Located in the south-eastern coast of the East Region of Singapore, Tampines is the third largest residential town by area, covering 20.89km2 of land, and is also the third most populated new town, following Bedok and Jurong West. What used to be covered by forests, swamp, and sand quarries, the name Tampines got its name from the tempinis trees that were said to grow in abundance in the area. These trees, also known as Artocarpus elongates, when cut produces latex-, a very important product in Singapore’s trading history.
The oldest street in the area, Tampines Road, used to be a cart tract dating as early as 1864. Tampines used to be a rubber plantation, as well as being home to a large sand quarry for a very long time. The new town began construction in 1978, completing Neighbourhoods 1 and 2 between 1983 and 1987. There are currently 8 Neighbourhoods in Tampines, having between 5,000 to 6,000 flats, housing for around 256 thousand Singaporeans. The intimate nest of apartment blocks is arranged in such a way to frame an open space which is known as the precinct centre. A web of walkways leads to this space which becomes the focal point for activities, such as communal facilities and children’s playground, within the precinct.