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History of Tampines
Tampines is a residential estate and a planning area located in the Eastern Region of Singapore. It’s along the north-eastern coast of the region and borders Paya Lebar and Bedok on its west, Changi on its east, Pasir Ris on its north, and the Singapore Straits on its south.
It is ranked the third-largest new town in the country, covering around 20.89 sq km. It is also behind Jurong West and Bedok, becoming the third most populated town and is the regional centre. Tampines is made up of Tampines East, Tampines North, Tampines Central, Tampines Changkat, Simei and Tampines West.
The story of Tampines goes back to when it started as a mere fishing village filled with forests, sand quarries, swamps, and tempinis. Tempinis is a Malay word for ironwood trees present in abundance in this area giving birth to its name- Tampines.
Tampines was captured in the early 1828 maps by Franklin and Jackson. Tampines Road is the oldest street in the neighbourhood dating back to 1864 and recorded as a cart track. By the beginning of the 1900s, Tampines was a rubber plantation site home to Hun Yeang and Teo Tek Ho estates.
Before the urbanisation, Tampines largely served as military grounds. It was not until the late 1970s that the construction of Tampines towns began. The development resulted in the resettlement of over 3,000 villagers’ new HDBs. Some of the sand quarries found in the area were turned into nature parks resulting in Bedok Reservoir Park and Tampines Quarry Park.
By 1983, neighbourhood 1 – Tampines Town Centre was completed, followed by neighbourhood Other towns; Tampines Changkat, Tampines West, Tampines East, and Tampines North were completed in the next few years resulting in the various divisions.
The construction of Tampines housing units was a game-changer in that new methods of construction and design were employed. This resulted in more attractive units with better colours and finishings. In 1991, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) handed over control to the Tampines Town Council, managed by grassroots leaders and residents.
In the early 1990s, the government started discussing decentralising the economy outside the CBD. The talks resulted in regional centres, Tampines being the first to be constructed in 1992. Many years down the line, Tampinmes tops as the most established regional centre.
While Tampines isn’t as vibrant as the city centre, it has admirable, laid-back charm. The town has all it takes to be a mature residential town; culture, recreation, education, employment, and houses. Unlike most heartland neighbourhoods with one mall, Tampines residents are served by Eastpoint Mall, Century Square, Tampines Mall, and Tampines 1.
Tampines is also home to Singapore’s first integrated community hub, our Tampines Hub, and an extensive retail park. With the neighbourhood’s laid back charm, modern amenities, and UN prize under its belts, it’s not a surprise why the area is popular with retirees, singles, nature lovers and families with kids.