Committee of Supply debate: Ministry of National Development

Three HDB estates to get makeovers

An artist's impression of the revamped Woodlands Waterfront, which will have more landscaping and pockets of greenery. Residents in Woodlands Central will get a new town plaza, a "sizeable space for various large-scale activities". Toa Payoh and Pasi
An artist's impression of the revamped Woodlands Waterfront, which will have more landscaping and pockets of greenery. Residents in Woodlands Central will get a new town plaza, a "sizeable space for various large-scale activities". Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris are also getting facelifts within the next 10 years.PHOTO: MND SINGAPORE

Woodlands, Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris are to get facelifts within the next 10 years, with fresh facilities, more greenery and better connected spaces.

The three towns will be revamped under the Housing Board's Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) scheme, which spruces up public housing estates.

The proposed changes were distilled from 11 discussion sessions with 400 residents and community stakeholders last year, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee in Parliament yesterday.

Residents in Woodlands Central will get a new town plaza, a "sizeable space for various large-scale activities", said Mr Lee.

Woodlands Waterfront will also get more landscaping, pockets of greenery and shaded areas.

In Pasir Ris, residents can expect a mixed-use development integrated with a new bus interchange and the existing Pasir Ris MRT station.

The development will house residential and commercial facilities.

Existing parks like Pasir Ris Park and neighbourhood centres will also be improved to provide more space for recreational activities.

Mr Lee also said there are plans to improve the pedestrian mall in Toa Payoh's town centre with more greenery, rest areas and covered shopping streets in selected stretches. Dedicated cycling paths will also be introduced in the mature town.

These plans for the three housing estates will be implemented in the next five to 10 years after they are approved, said the HDB.

Public exhibitions on these proposals will be held later this year.

Woodlands, Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris are the third batch of towns under the ROH scheme introduced in 2007. Other areas to come under this programme include Dawson, Yishun, Hougang, Jurong Lake, Punggol and East Coast.

Mr Lee also announced that Singapore's parks will have more facilities for the young, the old and the disabled.

Eight playgrounds will be built in the next few years for children, including those with physical disabilities. This is on top of the first, built last year, in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

For seniors and dementia and post-stroke patients, there will be "therapeutic gardens" with contemplative spaces and activity zones to provide horticultural therapy.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday also introduced an Urban Redevelopment Authority programme to support projects initiated by people, to turn public areas into active community spaces.

The "Our Favourite Place" programme will evaluate proposals based on their location, timing and activities.

Those successful may get up to $5,000 seed funding for projects lasting six months or less, or up to $10,000 for longer-term ones.

Through this programme, Mr Wong hopes Singaporeans will get involved in shaping public spaces and this, in turn, "will strengthen our sense of ownership, identity and emotional connection to home".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Three HDB estates to get makeovers'. Print Edition | Subscribe