News: HDB launches new roadmap for planning, designing towns

Oct 16, 2020

Dubbed “Designing for Life”, the roadmap is focused on planning and designing around the physical, mental and social needs of residents. Image: HDB

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Thursday (15 October) unveiled a new roadmap that centres on planning and designing HDB towns that will contribute to the residents’ overall health and well-being. 

Dubbed “Designing for Life”, the roadmap was launched by Deputy Prime Minister, Heng Swee Keat at a HDB webinar that was streamed live on Facebook.

It is supported by three pillars – namely, live well, live smart and live connected. Taking a more resident-centred approach, the roadmap is focused on planning and designing around the physical, mental and social needs of residents, to create houses that contribute to their physical health, encourage social connections and promote positive behaviours. 

“The last 10 years have been a decade of transformation for public housing. We introduced a new generation of public housing that is better designed, more sustainable and smart, and brings the community closer together,” said HDB CEO, Dr Cheong Koon Hean.

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“In the next 10 to 15 years, we will further improve and enhance the living environment in our towns, to pave the way for the future of HDB living. We have developed a new blueprint to guide us in our plans. The Designing for Life roadmap will centre on the overall health and well-being of our residents, to provide them with a holistic quality living environment at all stages of their lives.”

Under the “live smart” pillar, HDB will harness Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to develop smart towns in order to make daily living “more convenient and comfortable for residents, provide them with seamless and reliable estate services, and advance sustainability in our towns”.

The “live well” pillar, on the other hand, will see HDB exploring more collaborations and research opportunities with Institutes of Higher Learning and agencies on ways to promote well-being in planning and designing towns and flats.

“These include enhancing safety features within homes and neighbourhoods, improving the design of neighbourhood facilities for active living, implementing biophilic strategies that harness the intrinsic benefits of nature, and providing more diverse communal spaces for interaction,” said HDB. 

Under the “live connected” pillar, HDB will not only provide residents with more opportunities to connect with each other, it will also involve them in activating and shaping their neighbourhood spaces.

“Examples include deeper engagements with residents in formulating rejuvenation plans for towns identified for the Remaking Our Heartland Programme, providing more support for residents to initiate ground-up community projects, and setting aside common spaces in new HDB developments for the community to come together and create their preferred social spaces and facilities,” explained HDB, adding that it will also conduct behavioural studies to better understand the residents’ needs.

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HDB revealed that its newest town, Tengah, will incorporate many of the strategies under the new roadmap.

For instance, Park District – one of Tengah’s five housing district – will include landscape features like pocket gardens and exploratory trails to promote wellness; community spaces that encourage social interaction and physical activity; as well as sustainable and smart solutions that help improve residents’ daily living and quality of life. 

HDB said that the urban design strategies and policies under the new roadmap will not only be applied to new housing projects, but also to “existing towns through various upgrading and rejuvenation programmes such as the Remaking our Heartland Programme and Neighbourhood Renewal Programme”.

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