In land-scarce Singapore, how do we find a balance between conserving historical sites and optimising resources? Conservation needs to be selective and intelligent. "Universal" conservation is just hoarding on a national scale. Similarly, having no consideration for history, historical significance... suggests the lack of a soul.
This means that the decision for conservation needs to carefully consider significance, value and possibly even interest.
And it would also help to consider commercial value.
More historical buildings should be cleared for big office buildings and shopping malls. This will create more job opportunities and grow the country more than old buildings and historical tourism.
You can build an ultra-modern city, but it will always be just another ultra-modern city. People will travel to you to look at your culture, but they will not fly halfway around the world to look at commercial buildings.
What should void decks be used for? How can we ensure any structures in void decks are used for their intended purpose?
There are many things that can be done with the precious space. They range from coffee shops, provision shops and clinics to childcare, studentcare or eldercare centres.
Void decks give residents the open space that is very much needed, when everywhere else is built up... We should keep the space void and not always think of putting fixtures or define how it is to be used. Void decks are what makes an HDB block uniquely Singapore.
Wilkie Ong Keng Soon
Void decks are used for funeral wakes as well as wedding functions. Money spent on fixtures can be put to better use, such as having more proper basketball courts or areas where ball games can be played.