Deep knowledge, expertise and passion go into Woodlands "vertical kampung"

Ahead of a ground-breaking ceremony for a new "vertical kampung" in Woodlands on Saturday afternoon, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan blogged about the passion of the people working on the project. 

He shared an internal memo from National Parks Board planners  on what to plant on the multi-tiered development, arguing for colourful foliage, plants with edible fruit, and plants to attract birds and butterflies. 

"Do try to identify something from each plant group (e.g. fruit trees or decorative shrubs) that would appeal to the memory of our older residents of the different ethnic groups. The aim should be to help them relive the kampung days, and also to show the younger generation what a kampung was like," the NParks planners wrote.

"Please avoid planting thorny species or those with large fruits in areas where the fruits/ thorns might hit members of the public." 

Besides NParks, other agencies and ministries like the Housing Development Board, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social and Family Development, National Environment Agency, Alexandra Health System and the Early Childhood Development Agency are involved in the project.

The multi-tiered public development next to Admiralty MRT will include studio apartments and facilities like a hawker centre, medical centre, shops, seniors' activity centre, and a childcare centre.

The project is scheduled to be completed by 2017, and more such integrated buildings will be built if this one is successful. 

The two blocks of Housing Board studio apartments there will be launched in this July's Build-to-Order exercise.

Seniors who live in Woodlands, or whose married children live there, will get priority for the 100 or so flats. Prices are not yet available but studio apartments ranged from $83,000 to $125,000 in recent launches. These flats, on 30-year leases, are designed for elderly residents.

"This will be their retirement kampung," Mr Khaw said at the groundbreaking ceremony for the project.

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