Updates to the Lighting Incentive Scheme for Developments in the Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Centre

  Published: 06 May 2013
Circular No : URA/PB/2013/04-CUDG
Fax : 6220 3201


Who Should Know:
Architects, lighting designers, building owners and developers

Effective Date:
With effect from 29 July 2012 and to remain valid until 31 March 2015


  1. The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA1) Night Lighting Master Plan was released in 2006 and has successfully guided the lighting up of developments within the Central Business District (CBD), Marina Centre and Marina Bay to create a unique, three-dimensional nightscape for Singapore’s city centre (see Appendix 1 for the Master Plan boundary).
  2. URA, in conjunction with the release of the Night Lighting Master Plan, also released the Guidelines for the Lighting Incentive Scheme for Developments in the Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Centre in March 2006 to incentivise both new and existing developments to provide external night lighting.
  3. These guidelines were subsequently updated on 29 April 2009 and 8 Nov 2011, to recognise and differentiate between Basic and Special Night Lighting. The revised guidelines provided a clearer definition of the types of lighting fixtures which can be considered under the incentive scheme.
  4. The response to the Night Lighting Master Plan has been encouraging with majority of the key developments fronting the Marina Bay now lit according to the lighting guidelines and contributing to the night time skyline of the CBD when viewed from Marina Bay. This signature night view has helped Singapore to stand out from other global cities and has been used in marketing efforts to promote Singapore.
  5. Stakeholders (e.g. developers) and industry experts (e.g. QPs and design professionals) have given feedback that the Incentive Scheme has helped to defray the capital cost of installing external (architectural) lighting and aided in the earlier realisation of the Night Lighting Master Plan. URA has also received feedback that the GFA Incentive Scheme has led to the over-lighting of some buildings in the CBD and should be discontinued. 
  6. Having taken the stakeholders’ views and the current state of the light up for the buildings in the city into consideration, the night lighting guidelines have been revised to ensure they remain relevant (see Appendix 2).

Latest guidelines

  1. Although a large number of developments within the CBD are already lit, there are still a few existing buildings fronting Marina Bay that are poorly lit and could benefit from some additional external night lighting. Given that these few buildings are unlikely to undergo redevelopment in the near future, URA will extend the validity of the Cash Grant incentive scheme for another 2 years to expire on 31 March 2015, to encourage these few remaining developments to integrate night lighting into their existing development and to participate in the lighting up of the city.
  2. Given the abuse of the Scheme to subsidise the over-lighting of the buildings, URA will not be extending the validity of the GFA Incentive Scheme.
  3. This Circular supersedes the earlier circular released on 8 Nov 2011 (Circular No.: URA/PB/2011/13-CUDG) which lapsed on 29 July 2012.
  4. Lighting designers are encouraged to continue to refer to the Night Lighting website at http://www.ura.gov.sg/lightingplan/guidelines.htm when preparing night lighting proposals for individual developments.
  5. Developers of new developments and redevelopment projects, and owners of existing developments undertaking major Addition and Alteration works who do not apply for the incentive are still required to comply with the requirements and guidelines for night lighting of their developments as set out in URA’s Night Lighting Master Plan, Circular No.: URA/PB/2009/08-CUDG, dated 29 April 2009. These requirements include the provision of night lighting and hours of operation.

How Can You Benefit?

  1. The Cash Grant is applicable to building owners of existing buildings that either front Marina Bay or form part of the city skyline seen from the Marina Bay area and who intend to install night lighting without undertaking major Addition and Alterations works to their buildings.
  2. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this Circular to the relevant members of your organisation. If you or your members have any queries concerning this Circular, please do not hesitate to contact Senior Architect Bernard Chan at Tel: 6321 8243 (email: Bernard_Chan@ura.gov.sg) or our Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 (e-mail: ura_dcd@ura.gov.sg). We will be pleased to answer queries on this, and any other development control matter. For your information, the past Circulars to the professional institutes are available from our website http://www.ura.gov.sg.
Thank You.


1 The term "URA" is used in this Circular as a convenient reference to mean ‘the Chief Executive Officer, URA, as the Competent Authority (CA) under the Planning Act’.

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