URA calls for ideas to perk up public spaces

The canopy of umbrellas hanging from trees along Hindoo Road in Little India is a winning entry from a previous My Ideas for Public Spaces contest. It has transformed an overlooked stretch of land into a popular selfie spot.
The canopy of umbrellas hanging from trees along Hindoo Road in Little India is a winning entry from a previous My Ideas for Public Spaces contest. It has transformed an overlooked stretch of land into a popular selfie spot.PHOTO: URA

Have an idea to brighten up the public spaces around you?

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is looking for proposals to create art installations and pop-ups around the island.

The My Ideas for Public Spaces contest, in its third year, is part of the agency's Our Favourite Place scheme to get people to help make public spaces more interactive.

One of the winning entries from the last competition in 2015 has been translated into a canopy of umbrellas hanging from trees along Hindoo Road in Little India.

Previously, it was a vacant stretch of land that passers-by would walk by and ignore. But now, it is a resting space and a selfie stop, said event designer Marthalia Budiman, 35, who came up with the idea. "I wanted to turn an abandoned lot in Little India and make it more positive, using umbrellas to shade people, in many colours, which suits the Indian palette."

Other successful examples of instalments that the URA has supported include Play It Forward, which saw some 20 refurbished pianos popping up around the city for strangers to play.

In a statement, URA said that it is looking to ideas that are "engaging, delightful and able to bring life to a range of public spaces".

The pop-ups should be able to be installed outdoors for at least three months, be easily set up and transported, and cost within $4,000, the URA recommended.

Up to six ideas stand to win a $1,000 prize each, and selected winners will be invited to implement their ideas. Entries are due April 12.

More details can be found at www.ourfaveplace.sg.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'URA calls for ideas to perk up public spaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe