Govt must take lead to ensure sustainable community projects

The Lien Foundation and Touch Community Services are to be lauded for recognising that different segments in our ageing population have varying needs and expectations, and for conceptualising alternative visions of ageing in the community (Open up underused spaces for the elderly; Feb 11).

However, for underused spaces to be regenerated on a sustainable basis, some form of a governance structure needs to be established to drive the project, make linkages to different resources and stakeholders and see to it that the project fulfils its vision.

A range of agencies such as town councils, residents' committees, the Pioneer Generation Office as well as other grassroots and governmental bodies should work out how best to manage community projects that cut across different domains, to produce the best overall outcome for our citizens.

Bottom-up community initiatives are extremely helpful and useful in experimenting and taking risks to discover what is possible.

However, public governance should lead community projects forward to ensure equitable and efficient use of resources for citizens' welfare.

Tam Chen Hee (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2018, with the headline 'Govt must take lead to ensure sustainable community projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe