Published Date: 07 Jan 2018
The first community-built playground was completed and declared open by Minister for National Development & Second Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, at the Canberra estate in Sembawang today. Called the Adventure Playground @ Canberra, a name chosen by Canberra residents, it is the first playground that is conceptualised, designed and built in partnership with residents, under HDB’s pilot Build-A-Playground (BAP) initiative.
2 Minister Lawrence Wong and Canberra residents installed the finishing pieces of the playground today. With the successful completion of this pilot project, HDB will expand the BAP initiative to another four HDB towns, namely Toa Payoh, Pasir Ris, Woodlands and Choa Chu Kang, where five new community-built playgrounds will be completed in the coming years. This will allow more HDB residents to come together and co-create playgrounds for their estates, thereby strengthening community bonding and sense of community ownership.
Seeding the Spirit of Community Bonding through the BAP
3 The idea of a community-built playground was mooted together with Canberra residents at HDB’s Community Week in 2014, an annual event which promotes and deepens community building and bonding among HDB residents.
4 Transforming an open plot of land adjacent to Block 334 Sembawang Close, the pilot BAP project involved about 1,800 people, including residents living in Blocks 329 to 338 Sembawang Close and the community (i.e. students from nearby schools), who came together to co-create the unique 185 sqm treehouse-and-kelong inspired playground. This was achieved through a series of engagement activities such as design workshops, roadshows, and surveys from mid-2015 to 2017 where they shared their views on what makes an enjoyable playground and the kind of playground they would like to have.
5 Approximately 300 residents took part in the design workshops, including many who participated as a family. The pilot BAP playground is a realisation of numerous ideas mooted by the community. More details are as follows:
i) “Kelong” Theme
Canberra residents suggested the kelong theme for their playground, as they wanted it to reflect the heritage of Sembawang, which used to be dotted with fishing villages and kelongs (fishing jetties). The theme was epitomised in the design, through the provision of climbing structures and hammocks which resembled fishing nets, as well as brown poles which resembled a kelong on wooden stilts.
ii) Treehouse Idea
Canberra children shared their hope for a playground that resembles a treehouse. The treehouse idea was realised through the integration of a central tree-like climbing structure, with an outstretched green canopy to provide shade and shelter from the elements.
The Adventure Playground @ Canberra showcases a unique treehouse-and-kelong theme mooted and built by the community
iii) Playground Equipment
The type of playground equipment was also decided by residents and their children, who would like to see adventurous and interactive play equipment, such as climbing structures and swings in the playground. Hence, several climbing structures (e.g. steps, ladders, nettings, a fireman pole, etc.) were installed and a swing bench was also included.
iv) Seating Facilities
Parents gave feedback that seating areas around the playground were important for adults to rest while they supervise their children. With their feedback, additional seating facilities were included, doubling the existing number of seats surrounding the area.
v) Colour Scheme & Name of Playground
To complement the treehouse-and-kelong theme, Canberra residents decided on a green and brown colour scheme for the playground. In anticipation of the exciting and enjoyable moments in the playground, they named it the Adventure Playground @ Canberra.
Canberra residents actively shared their ideas on the playground design during engagement sessions organised by HDB.
Expansion of Build-A-Playground (BAP) Initiative to Benefit More Residents
6 Moving forward, the BAP will be extended to four other HDB towns - Toa Payoh, Pasir Ris, Woodlands and Choa Chu Kang, under estate renewal plans such as HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme and the Town Councils’ Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP). Five existing playgrounds in these four towns will be rejuvenated, and residents will have the opportunity to co-create communal spaces that are meaningful to them (please see Annex for the locations of these playgrounds).
7 Playgrounds are an integral community facility in HDB estates. HDB will continue to explore opportunities to expand the BAP initiative further, to benefit even more residents.