Uncover how we embrace reinvention and strengthen community ties in our homes, to create public housing that is uniquely Singapore’s.

Dwellings chronicles our efforts in creating homes for Singaporeans. We strive to reinvent and transform Singapore’s housing landscape, developing homes that Singaporeans would be proud to live in. Through Dwellings, we share how we create public housing that is uniquely Singapore. 

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New Beginnings

New year, new beginnings.

After a decade of being at the helm of the largest housing developer and master planner in Singapore, Dr Cheong Koon Hean relinquished her role as HDB’s Chief Executive Officer at the end of 2020, marking the end of a long and fulfilling career in the public service. In this issue of Dwellings, we chronicle her remarkable journey with HDB, and share her parting words.

Under Dr Cheong’s leadership, the last decade has been one defined by innovation and transformation for HDB. This spirit of innovation will continue to see us into the future. Building on the existing ‘Roadmap to Better Living in HDB Towns’, we unveiled a refreshed roadmap that places the holistic well-being of residents at the centre of our planning efforts, to provide for their needs beyond the four walls of their homes. The new ‘Designing for Life Roadmap’ will shape the way HDB plans, designs, develops, and maintains its towns and estates over the next decade, paving the way for future HDB living.

Even as we embark on shaping our future homes, we will strive to make them endearing for Singaporeans. In celebration of HDB’s 60th anniversary last year, we asked Singaporeans to share their stories of home and what home means to them, told through vivid photos of heartland life and distinctive places around HDB towns. For long-time Woodlands resident and carpenter Mr Tan Koon Tat, home is bringing happiness to his neighbours.



  • Meet the Dwellers - Handmade Happiness

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2021

    A carpenter hopes to bring happiness and cheer to his neighbours by handcrafting festive decorations for all to enjoy.

  • Our Shapes of Home

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2021

    Dwellings invites you to rediscover a world of cherished sights and distinctive spaces captured in our heartlands. These are some of the photos submitted for the Shapes of Home photo contest held in September and October 2020, as part of a collaboration between HDB and SPH’s Photonico platform.

  • Steering a Vision

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2021

    Having steered HDB towards creating a new generation of public housing in Singapore in the last decade, Dr Cheong Koon Hean concludes a remarkable career after 40 years of public service, much of which has been devoted to shaping Singapore’s urbanscape.

  • Designing for Life

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2021

    Placing the holistic well-being of residents at the centre of its planning efforts, HDB’s new roadmap will guide HDB through its plans, policies, and programmes as it continues to improve and enrich the lives of residents over the next decade.

  • Housing a Nation

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2020

    For 60 years, HDB has focused its attention on building quality homes for Singaporeans. A willingness to experiment and embrace change has created a distinctive brand of public housing that has pride of place in the lives of its residents. 

  • A Journey in Service Transformation

    Issue Sep/ Oct 2019

    The HDB Service Master Plan was drawn up to ensure that HDB customers are cared for at every stage of their service journey. By leveraging Design Thinking and technology, HDB is providing a more convenient and personalised experience for its customers.

  • A Singaporean Dream

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2020

    Across global cities, where inflation and high cost of living have made home ownership out of reach for many, Singapore stands out as a nation of home owners, supported by a range of housing options and policies that cater to various needs.

  • Building Future-Ready Homes

    Issue Sep/ Oct 2019

    To advance its goal of building well-designed, quality homes, HDB has been on a continual quest to deepen its expertise in construction technology. More recently, new partnerships and research projects have broadened the horizons to keep HDB towns future-ready.

  • Distinctive HDB Towns

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2019

    HDB Town Design Guides chronicle the history, vision, and distinct character of each of our 24 towns, guiding and unifying the development of each town.

  • Heartland Play

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2019

    The ubiquitous playgrounds in HDB estates have evolved from being just simple play areas into vibrant civic spaces and iconic landmarks.


    Issue Feb/ Mar 2019

    Capturing nearly 6 decades of Singapore’s public housing journey, HDB’s revamped gallery tells its story through an immersive, multimedia experience.

  • Meet the Dwellers — A Cut Above the Rest

    Issue Sep/ Oct 2019

    Behind the neat, ordered facades of HDB blocks is a living compendium of lives, people and stories; some more colourful than others, but all unique and interesting in their own special way. A barber offers more than just haircuts in her heartland shop, as she seeks to bring people closer together and make a difference in her community.

  • Meet The Dwellers – Championing the Community Spirit

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2019

    A home-grown group of chapteh players is keeping the heritage activity alive, with hopes of reigniting its popularity across the heartland.

  • Meet the Dwellers - The Heartland Hero of Chai Chee

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2020

    Behind the neat, ordered facades of HDB blocks is a living compendium of lives, people and stories; some more colourful than others, but all unique and interesting in their own special way. To ensure less privileged students in Kembangan-Chai Chee are able to enjoy opportunities and new experiences, Fung Chun Chang dedicates his time to mentoring them and creating a community where they can belong.

  • Partners in Co-Creation

    Issue Sep/ Oct 2019

    More than just flat owners, our residents are instrumental in shaping active, thriving communities in HDB towns. With the many community programmes introduced to spur ground-up participation, more residents have been playing an active role in co-creating and enlivening community spaces in their neighbourhood.

  • The World Beyond Walls

    Issue Feb/ Mar 2020

    Beyond four walls, an HDB home extends into the wider precinct and town, where thoughtful greening and landscaping concepts have been put in place to drive green and sustainable living for the future. 



Check out the eBook versions of Dwellings:

In 2021

Issue Feb/ Mar 2021

In 2020

Issue Feb/ Mar 2020

In 2019

Issue Feb/ Mar 2019

Issue Sep/ Oct 2019

In 2018

Issue 1/ 2018

Issue 2/ 2018

In 2017

Issue 1/ 2017

Issue 2/ 2017

Issue 3/ 2017

In 2016

Issue 1/ 2016

Issue 2/ 2016

Issue 3/ 2016

In 2015

Issue 1/ 2015

Issue 2/ 2015

In 2014

Issue 1/ 2014

Issue 2/ 2014

In 2013

Issue 1/ 2013

Issue 2/ 2013

In 2012

Issue 1/ 2012






What is Dwellings?

Dwellings is a publication by the Housing & Development Board, Singapore’s public housing authority. Through Dwellings, we want to share how we create quality and affordable public housing that is uniquely different, and also uniquely Singapore’s.

Can I share the content (article/ photos) from Dwellings on my personal blog?

You can share the link to Dwellings on your personal blog or social media pages. For reproduction in print media, social media and for any other purposes, please contact us at dwellings@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg.

How can I subscribe to Dwellings?

You can subscribe to Dwellings via the HDB eAlert service (under Section D: Publications)

If you would like to receive a print issue, please email us at dwellings@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg.

How can I get involved with Dwellings?

Dwellings is a platform for sharing of ideas, works and projects that promote and advance quality and sustainable housing. We welcome contributions from all who share a keen interest in housing and habitats, whether you are an academic, industry practitioner or professional.

If you would like to contribute an article, do email your article or the synopsis to the editorial team at dwellings@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg and we will get in touch with you.