The area remained largely uninhabited throughout the 19th century. Settlers, were attracted to the area only around the turn of the century, as a result of the rubber boom. In the old maps of Singapore, much of the area was labelled as the Ang Mo Kio Forest Reserve with many plantation estates.
The village that sprang up with the clearing of the land took on the name "Ang Mo Kio". The immigrant Chinese, mostly Hokkiens were engaged in rubber-planting and tapping. Cheng San Village where Ang Mo Kio New Town now stands was once a huge rubber plantation. The 1922 to 1932 world slump in rubber prices made many tappers and labourers turn to pig and poultry farming or market gardening. During World War II when Singapore was occupied, more people moved to Ang Mo Kio to take up farming.
Development of Ang Mo Kio New Town began in 1973, and was the seventh New Town to be built in Singapore. The early stage of construction took place by the Housing and Development Board under the Ministry of National Development, completed in 1980. The present 29 hectares (72 acres) self-contained town centre was built over an elongated valley formerly occupied by squatters. It has commercial offices, cultural and community facilities serving at least 200,000 residents.
The design of the town won the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Outstanding Buildings Award in 1983. The swimming complex at Avenue 1 also won the 1986 SIA Architectural Award for its unique "tetrahedral skylight" design. The first town to be designed in metric dimensions, it was the seventh housing estate town developed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
After more than thirty years of existence, it is considered one of the matured housing estates with established markets, schools, institutions, community, residential, administrative centers, and even a community hospital and other important amenities for the housing residents.
Ang Mo Kio New Town is in a