HDB CEO Dr Cheong Koon Hean Receives International Recognition For Contributions in Shaping Singapore’s Urban Development
Dr Cheong Koon Hean, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Housing & Development Board (HDB), was today named the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), based in USA Chicago. The first government official and urban planning figure to receive this international award, Dr Cheong is also the first female recipient and the first Singaporean recipient since the award’s inception in 2002.
2 The award recognises individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, improving the quality of life in the cities that they work in. It is bestowed by the CTBUH Board of Trustees, and is not open for general submission. Past recipients of the award include renowned architects Cesar Pelli and Lord Norman Foster; and most recently, the late Minoru Mori, one of Japan’s most influential building developers best known for influencing the shape of Tokyo’s skyline with towering buildings such as the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.
3 Besides acknowledging the pivotal role that Dr Cheong has played in shaping Singapore’s skyline, CTBUH also noted Dr Cheong’s work to encourage smart growth and sustainable vertical development in Singapore. Mr David Malott, CTBUH Chairman / Principal, KPF, New York City said, “Dr Cheong has been highly influential in steering Singapore’s urban development, which itself is a benchmark for urban development around the world. Under her leadership, the Singapore URA has become one of the world’s most progressive and influential city planning organizations”.
4 Dr Cheong said: “I would like to thank CTBUH for recognising the work of government planners and their contributions to shaping urban habitats and creating quality lives for the people they serve. Urban planning is never a `one-man show’; the award is also a wonderful recognition of the good work of my colleagues in URA and HDB who have worked tirelessly so that together, we can shape the Singapore cityscape and create endearing homes. It also affirms the value of our contributions and spurs us on to bring about a positive change in our urban environment and to improve the lives of all Singaporeans. ”
Dr Cheong Koon Hean is the first government official, urban planning figure,
and Singaporean to be conferred the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award
5 An architect with a passion for urban planning, Dr Cheong was the CEO of the Urban Redevelopment Authority from 2004 to 2010. She spearheaded the development of Marina Bay, transforming it from a tract of empty reclaimed land into a new business and financial district that is today a bustling live-work-play destination. She also led in the planning and development of major growth areas, such as Jurong, Kallang and Paya Lebar and guided the formulation of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City Master Plan. A strong proponent of good design, Dr Cheong initiated the Architecture and Urban Design Excellence Program, setting the stage for the development of many high quality, high rise buildings. Taking a facilitative approach, policies and urban design plans were developed to incentivise high quality design and features such as sky rise greenery, public spaces, night lighting and urban art. She also championed place making efforts to bring greater vibrancy to the city. Such integrated efforts have contributed to transforming Singapore into one of the most liveable and beautiful cities in Asia.
Marina Bay, the new signature image of Singapore.
© 2016 Urban Redevelopment Authority All Rights Reserved
6 Since her appointment as CEO, HDB in August 2010, Dr Cheong has steered the organisation towards new approaches in providing homes that are highly liveable and sustainable, to bring quality living environments to Singaporeans. In 2011, she launched the ‘Roadmap to Better Living in HDB Towns’, which guides HDB’s development of well-designed, sustainable and community-centric towns. Under her leadership, new generation public housing projects have progressively taken shape, raising the bar for HDB living. A keen driver of sustainability initiatives, Dr Cheong is also instrumental in creating public housing estates imbued with ‘green’ and ‘blue’ elements that enhance the living environment for residents. These ideas feature prominently as she guided the formulation of new HDB masterplans such as those in Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol, with more exciting projects in the pipeline in the upcoming Tengah town.
The transformation of Punggol into a modern, sustainable waterfront town is a culmination of numerous innovative solutions developed by HDB. Punggol Waterway, Singapore’s first man-made river spans through the entire eco-Town to provide residents with a beautiful and iconic water body to enjoy. Overlooking the waterway is Waterway Terraces, an expansive landmark housing project, with terracing-built form and hexagonal courtyards echoing the lush greenery of paddy fields.
7 As Singapore moves towards being a Smart Nation, Dr Cheong is also spearheading the development of Smart HDB towns. Guided by the belief that the use of new technologies can help create a more sustainable, liveable and safe environment for residents, she led HDB in formulating a ‘Smart HDB Town Framework’ in 2014. Today, smart solutions that can improve the lives of residents have been piloted in both existing and upcoming housing estates, such as Yuhua and Punggol Northshore.
8 The 2016 Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on Dr Cheong at the CTBUH 15th Annual Awards Dinner in Chicago on 3 November 2016. To be held at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Mies van der Rohe's iconic Crown Hall, the event will be attended by prominent figures in the tall building industry from around the world. Please visit the CTBUH website link to see this year’s list of award winners.