LIVE well

Building A Town Identity

Prior to the launch of Bedok Town Square, Bedok residents shared their views for the multi-purpose venue during a visioning exercise.

A pop-up booth was held on 16 April 2016 at the town plaza next to Bedok Mall to get feedback from residents and frequent visitors to the area.

During the visioning exercise, HDB facilitators actively encouraged passers-by to select their preferred programmes and the type of events they hope to see at the town plaza. Some feasible activities and small-scale set-ups include community cafes, a life-size monopoly game and eco-friendly gardens.

Wong Qian Yi (second from left) voted for a community cafe

“We come to Bedok Central quite often,” says Bedok resident Wong Qian Yi, 12. “I voted for a cafe because my mother likes to drink coffee.”

The most popular activity was the pop-up movie screening, which garnered 183 votes from the community. Other activities that got a large number of votes were exercises and concerts.

Passers-by could also suggest or vote for names of the new town plaza. Following an additional engagement session with key community stakeholders, the place was eventually named Bedok Town Square.

By participating in the decision-making process, residents expressed that they felt a sense of ownership and belonging to the place. “Such engagement is very good because it involves residents here, making them feel like they are a part of Bedok,” shares Mr Cephas Chew, a Bedok resident. Such public engagement sessions also allow future activities organised at the town plaza to better fulfil the community’s aspirations.

Ms Rachel Ker, 20, and Mr Sim Cheng Yu, 22, NUS students enrolled in the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme (CTPCLP), volunteered at the event as part of their community-based project.

Listening to residents’ opinions on the ground was a refreshing experience for the two students. “Communicating directly with the public allows us to look at issues from different perspectives. It is a good platform to recognise people’s voices,” Mr Sim adds.

Bedok Town Square is the first town plaza developed under HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland initiative. Characterised by a unique theme, each town plaza offers residents a wide array of leisure and learning opportunities. Residents can also look forward to upcoming town plazas in Punggol, Kampung Admiralty and Yishun.