The Revised Concept Plan is the strategic land use plan to guide SingaporeÌs long term development. One of the key strategies in the 1991 Plan is the decentralisation of commercial activities to regional and sub-regional centres to relieve congestion in the CBD, reduce work travel and attain a better balance of resident-employment distribution. Three regional centres have been proposed under the Plan, namely, Tampines in the East, Woodlands in the North and Jurong East in the West. In Singapore, all activities including urban development are carried out by government departments or statutory boards, largely characterized by functions. Similarly, the institutional approach is adopted for urban decentralisation because of its complexity and the need to avoid missing out on key links in understanding how and why new firms are attracted to the regional centres. The paper examines the viability of regional centres as a place for shopping and employment, for residents both within and outside the region. The findings indicates while institutionalizing the process can kick start the urban decentralization, as in the case of Tampines Regional Centre, market forces and timing are also found to be critical to further enhance this role and to fully realize the viability of regional centres in Singapore.