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Queenstown is one of the earliest housing estates to be built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), which was the predecessor of the Housing and Development Board of Singapore (HDB). It also has the distinction of being the first satellite town in Singapore.
Development of Queenstown commenced in 1952, and by 1968 it had 19,372 dwelling units. Queenstown is named after Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain who was also Head of the Commonwealth. She was Singapore's head of state until the country reached independence. Queenstown is also known as Princess Estate; most of Queenstown's streets' names have some connections with the British Royal Family.
Before the war in 1942, Queenstown was an agricultural area with hundreds of people living in attap huts. The people's livelihood depended on the cultivation of vegetables and fruits and the rearing of pigs and poultry. There was also a British military camp, known as Buller Camp. It was cleared in 1953 for the development of Queenstown housing estate.
The Queenstown Community Library, opened in 1970 and the first branch library in Singapore, lends a historic marker to the estate.
The town now is a well-established estate with many facilities such as markets, a swimming complex and sports stadium. The estate is served by public schools and higher-learning institutes like the Singapore Polytechnic and ITE Dover. The Queensway Shopping Centre, built in 1975 and a swinging centre in the seventies and eighties, is still a well-known shopping paradise for sports items.
Not as bustling as it was three decades ago, Queenstown today is considered an old estate having seen many of its dwellers moved out into newer towns in the late 1980s and 1990s.
In 1994, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) issued a Development Guide Plan (DGP) for Queenstown which include proposals for a new sub-regional centre in Buona Vista, infrastructures to link tertiary educational institutions and business parks, and good and high-density housing.
Since then, the estate has seen some revitalisation. In 1995, newer flats have come up at the corner of Tanglin Road and Alexander Road, a site previously occupied by dingy two-room and three-room rental flats until they were torn down in 1990. Other developments that help to brighten up the old estate are private residential units, Swiss furniture giant IKEA's flagship store, and The Anchorage, a condominium-cum-shopping complex.
Nor-Afidah Abd Rahman
Wong, A. K., & Yeh, S. H. K. (Eds.). (1985). Housing a nation: 25 years of public housing in Singapore, p. 99. [Singapore] : Published by Maruzen Asia for Housing & Development Board.
(Call no.: R SING 36.5095957 HOU)
Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1994). Queenstown planning area: Planning report 1994.Singapore: The Authority.
(Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
Introducing Queenstown. (1900). Singapore: S. N.
(Call no.: RCLOS 363.5095957 INT)
Low, A. (2004, May 18). It's Ole! at Queensway complex for Nike. The Straits Times.
Rohaniah Saini. (1995, February 5). Lucky owners of new Tanglin Road HDB flats. The Sunday Plus, p. 3.
Acadian Computer Services. (2001). Queenstown Town. Retrieved March 10, 2004, from
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