here, starting with this picture, is a tour at Boon Lay, near the industrial center of Jurong, at the southwest corner of the island. There are other such regional centers, too, including Woodlands, Tampines, and Seletar.

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