Woodlands, or the Woodlands New Town (Chinese: 兀兰新镇, Pinyin: Wùlán Xīnzhèn), is a suburban town with 3 distinctive constituencies, grouped under the Sembawang Town Council in the northern part of Singapore, comprising 9 individual neighbourhoods.
The town is not to be mixed up with the Woodlands constituency within the Woodlands New Town in the Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC). The town is also part of the North West Community Development Council (Northwest CDC) district.
Woodlands includes a vibrant mix of colours from many towers of Housing and Development Board apartments, one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore - the Causeway Point - and the first school dedicated to nurturing the next generation of sporting talents - the Singapore Sports School.
Woodlands is adjacent to Sembawang New Town and Sungai Kadut Industrial Estate, and is connected to Malaysia's southernmost city, Johor Bahru, by the Johor-Singapore Causeway; Woodlands is also connected to Yishun via Gambas Avenue and Senoko Industrial Park via Woodlands Avenue 10.
Upon establishing Singapore as a trading port in 1823, Woodlands was founded fundamentally to connect the Malayan Peninsular to the natural port in Singapore, and historically connecting the 2 states in 1924 via the Johor-Singapore Causeway.
A town in development, Woodlands is quite an ever-changing town, with its distinct style, apart from the hectic lifestyle familiar in downtown and older parts of Singapore. From the beginning of development during the 1970s to expand Marsiling, Woodlands has grown into a huge neighbourhood, home to the many different people from all walks of life. Woodlands is strategically situated between Malaysia and Singapore, connecting to the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru, via the Causeway. Woodlands is one of the essence of early development successes in Singapore, becoming today's model for future transportation, entertainment, leisure and education developments within an estate.
Woodlands is a town with different features. Developments are concentrated in the central, southern and eastern portion of the estate, leaving a countryside lifestyle of fresh air, serenity and the privilege of being surrounded by trees in the northern portion.
Large open spaces, grasslands, parks, recreational facilities and communal gardens are found nearly everywhere in Woodlands. Most of the housing apartment blocks are interconnected, providing sheltered pavements throughout an entire division within an estate. Nonetheless, several larger parks are packed within estates and are escapes to the urban lifestyle. Rich diversity of natural habitats and pleasant environments, these parks are often scenic, though man-made. Woodlands has preserved one that has served for quite some time, the Woodlands Town Garden.
There are 3 constituencies in the town, and 9 neighbourhoods (N1 to N9) within the Woodlands constituency; made up primarily by Woodlands, Marsiling, Woodgrove and Admiralty, each with their own different traits. Most of the neighbourhoods are centralised or aligned along their respective neighbourhood centres, where most of the commercial activities are conducted, other than the town centre, Woodlands Square.
|Name of Neighbourhood||Location||Commercial Areas||Accessibility|
|Woodlands||Centre, Northeast, Northwest and West of Woodlands Town||Woodlands Square (Centre and Town), Vista Point (Northeast), Sembawang Town Council (West)||Via MRT at Woodlands MRT Station; Via Bus at Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange|
|Marsiling||West and Southwest of Woodlands||Woodlands Checkpoint||Via MRT at Marsiling MRT Station, Checkpoint Terminal|
|Woodgrove||South from Woodlands Square||The Woodgrove||Via Bus from Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange|
|Admiralty||East from Woodlands Square||Admiralty Place||Via MRT at Admiralty MRT Station, Via MRT Bus from Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange|
Woodlands is also the name of the primary estate of the town, containing most of the commercial activities, such as Woodlands Square, the commercial hub of the town, consists of buildings and services of high standard. Built on a hill, Woodlands Square consists of a large hectare of grassland, houses the gala events or celebrations at different time of a year; a large mall, Causeway Point, overseeing the Woodlands MRT Station and the Woodlands Civic Centre.
There are wide ranges of housing apartment blocks, some of which are the finest architectures in Singapore. Woodlands is highly accessible, compared to the other estates in the town. Feeder bus routes run within the estate. Large avenues allow a seamless flow of traffic. Woodlands is highly urbanised, however, at times permitting, buildings were built a distance away from heavy-utilised roads. That is quite a distinctive style of post-independence Singapore. Buildings are phased closely together, developing in a carefully planned pattern.
Woodlands is increasingly an avenue for foreign Asians to the inner urban estates of Singapore. Marsiling presents the past day living patterns of Singapore; a quieter and much denser estate, often offer a rather reasonable and larger alternative to housing options, and house a large quantity of elder citizens and heavy-duty industries.
A redevelopment plan of upgrading existing housing apartment blocks were introduced in late 90s, and thereafter a surge in housing prices that come along with a refurbished elevator serving every single storeys of the apartment block; larger apartments per household (a new room is added at the rear of each apartment) and of course, modernised to meet the standard of the local housing environment. Refer to Modernising Environment. Marsiling is situated next to the Marsiling Industrial Estate; Marsiling have shown an increasing community of foreign expatriates in recent years. See Main Upgrading Programme for more details on upgrading existing housing apartment blocks.
