The Urban Redevelopment Authority (Abbreviation: URA; Chinese: 市区重建局; Malay: Lembaga Pembangunan Semula Bandar) is the national urban planning authority of Singapore, and a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development of the Singapore Government.
The authority was established on 1 April 1974, and is of especially critical importance to the city-state, because Singapore is an extremely dense country where land usage is required to be efficient and maximised in order to reduce land wastage in the face of land shortage.
The URA is also responsible for assisting to facilitate racial harmony, such as to have their urban planning avoid segregation, as well as seeking ways to improve aesthetics and to reduce congestion. It is also responsible for the conservation of historic and cultural buildings and national heritage sites.
This is the responsibility of URA to evaluate and grant planning approval for development projects from the public and private sectors. In approving development applications, the URA states its goal is to foster orderly development conforming to the planning guidelines as stated in the statutory Master Plan and the existing control factors. URA tries to provide quality service when working in partnership with building industry professionals and the general public to foster development.
The URA plays an important role of managing car parks in the City State. It provides information and services to the public in regard to coupon parking, season parking and heavy vehicle parking. URA also sets the bylaws to parking infringement and fines.
The Singapore City GalleryEdit
The URA maintains a regular and ever updated public urban planning exhibition on the first three floors of their headquarters. Highlights include three scale models of the island of Singapore, the central region, and the central area. Special exhibits and models on current projects and developments island-wide are regularly displayed as well.