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Design Guidelines and Good Practice Guide for Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS)

  Published: 24 January 2017
Circular No : URA/PB/2017/02-PCUDG


Who Should Know:
Architects, landscape architects, building owners and developers

Effective Date:
With effect from 24 April 2017

This Circular has been superseded by the Circular: URA/PB/2022/07-AUDG on " Update to the Design Guidelines for Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS)" dated 3 June 2022.

  1. As part of URA’s efforts to improve the quality of public spaces, including those in private developments, URA is pleased to release the following documents:
    a. Design Guidelines for Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS)

    The Design Guidelines outline the minimum design standards to be complied with for developments which are required to provide a POPS and/or seeking GFA exemption for a first-storey covered public space (Appendices 1 and 2).

    b. Good Practice Guide for Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS)

    The Good Practice Guide is intended to facilitate better design of public spaces across Singapore (Appendix 3). All property owners, developers and qualified professionals are encouraged to refer to and adopt the guidelines (where appropriate), from project inception and design to management and use of the space by the public.

    The recommendations included in the Good Practice Guide will be considered in the assessment of Development Applications for sites with public space(s).

Developments required to provide POPS

  1. Property owners and developers are required to provide public spaces at certain development sites. These include:
    1. New sites where public spaces are required as part of the Technical Conditions of Tender for Government Land Sales site; and

    2. Redevelopment sites where public spaces are required as part of the planning conditions for major Alterations & Additions works or redevelopment proposals. These include public space locations marked on URA’s Parks and Waterbodies Plan.
  1. Developments that are required to provide public spaces, as well as those seeking Gross Floor Area (GFA) exemption for a first-storey covered public space would have to comply with the minimum design standards defined in the Design Guidelines for POPS (See Appendix 1). This set of guidelines will replace the Covered Public Spaces Guideline1.

Submission requirements

  1. Where the Design Guidelines for POPS apply, developers and property owners must submit a public space proposal and declaration of compliance. They should submit these proposals to URA’s Development Control Group for approval as part of the Development Application process.
  1. Please refer to Appendix 2 for details of the submission requirements and the process for seeking Provisional/Written Permission and URA’s clearance for the completed works.


  1. The guidelines will take effect from 24 April 2017 and will apply to all new development applications received on or after the effective date. The guidelines will not apply to formal Development Applications (excluding Outline Applications) with a valid Provisional Permission issued prior to the effective date.
  1. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this circular to your members. We have updated the same in the Development Control Handbooks. You are advised to refer to these Handbooks for the updated guidelines instead of referring to past circulars.
  1. For other information on the master plan, urban design guidelines, private property use and approval, car park locations and availability, private residential property transactions, and conservation areas and buildings, use URA SPACE (Service Portal and Community e-Services). This is an online portal packed with useful data and visualisation to help building professionals, business operators and the general public in their decision-making. It consolidates detailed information on land use and private property into a one-stop platform presented on geospatial maps. For feedback or enquiries, please email us.
Thank You.


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1 The revised POPS guidelines will supersede the earlier guidelines for GFA exemption on covered public spaces (URA/PB/2004/24-DCD dated 2 Aug 2004 – Revised Guidelines on Gross Floor Area Exemptions for Covered Public Space).

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