Night-time view of the city area

Prominent landmarks in this picture include the National Theatre (left foreground) and the Van Kleef Aquarium (left centre) located at the side of Fort Canning Hill facing River Valley Road. Rising above the two-storey shophouses was the HDB-built Hong Lim Complex (centre), the first phase of which was completed in 1978. Towering above all other structures in the distance was the 52-storey Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Centre, completed in 1976 (background centre).In 1965, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced a five-year urban renewal plan to rejuvenate the old city centre. Renewal of the city centre was urgently needed as the area was undergoing decay due to poor traffic flow, overcrowding, lack of amenities and inefficient land usage. The renewal plan involved the redevelopment of dilapidated two-storey shophouses, the construction of new multi-storey structures, and the paving of wider roads. In 1966, the Urban Renewal Department was formed within HDB to manage the various redevelopment projects. By the late 1960s, the rebuilding of the city centre was in full swing. A separate government body, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, was formed in 1974 to take over the planning and management of redevelopment projects in the city area.