Encouraging community cohesion with app

Residents of Bedok and Punggol will have a new mobile app to help them discover more about their towns by the middle of this year. This will benefit near by executive condo residents such as those from  Treasure Crest , The Terrace EC,  Waterwoods EC, The Vales EC, and  Bellewaters EC.

The Housing Board (HDB) said it is developing the app to encourage community cohesion. If response is good, it might be extended to other HDB towns.

The app will come with games and quizzes, through which users can learn about the landmarks and history of their towns, said the HDB. The free app will be available for Android and iOS devices.

According to tender documents on government procurement website GeBiz, the app will support functions such as photo-taking, video and audio recording, and playbacks. It can be used in two modes: a learning self-guided journey trail and a competitive race trail.

The self-guided option will include at least 25 hot spots and 10 games and quizzes.

The other mode will come with a time-tracking function, allowing users to form competing teams and race against one another to complete tasks at at least 10 different stations. Points will be awarded for each station and results of the race can be shared on social media and via e-mail.

An HDB spokesman said: “This is part of our larger effort of building active and cohesive communities.”

She added that Bedok and Punggol were chosen as pilots for the app as they are among the towns undergoing the Remaking Our Heartland programme.

The HDB scheme, started in 2007, aims to spruce up public housing estates through new facilities.

Other towns under this programme include Dawson, Yishun, Hougang, Jurong Lake, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Pasir Ris.

The upcoming app is similar to HDB’s SG Heart Map Tours. Launched last year, the mobile app’s themed trails allow the public to learn about facets of Singapore, such as its parks and food.

Graduate researcher and Bedok resident Joy Goh-Mah, 27, described the new app as a “cool concept”. She hopes it will help her pick up knowledge on sites that she is not familiar with. “Too often, we focus so much on what there is to do in town that we miss what’s happening at our doorstep,” she said.

MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Sun Xueling said she hopes the new app will include a mix of nature, and historical and lifestyle spots.

“The app will be an engaging way for young residents in Punggol to learn more about their town. Hopefully, this will bring to life and give meaning to their surroundings and increase their attachment to Punggol,” said Ms Sun.

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