Admiralty is kept abreast of contemporary housing in the town. Citizens enjoy the convenience of a transit station, Admiralty MRT Station, similar to that of Woodlands MRT Station, built solely for the SMRT train fleets. Admiralty offers a rather reasonable quiet and organised housing, with well-designed apartments. Admiralty houses citizens who opt for government housing through the Housing and Development Board's plans, instead of purchasing apartments via private agencies, which often costs more however require a shorter waiting time; opting for government housing often takes months to process and only for newly built housing flats.
Admiralty is connected to Sembawang and Yishun via Gambas Avenue; the Woodlands Industrial Park and Senoko Industrial Park via Woodlands Avenue 10; Woodlands Estate via Woodlands Avenue 7; Marsiling Estate via Woodlands Square and Woodlands Avenue 3; Expressway via Woodlands Avenue 12.
In contrast to the other estates, Woodgrove is the smallest in size, located towards the north-west-end of the town. Woodgrove houses most of the private housing in Woodlands, consisting of high-rise condominiums and landed properties. Woodgrove lies in between the estates of Marsiling and Woodland.
Woodlands is diverse during the day and well-lit in the night. Shops, eateries and commercial zones are evenly spread through the town, with bus and transit routes operating till close to midnight.
Divisions within estates are being rapidly modernised and modelled for the standard of Singapore; playgrounds, communal gardens, sheltered pavements, multi-level parking lots, barbecue-pits, recreational facilities (such as tennis courts) and trees are found nearly everywhere.
With the modernising process outpacing the preservation of the past, Woodlands Town Garden keeps a clear and simple agenda, to bring greenery in the right ambience with the mixture of the local ethnicity. The theme of park revolves around the Malay and Chinese culture, and winding through the park is Sungei Mandai Kechil, the river that extends into a lake within the park. Woodlands Town Garden is located near to the Woodlands Customs, in the Marsiling estate.
Educational institutions are evenly distributed throughout the estate. From newly founded schools to full-fledged ones, Woodlands has several top educational institutions in the Northern region. Schools in Woodlands are allocated into the N5 and N7 clusters.
Woodlands Regional Library, the largest neighbourhood library in Singapore at the time of launch, is operated by the National Library Board. The 4 storeys public library caters to all ages. Different storeys of the library are categorised according to themes of general, reference, teens and children.
Causeway Point, one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore, houses 250 shops and various outlets. Woodlands Civic Centre is a designated centre of education, public services and other forms of assistance for residents. The centre houses the Woodlands Regional Library, several banks, CPF Woodlands Branch, numerous merchandise and educational institutions.
Sport is an emerging emphasis in the Singaporean society. Sporting facilities can be easily located around the estates and especially in parks. The multi-purpose stadium, the Woodlands Stadium and Woodlands Swimming Complex are common places for sport-goers.
Experimental style of architecture found their ways into Woodlands, making the town a place of wonders and colours, with much integration with sport. From the early practical designs to the modern day exquisite luxury, housing apartment blocks are no longer as plain as it sounds; with the garnish of parks, communal gardens and décors, these blocks were pieces of art and style themselves. The centrepiece of the town, Woodlands Square, attracts a constant flow of travellers and shoppers daily. Tireless planning and redevelopment keeps the town modernised.
Woodlands is highly accessible, connected by major roads and expressways, with a relatively large underground bus interchange - the Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange and an elevated MRT station next to Causeway Point at Woodlands Square. Most of the bus routes are operated by SMRT Buses, while SMRT Trains operate the MRT stations.
Residents of Woodlands are serviced by 3 MRT stations, at the centre of the suburb, Woodlands MRT Station; north of the suburb, Marsiling MRT Station and Southeast of the suburb, Admiralty MRT Station. The regional bus interchange was relocated from the previous Town Centre, Woodlands Town Centre, to the current town centre at Woodlands Square.
Land transportation in Woodlands is relatively efficient, with comparison to other estates, contrasting by the amount of well-maintained roads, though a common sight in Singapore. 12 avenues supports and circulates the entire traffic within the town, especially Avenue 2, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 12. Avenue 2 is a shorter route from the older estates of the town to the Bukit Timah Expressway.
Avenue 3 connects Marsiling from the exit of Bukit Timah Expressway branching into Woodlands Centre Road, the sole road to the checkpoint of Woodlands Customs, and the rest of Avenue 3 maintains a similar route of the MRT line from Marsiling MRT Station to Woodlands MRT Station, which connects to Woodlands Square. As the avenue ends at the entrance of the slope of Woodlands Square (the road that circulates Woodlands Square), another end starts the Woodlands Avenue 7, which connects Woodlands to Admiralty, also the route of the MRT line from Woodlands MRT Station to Admiralty MRT Station. Divisions within estates are further connected and regulated by 2 or single lane roads called Streets, which are distinguished by a suffix of double-digit numbers, such as Woodlands Street 82 and Woodlands Street 83. This is a common practice before the late 90s. Drives are 2 or single lane roads, which are built for newer divisions within an estate, similar to that of the streets.
Links and Crescents are often 3, 2 or single lane roads that convey commuters from a main road to another main road, such as the Woodlands Link, which connects Woodlands Avenue 9 to the main roads in the Woodlands Industrial Park. Crescents connect main roads to streets or drives.