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Central Area Underground Pedestrian Network - Revisions to the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme

  Published: 11 March 2016
Circular No : URA/PB/2016/03-PCUDG


Who Should Know:
Building owners, developers and Qualified Persons

Effective Date:
This Circular shall take effect from 11 March 2016 and will remain valid until 10 March 2018.


  1. Singapore’s city centre is planned as a pedestrian-friendly city, where pedestrians can move around seamlessly and in all-weather comfort. Central to this vision is the development of a comprehensive pedestrian network both below and above-ground that links developments in areas with high pedestrian traffic together and connects them to nearby Rapid Transit System (RTS) Stations.
  2. To facilitate the development of a comprehensive Underground Pedestrian Network (UPN) within the city centre, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the relevant competent agencies, have drawn up the following plans (see Appendices 1-2 to 1-5) to guide the construction of Underground Pedestrian Links (UPLs). 
  3. To further facilitate the development of a comprehensive underground pedestrian network within the city centre, URA introduced a Cash Grant Incentive Scheme in March 2004 to co-fund the construction of selected strategic UPLs within the Orchard Road and the Central Business District (CBD) areas, and revised the Scheme in 2012.
  4. URA has reviewed the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme to extend to more strategic links in the Downtown Core Planning Area. 
  5. This Circular supersedes the earlier Circulars URA/PB/2012/12-CUDG and URA/PB/2004/07-CUDD released on 30 August 2012 and 22 March 2004 respectively, the Circular on “Guidelines for Underground Pedestrian Links to Rapid Transit System (RTS) Stations” (Circular No: URA/PB/2001/13-CUDD), as well as the Underground links to MRT Stations in the Circular on “Urban Design (UD) Plans and Guidelines for the Orchard Planning Area” (Circular No: URA/PB/2002/02-CUDD), and is to be read in conjunction with the Circular on “Framework for Managing Bonus Gross Floor Area Incentives” (Circular No: URA/PB/2009/03-DCG), that stipulates an overall 10% GFA bonus cap for each development.

Underground Pedestrian Links in the City Centre

  1. As a condition for the grant of Provisional Permission (PP) / Written Permission (WP) for the redevelopment of sites or for major Addition and Alteration works to existing buildings located adjacent to the selected UPLs (see Appendices 1-2 to 1-5), developers and building owners will be required to construct the part(s) of the selected UPLs that are linked to their development / building.

Reimbursement for the Implementation of Underground Pedestrian Links in the City Centre 

  1. Owners and developers of buildings located adjacent to 20 selected strategic UPLs in the Downtown Core, Orchard and Rochor Planning Areas, may apply for co-funding of construction costs of these links under the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme (see Appendices 1-2 to 1-5). 
  2. Under this Incentive Scheme, developers and building owners may potentially be reimbursed up to S$28,700 per square metre (psm) for the cost of constructing the parts of the UPL located under State land, and/or up to a maximum value of S$14,400 psm for the parts of a link located under private land, subject to evaluation by URA. 
  3. Apart from the 20 selected strategic links, developers and building owners can also propose other links to be considered under the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme. The eligibility of these additional links for any cash grant under the Scheme will be assessed by the URA based on the extent these additional links contribute towards connectivity and the enhancement of the planned UPN. For example, UPLs that can enhance the overall network, by creating direct access between developments and RTS Stations, will be favourably considered. 

GFA Computation for Underground Pedestrian Links

  1. The pedestrian walkway component of UPLs under both State and private land can be considered for Gross Floor Area (GFA) exemption if the UPL forms part of the larger network in the planned UPN, subject to the prevailing Development Control Guidelines on GFA exemption as may be issued by the Competent Authority under the Planning Act. The extent of GFA exemption shall be evaluated based on the formal plans submitted to URA.
  2. As a guide, such UPLs must provide the most direct connection from the basement level to the street level. For existing developments, this would be based on the existing main dedicated vertical circulation points.

Submission Process

  1. All proposals for the construction of UPLs and applications under the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme, are to be submitted formally to URA’s Development Control Group for evaluation and approval as part of the Development Application process.
  2. The application procedure for reimbursement of the construction costs of UPLs under the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme and the required submission materials are listed in Appendices 2-1 and 2-2.
  3. The detailed design and construction of the proposed UPLs must comply with the requirements of other relevant authorities including the Land Transport Authority, Singapore Land Authority, Public Utilities Board (Drainage Department) and Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD).
  4. 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 email our Conservation & Urban Design Department at You can also call our Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 or email us at For your information, past circulars and guidelines are available from our website
Thank You.



Appendix 1-1

1 Definition An Underground Pedestrian Link (UPL) is a subterranean pedestrian connection that directly links the basement levels of developments or to public transport nodes.

To qualify for the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme, the UPL shall be one of the 20 selected links as reflected in the Underground Master Plan (See Appendices 1-2 to 1-5). In addition, the UPL shall:
  1. Connect between the basement levels of developments;
  2. Be partially located under Road Reserve and/or State land;
  3. Be directly accessible from the common public areas of the adjoining developments; and
  4. Be open for public access during the operating hours of the RTS or at all times.
2 Locations The following 20 selected strategic UPLs may qualify for the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme:

