• Published Date: 15 Oct 2020

          HDB today unveiled a new “Designing for Life” Roadmap that will place holistic well-being at the centre of its work over the next 10 to 15 years. Launched by Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, on 15 October 2020 at the “Designing for Life: What is the Future of HDB Living” webinar, the roadmap centres on planning and designing HDB towns that will contribute to the overall health and well-being of its residents.


    2     Since it was set up in 1960, HDB has kept pace with changing demographics, as well as new social and lifestyle trends, to create homes that meet the needs and aspirations of Singaporeans. In the last decade, novel planning ideas and fresh housing typologies have been introduced as part of its efforts to build well-designed, sustainable, and community-centric towns. As society continues to evolve and new challenges emerge, HDB has refreshed its blueprint to address key trends that will impact the future of HDB living, such as an ageing population, climate change, evolving social aspirations, and Singaporeans’ desire to be more involved in shaping their living environment.


    Health and Well-being a Key Focus in the New Roadmap


    3     Supported by three pillars – “Live Well”,” Live Smart” and “Live Connected”, the “Designing for Life” roadmap takes a more resident-centred approach, and focuses on planning and designing around residents’ physical, mental and social needs, to create homes that contribute to their physical health, promote positive behaviours, and encourage social connections. 


    4     On the shift in focus towards holistic well-being, HDB CEO, Dr Cheong Koon Hean said, “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. 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. Through careful planning backed by science and data, we will advance the sustainability of our towns, and leverage technology to help residents live more comfortably, with greater convenience. We will also find more ways for people to connect with each other and empower them to play a bigger role in designing and activating their shared spaces.”

    5     An overview of HDB’s “Designing for Life” Roadmap is outlined below under three key pillars:


    a) Live Well: A new Well-being framework has been developed to help HDB create ‘Healthy Towns for All Ages’. This framework adopts a people-centric perspective where residents’ needs will be considered holistically to enhance their well-being in three dimensions – physical, mental and social. 

    • By anticipating the future needs of the population across different lifecycle stages, HDB aims to implement more targeted solutions to bring about positive well-being outcomes such that residents will (i) have access to choices that lead to healthy lifestyles, (ii) keep active minds, and (iii) build community bonds.

      To achieve this, HDB will explore more collaborations and research opportunities with agencies and Institutes of Higher Learning on ways to promote well-being in the way we plan and design our 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.

      b) Live Smart:
       HDB is harnessing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to develop Smart HDB Towns, in line with Singapore’s vision of a Smart nation. HDB will introduce smart initiatives into our towns, to make daily living more convenient and comfortable for residents, provide them with seamless and reliable estate services, and advance sustainability in our towns.

    • Smart solutions can help create a more sustainable, liveable and safe environment, while enabling residents to benefit from more efficient services and greater convenience. Within the home, the use of technology and apps will help residents optimise the use of their home appliances and equipment, enabling them to save money, save electricity, reduce waste and hopefully nudge them to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. At the town level, the introduction of smart and sustainable solutions – both in new towns and districts, as well as in existing estates through the progressive island-wide roll-out of the HDB Green Towns Programme – will enable more residents to benefit from smart living.

      c) Live Connected: HDB residents are key to the vibrancy of our towns. In designing community spaces, HDB will offer more opportunities for residents to connect with each other and involve them in shaping and activating 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. HDB will also carry out behavioural studies to better understand our residents’ needs, as we plan and design public spaces in our towns.


    Bringing the Roadmap to Life


    6     Tengah, HDB’s newest town, has been planned to incorporate many of these strategies under the Designing for Life Roadmap. In particular, Park District – one of five housing districts in Tengah – will be designed with landscape features such as exploratory trails and pocket gardens to promote wellness; unique community spaces that encourage physical activity and social interaction, as well as smart and sustainable solutions that can help improve residents’ daily living and quality of life.


      Sky Community Park Neighbourhood centre 
    The roof garden atop the multi-storey car park (left) and Neighbourhood Centre (right) in Parc Residences @ Tengah – the first BTO housing parcel to be launched for sale in
    Park District – will feature landscaping designed to promote residents’ well-being
    Artist’s impressions only, actual design may differ.


    Rainforest Walk
    Rainforest Walk weaving through Parc Residences @ Tengah marries social spaces with wellness elements. Artist’s impression only, actual design may differ. 


    Sky Sports Park
    Encouraging physical activity through active design strategies in Park District. Artist’s impressions of the Sky Sports Park at an upcoming development in Park District. Actual design may differ.


    Fitness stairs at MSCP
    Artist's impressions of the feature stairway at the multi-storey car park of Parc Residences @ Tengah. Actual design may differ.


    7     Beyond new housing projects, the urban design strategies and policies mapped out under the Designing for Life Roadmap will also be applied to existing towns through various upgrading and rejuvenation programmes such as the Remaking our Heartland Programme and Neighbourhood Renewal Programme.


    “Designing for Life” Webinar & Exhibition


    8     Members of the public are invited to visit the virtual Designing for Life Exhibition at http://designingforlife.gov.sg to find out more about the initiatives under the new roadmap, and share with us their feedback on the plans. They may also contribute their suggestions of the future of HDB living.


    9     The exhibition was launched as a part of the “Designing for Life” webinar, which featured a speech by DPM Heng, and a panel discussion with experts on how good planning, smart technology, and an engaged community can shape a quality and distinctive living environment for residents in HDB towns. The panel comprised the following distinguished speakers:

    • Moderator: Prof Lily Kong (President and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences, SMU)


    • Panel member: Dr Cheong Koon Hean (CEO, HDB)


    • Panel member : Prof John Eu-Li Wong (Senior Vice President (Health Innovation and Translation), NUS and Senior Advisor, NUHS)


    • Panel member: Prof David Chan (Professor of Psychology and Director, Behavioural Sciences Institute, SMU)


    • Panel member: Mr Volker Buscher (Chief Data Officer, Arup)


    10     The full webinar was livestreamed on HDB’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/SingaporeHDB) on Thursday, 15 October 3pm to 5pm. It will also be uploaded onto HDB’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/SingaporeHDB) after the event.