New Town Square in Punggol Set to be Focal Point for Community Activities
Community space part of Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) plans to transform Punggol
A new-generation town plaza in the heart of Punggol will be the hub of activity for Punggol residents, with the opening of the Punggol Town Square today by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean. DPM Teo, who is local Adviser to Pasir Ris-Punggol Grassroots Organisations, also opened Punggol Discovery Cube, located next to the town square. The first visitor centre within an HDB town, it showcases the evolution and development of Singapore’s first Eco-Town.
2 Overlooking My Waterway@Punggol, the 1,620 sqm Punggol Town Square has a standing capacity of 1,000 persons. It offers vantage views of the water and is part al-fresco and part-sheltered, to allow for activities to be held regardless of the weather. A 280-seat F&B outlet, Starker Q, located within the town square, will open its doors in Apr 2017.
The Punggol Town Square along the waterway incorporates sheltered areas.
3 The Punggol Town Square is the second of the new-generation town plazas to be completed by HDB, after Bedok Town Square. Well integrated with transport facilities such as the Punggol MRT station, and with shopping, dining and other facilities at Waterway Point, the town square is an ideal place for the community to come together. What distinguishes this new-generation town square from other social spaces is the “software” aspect, where residents’ involvement is key to keeping this space vibrant and active.
4 To kick-start the process of community involvement, HDB has formed a local Activation Team (AT) with local community partners, to plan and organise activities that will bring residents together to interact and bond.
5 To ensure that the activities to be held at the town square would meet the needs of Punggol residents, the AT sought out residents’ views and suggestions. A visioning exercise held in November 2016 saw enthusiastic participation, with Punggol residents contributing some 300 suggestions in just half a day. Popular suggestions included mass workouts, outdoor concerts, temporary play structures for children, and eco-related craft workshops.
6 Taking the cue from the residents’ suggestions, a raft of activities and events has already been lined up throughout the year. Among the activities that residents can look forward to are mass exercise sessions, mini concerts, and art exhibitions. A wide variety of activities will be organised during the opening week (15 to 22 Jan). These include eco workshops, handicraft sessions, a movie-screening and picnic session, as well as cultural performances.
A visioning exercise held in Nov 2016 netted over 300 suggestions from Punggol residents on
activities that could be held at the town square.
7 As Singapore’s first Eco-Town, Punggol provides an ideal platform for residents to learn about the many green innovations in the town that support eco-friendly high-rise living. Since 2011, HDB has been running an “Eco Learning Journeys” programme. Open to both residents and students, guided tours are conducted to eco-destinations in Punggol town, such as Treelodge@Punggol (HDB’s first eco-precinct) and My Waterway@Punggol. To date, more than 5,000 participants have participated in 76 Eco Learning Journeys.
8 With the completion of the Punggol Town Square and Punggol Discovery Cube, we will augment the Eco Learning Journeys programme to include eco-workshops at the town square and a tour of the Punggol Discovery Cube. Some 30 Eco Learning Journeys have been planned for 2017.
Through the Eco Learning Journeys programme, residents and students can learn about the
green innovations in Punggol that support eco-friendly high-rise living.
9 The opening of the Punggol Town Square and Punggol Discovery Cube are the latest projects under the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) plans for Punggol which have been transforming the town.
10 In 2007, Punggol was unveiled as one of the first batch of HDB towns to undergo ROH. Ten years on, Punggol has seen a massive transformation, with extensive works carried out to bring about a vibrant living environment for residents.
11 One of the ROH plans laid out for Punggol was to build up a critical mass of residential developments, so that new facilities could come on stream. In building up the critical mass of the town, priority would be given to the building of new housing developments around the town centre and along the waterway.
12 Since the first public housing project in Punggol was completed in 2000, HDB has completed some 43,000 flats in the town (as at 31 Dec 2016). Of these, more than 8,000 are waterfront homes along the waterway. Over the next three years, another 6,500 units in Punggol will be completed. The residential population in Punggol today has more than doubled since the announcement of ROH in 2007, growing from 52,700 in 2007* to 118,100 in 2016*.
(*figures as at 31 March of the respective years)
13 Other significant developments that have been completed under the ROH plans include:
14 Residents can also look forward to more new developments coming up in the town: