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RE1701

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

RE1701 – URBAN LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT

(Semester I: AY2017/18)

Time Allowed: 2 hours

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES

1. Please write your student number only. Do not write your name.

2. This assessment paper contains TWO questions and comprises FOUR printed
pages.

3. Students are required to answer ALL questions.

4. Students should write the answers for each question on a new page.

5. The marks for each question are shown in brackets and add up to 100.

6. This is an OPEN BOOK assessment.

7. Non-programmable calculators are permitted.

8. The examiner for this module is Dr Grace Wong.


RE1701 Urban Land Use and Development

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ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS.

Question 1 (50 marks)

It was reported in The Straits Times on 28 August 2017 that the world’s largest and busiest
fish market, Tokyo’s historic Tsukiji fish market (Photo 1), would be relocated in June
2018 at the earliest to its new waterfront site at Toyosu about 2.3 kilometers away. The
bustling Tsukiji fish market catered to approximately 42,000 people daily, conducting
transactions that amounted to about 1,628 tonnes of seafood worth close to 1.6 billion
yen.

The intended move had been delayed since November 2016 due to pollution concerns
which routinely reported that toxins such as benzene had been detected at levels at least
100 times the approved limit at Toyosu, a former gas production plant. Although recent
pollution readings at Toyosu had improved, approximately three billion yen had been
budgeted by the government to address contamination issues, including the installation
of a new groundwater pumping and management system as well as the topping-up of a
4.5 meters deep layer of fresh soil that was required to protect the new site from toxins.
Another 2.5 billion yen had been reserved to help shareholders prepare for the relocation.
The new Toyosu site would provide a “comprehensive logistics base”, equipped with the
state-of-the-art refrigeration and cooling systems, as well as proximity to Narita and
Haneda airports.

According to Tokyo Governor Ms. Yuriko Koike, the Tsukiji fish market would eventually
be relocated back to its original but redeveloped site near the Ginza shopping district
within five years so as to leverage on its distinctive “brand”, but it would be combined with
a “food theme park” that would offer culinary journeys. Ms Koike said: “Tsukiji has
cultivated a brand over the decades and created a sense of community in the area.
Wouldn't this be a way to make the best use of such an important treasure?”

The relocation of Tsukiji fish market to Toyosu would only involve the inner market of the
82-year-old site, which was famous for its hole-in-the-wall eateries and early morning
auctions. The outer market had been severely destroyed by a huge fire in early August
2017. The move was timely and imminent as the market’s ageing building structure was
also not earthquake-resistant. This temporary relocation of Tsukiji fish market was
effected in order to make way for a major highway to ease traffic congestion at the 2020
Tokyo Olympic Games.

Photo 1. Fishmongers inspecting blue fin tuna at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo (5 January
2017)

Source: AFP.
RE1701 Urban Land Use and Development

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(a) Examine the impacts arising from the relocation of Tsukiji fish market to the
contaminated Toyosu brownfield site.
(25 marks)

(b) Discuss the urban planning concepts demonstrated by the temporary relocation of
the famous Tsukiji fish market
(25 marks)

Question 2 (50 marks)

Minister for National Development Mr. Lawrence Wong announced in The Straits Times
dated 24 April 2017 that local construction projects applying new technology and more
efficient building methods would likely increase to 40% by 2020. Currently, only about
10% of construction projects had adopted innovative types of technology in the building
process. The implementation of new construction technology would be an impending
trend as traditional labour-intensive construction methods entailed the employment of a
much larger pool of foreign workers than Singapore could possibly accommodate. “The
shortage of workers ends up becoming a bottleneck and a constraint in our development
– we end up having to hold back or defer projects,” Mr. Wong said.

The new sports hall at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), was one of the latest
buildings to utilise eco-friendly materials and prefabricated components. Instead of the
usual concrete or steel structures commonly found in Singapore’s buildings, NTU’s new
3-storey sports facility, known as The Wave, was constructed entirely using mass
engineered timber (Photo 2). The Wave was the first large-scale building in South-east
Asia built with the mass engineered timber technology. Other local projects that adopted
the timber construction method included the BCA SkyLab Visitor Gallery, Block 81 of the
JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, and Singapore Sustainability Academy.

Production of the mass engineered timber involved layers of timber panels that were glued
together for strength and structural stability. Subsequently, the timber panels were cut to
specific dimensions in factories, before being transported to the site for on-site assembly.
Such innovative methods reduced construction time and generated 25% savings in
manpower. According to managing director Mr. Kang Choon Boon of B19 Technologies,
the contractor for The Wave, the building process essentially involved assembling
prefabricated timber parts, which took 14 workers about three weeks to assemble the
wave-like roof of NTU’s sports hall. In contrast, a roof made of steel or concrete would be
expected to utilize 30 workers and two to three months to build.

Besides being fire-resistant, termites-treated, and harvested from sustainably managed


forests, the mass engineered timber also offered five times better heat insulation than
concrete. With higher strength-to-weight ratio than concrete or steel, the mass engineered
timber could support large roofs without the necessity of any internal columns or pillars
as in the case of The Wave, which had a continuous 72 meters wave-like roof without
internal structural support. This provided the cavernous sports hall with space to house
three basketball courts or 13 badminton courts.
RE1701 Urban Land Use and Development

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Photo 2.

(a) Explain how the real estate development stages would be affected when new
construction technology such as the use of mass engineered timber is implemented.
(25 marks)

(b) Compare and contrast the effects of using traditional building materials vs. mass
engineered timber over the various phases of the building’s life cycle.
(25 marks)

END OF PAPER