The Central Area or Central Business District (CBD) contains the core financial and commercial districts of Singapore, including eleven urban planning areas, namely Downtown Core, Marina East, Marina South, Museum, Newton, Orchard, Outram, River Valley, Rochor, Singapore River and Straits View as defined by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Part of the Central Region in the southern part of Singapore, it includes high value land intensely regulated by the URA's urban planning initiatives. It approximately equates to the area which may be referred to as the city despite Singapore being a city in itself.
Singapore River which currently empties into Marina Bay by the Merlion, is a major landmark in this Central Area. The river originally emptied into the Singapore Straits, the main maritime activity site for the colony. The commercial areas which developed on the south banks became the central business district for post-independence Singapore. URA groups these areas of commercial activity and calls it the Central Area.
The Central Area has since been expanded by the Government of Singapore and the URA to include the land reclamation of Marina Bay. Many construction projects have been completed on these reclaimed lands with many more still under consideration or development.