The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will build four new neighbourhood centres in Punggol, Hougang and Sembawang.
These one-stop centres will house a wide range of amenities like supermarkets, food courts, and other dining and retail outlets. The centres will also have waterfront features, lush terraces, “green” systems like rainwater harvesting, and connections to public transport nodes. (Please see the graphic below for more details)
(Click here for larger graphic. Graphic credits: The Straits Times)
Targeted for completion between 2018 and 2020, each neighbourhood centre is expected to serve about 5,000 to 6,000 households.
Besides providing amenities, the centres will also be built with a plaza for residents to gather. "We don't want people to just come and shop... but (to have) a place where the community feels very comfortable in meeting together," said Mr Fong Chun Wah, HDB group director for development and procurement.
HDB held focus group discussions and surveyed residents living near the centres to find out what facilities are needed, and this consultative approach will apply to future neighbourhood centres. It will also work with other government agencies to site facilities in new neighbourhood centres. For instance, a polyclinic will be housed in Oasis Terraces, one of the new neighbourhood centres in Punggol.
The last neighbourhood centres built by HDB were Pioneer Mall and Punggol Plaza which were completed in 2004. The HDB had stopped doing so to “increase private sector participation in the provision of commercial facilities in HDB Towns”.
“We have taken back the role of building these centres because we think that meeting the residents’ needs and creating spaces for residents is very important,” said Mr Fong.
Are you looking forward to these initiatives? What else can be done to foster closer community relations in neighbourhoods?
Sources: “HDB to build 4 next-gen neighbourhood centres” (The Straits Times, 4 Oct 2015) and “HDB builds new generation neighbourhood centres for upcoming estates” (Channel News Asia, 4 Oct 2015)