HEARTLAND CAMARADERIE AND COHESION
Held at Bedok Town Square from 20 – 29 May 2016, HDB Community Week 2016 featured ways for residents to strengthen community ties and promote neighbourliness.
HDB Community Week, launched by Minister for National Development Mr Lawrence Wong, Adviser to East Coast GRC Mr Lee Yi Shyan, and HDB CEO Dr Cheong Koon Hean
This year marks the fifth instalment of HDB Community Week, an annual celebration of community spirit in the heartlands. The event is a culmination of HDB’s efforts in building active and cohesive communities.
Launched by Minister for National Development Mr Lawrence Wong, Adviser to East Coast GRC Mr Lee Yi Shyan, and HDB CEO Dr Cheong Koon Hean, HDB Community Week 2016 kicked off to an exciting start at Bedok Town Square on 20 May 2016. It is the first time the event was held out of the HDB Mall atrium.
At the launch of HDB Community Week, Minister Lawerence Wong also opened the newly completed Bedok Town Square and Bedok Town Centre pedestrian mall. The upgrading works, which include improving connectivity to the nearby Bedok Mall and hawker centre, are part of rejuvenation efforts for Bedok town under HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland programme.
A highlight of the new-generation town plaza is the involvement of residents in keeping the space lively and active. About 1,000 residents participated in the visioning exercise where they nominated activities to be held at the new venue.
Colourful booths decorated with photos and posters displayed the 12 winning projects of the Good Neighbours Project (GNP) initiative. Introduced in 2014 to encourage ground-up initiatives, GNP 2016 received 90 project proposals this year with 28 ideas shortlisted for implementation.
Team ‘Admiralty Heartlanders’, a group of Primary 5 students from Admiralty Primary School, organised two trails in Woodlands to engage residents and share neighbourliness tips. Teacher-in-charge Ms Jessica Tam, 30, says: “This is a continuation of our GNP from last year. Our students are very enthusiastic about the project and even came up with new ideas!” To further encourage community-driven projects, Minister Wong also announced that HDB will set aside $500,000 over a five-year period under the new ‘HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund’.
How might we create a lively Bedok Town Centre?
Prior to HDB Community Week, the HDB Community Building Seminar was conducted with the theme, ‘Building Communities through Pop-ups’. Participants learnt and discussed about enlivening common spaces through portable and innovative installations and programmes.
Equipped with tips from the seminar, some participants went on to brainstorm for the challenge, ‘How might we create a lively Bedok Town Centre?’ at the Build-a-thon. On display were the creative prototypes from the top three teams (‘Adopt-a-chair’, ‘Balik Kampong Festival’ and ‘The Drumbeats of Bedok’) for public voting. These ideas would also be taken into consideration for future programmes.
A member of ‘The Drumbeats of Bedok’, Ms Apoorva Kulshrestha Kumar, 27, says: “We want to create something that is symbolic of Bedok and that everyone can relate to. We also hope to involve all members of the community, from residents to hawkers and shopowners. The process of participation gives us a sense of ownership.”
TO FURTHER ENCOURAGE
MINISTER WONG ANNOUNCED THE
‘HDB FRIENDLY FACES, LIVELY PLACES FUND’.
To find out more about HDB Community Week and its programmes, visit www.hdb.gov.sg/ communityweek
View the GNP proposals at www.hdb.gov.sg/
Focus on the heartlands
Themed ‘friendly faces, lively places’, HDB’s ‘Celebrating LIFE in the Heartlands’ Photography Exhibition offered visitors a visual treat of winning entries from the Open and Instagram categories. Some visitors also left notes of encouragement for the participants.
“I happened to witness this scene during Chinese New Year visiting in Mountbatten. This is the first time that I have won the top prize for a photo competition and it motivates me to continue exploring my surroundings,” shares Mr Hang Loo Ming, 44, winner of the Open category.
The winning entry for the Instagram category is a photo of residents practising tai chi in front of HDB flats, taken by Mr Chan Wai Meng, 45. “Interaction among residents and forging ties with neighbours make living in the heartlands especially heart-warming,” says Mr Chan.