Building up stronger community within town

SINGAPORE: Renewal plans for Woodlands, Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris have been finalised and are ready to be presented to residents to gather their feedback, announced the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Sunday.

The rejuvenation of the three towns was first announced in 2015, under the Remaking Our Heartland programme. In drawing up the plans, HDB said it had actively engaged residents and stakeholders to seek their views and suggestions. This will benefit nearby executive condo residents such as those from Bellewoods and Parc Life. Upcoming executive condo launches include Hundred Palms Residences ECYio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC and NorthwaveHundred Palms Residences details and Hundred Palms EC show flat will be available shortly.

Residents of Woodlands, for instance, can look forward to an improved Woodlands Waterfront with a new rustic park and nature promenade, said HDB, adding that there will be “interesting landscaping, pocket greens, and more shaded areas”.

A new town plaza at Woodlands Central will allow the community to organise more large-scale activities for residents.

Pasir Ris Town Centre is also set to get a new town plaza, while Pasir Ris Park and Beach will be rejuvenated with more family-oriented spaces and recreational options, said HDB, providing a glimpse of what will be showcased to residents later this month.

As for Toa Payoh, HDB said the town centre’s pedestrian mall will be enhanced with more greenery, rest areas and shelters along selected stretches.

HDB said for the first time, residents from the three towns were invited in the early stages of planning to take part in focus group discussions in 2015. A total of 11 discussion sessions were conducted, involving some 400 residents and community stakeholders aged 17 to 81.

“The finalised plans take into account the local context and specific requirements of each town, so as to strengthen their identity,” said HDB in a media release, adding that the plans focus on strengthening the character, community and connectivity of each town.

To gather more feedback on the plans, three exhibitions – one for each town – will be held, starting on Apr 16 for the Woodlands showcase, Toa Payoh on Apr 22, and Pasir Ris on Apr 29. Each exhibition will run for two weeks.

“In terms of building up stronger community within the town, it’s not just about provision of hardware, but through the remaking plans, we also intend to build up and strengthen the ‘heartware’ of the town”, said HDB physical planning director Choo Chin Hua.

“We’re going to improve and enhance many more community spaces and facilities to let the residents bond and interact with each other,” he added.

Residents say they welcome the plans, such as longtime Woodlands resident Siti Mariam, who has lived in the estate for 18 years.

“I hope that (Woodlands Waterfront) will have more for senior citizens to come and have a chitchat, do some Zumba, exercise, then children (can) play around, then we have ponds and greenery,” she said.

The rejuvenation is expected to benefit more than half a million residents upon its completion within the next five to 10 years, after the plans are approved.

Launched in 2007, the Remaking Our Heartlands programme aims to rejuvenate public housing estates into “distinctive and endearing homes for Singaporeans”.

Earlier towns identified for renewal include Punggol, Dawson and Yishun in 2007, and East Coast, Hougang and Jurong Lake in 2011.

executive condo and woodlands waterfront pic 1