Orchard Road (See Appendix 1-2)
New Underground Pedestrian Links
  1. Palais Renaissance / Forum The Shopping Mall
  2. Far East Shopping Centre / Liat Towers
  3. Scotts Square / Tangs Plaza
  4. Lucky Plaza / Tong Building / Paragon
  5. Paragon / Ngee Ann City
  6. Paragon / Grand Park Hotel
  7. Grand Park Orchard Hotel / 268 Orchard
  8. Ngee Ann City / Mandarin Gallery
  9. Mandarin Gallery / Orchard Building
  10. Faber House / 313 Somerset
  11. The Centrepoint / Orchard Point
  12. Orchard Point / Orchard Plaza
Existing Underground Pedestrian Links to be Upgraded
  1. Tangs Plaza / Shaw House
  2. Lucky Plaza / Ngee Ann City
CBD (See Appendix 1-3)
New Underground Pedestrian Links
  1. 79 Robinson Road / 8 Shenton Way
  2. Capital Tower / 79 Robinson Road
Civic District (See Appendix 1-4)
New Underground Pedestrian Links
  1. Capitol Theatre / Peninsula Plaza / Funan Centre / The Adelphi
  2. The Adelphi / City Hall
Bras Basah.Bugis (Rochor Ophir) (See Appendix 1-4)
New Underground Pedestrian Links
  1. The Gateway across Beach Road / Rochor Road
Raffles Place (See Appendix 1-5)
New Underground Pedestrian Links
  1. Golden Shoe Car Park / Raffles Place MRT / GSH Plaza
Other Links

Other proposed UPLs can be considered under the Cash Grant Incentive Scheme on a case-by-case basis, if they are assessed by URA to contribute towards the overall connectivity of the larger area.
3 Use The UPLs are to serve as a pedestrian walkway which is open to the public during the opening times of the RTS. Activity-generating uses, (such as Retail, F&B, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation and other similar uses), can be located adjacent to the pedestrian walkway along one or both sides.
4 Size The UPL must have a clear pedestrian walkway width of:
  • Min 6m for walkways with activity-generating uses on one side (single-loaded); or
  • Min 7m for walkways with activity-generating uses on both sides (double-loaded) unless otherwise stated.
The clear width of the pedestrian walkway is measured from the inner face of the walls of both sides of the pedestrian walkway.

In addition, the walkway must have a clear minimum ceiling height of 4m.

Activity-generating uses (e.g. retail and F&B outlets) can be allowed adjacent to the pedestrian walkway up to a maximum total depth of 14m (See Appendix 1-6 for schematic sections of UPLs).
5 Reimbursement Rates For the part of pedestrian links located under State land

The whole of the actual construction cost of the public pedestrian walkway portion of the underground pedestrian link may be reimbursed, subject to a cap of S$28,700 per square metre (psm).

For the part of pedestrian links located under private land

50% of the actual construction cost of the public pedestrian walkway portion of the underground pedestrian link may be reimbursed, subject to a cap of S$14,400 psm. The extent of the part of the pedestrian walkway located within private land for reimbursement and exemption from GFA computation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Calculation for construction cost of the public pedestrian walkway portion of underground pedestrian links

Actual construction cost = $A + ($B + $C) x Area of public pedestrian walkway / Area of underground pedestrian link Where

$A = Fixed cost components specific to public walkway

$B = Variable cost components common to public pedestrian walkway and commercial space

$C = Consultancy fees and other related costs

(See Appendix 1-7 for details)
6 Gross Floor Area (GFA) GFA Treatment for Public Pedestrian Walkway

Given that the public pedestrian walkway functions as a public thoroughfare, the GFA of the public pedestrian walkway (up to max 7m wide) of the UPL within private land, as well as the associated main dedicated vertical circulation points (e.g. escalators, staircases and lift lobbies, etc.) that form part of the UPN within private land can be considered for GFA exemption, subject to compliance with the criteria set out in the Definition, Use and Size above. The extent of GFA exemption shall be evaluated based on the formal plans submitted to URA.

GFA Treatment for Activity-Generating Uses within UPLs

The GFA for activity-generating uses within UPLs under private land, between the existing basement and the boundary line, can be computed over and above the Master Plan allowable GFA for the existing development. This bonus GFA will be counted as part of the overall cap of 10% for additional GFA allowed beyond the Master Plan under bonus GFA schemes for each development site. This additional GFA is not transferable, and shall not form the future development potential of the site on redevelopment. The additional GFA will be subject to Development Charge or Differential Premium where applicable.

The vertical circulation point to the pedestrian walkway must be designed for barrier-free access and must include a lift, a set of two-way escalators, and staircase, and is to directly link to the covered walkway at the 1st storey of the development.

Temporary uses in front of knock-out panels (leading to future links)

Where a knock-out panel is provided to safeguard for future connection to an adjoining development or UPL, temporary use of the space in front of the knock-out panel can be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for shops, kiosks and seating areas until such time as the connection is required to be provided. If supported, the temporary use will be considered as additional GFA, over and above the maximum allowable GFA for the development and will be subject to the relevant charges, such as Differential Premium, Temporary Development Levy, etc.
7 Submission Requirements Properly annotated plans and sections showing the proposed underground pedestrian links in relation to the adjoining developments must be submitted. Where applicable, the building owner / developer must obtain endorsement from the relevant parties and/or agencies for the submitted plans. For example, consent from adjoining development/s owner/s, or Singapore Land Authority (SLA), should parts of the proposed UPL be located within State land.
8 Disbursement of Cash Grant The Cash Grant, if approved, will be disbursed after the receipt by URA of a copy of the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) or Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) for the development / building.

The submission must be accompanied by documentation of the actual construction cost, certified by a Professional Quantity Surveyor that the actual construction costs are true and correct in accordance with the approved plans.

The actual construction cost attributed to the UPL shall be clearly differentiated from that of other parts of the development and certified by a Professional Quantity Surveyor.
9 Deadline for Construction and Qualification for Cash Grant The claim for disbursement of the Cash Grant shall be made to the URA not be later than 5 years from the date of grant of the Cash Grant Incentive in-principle approval.

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