SINGAPORE: The linkway in the neighbourhood as a place for residents to interact and a one-stop community hub for residents to come up with ideas to strengthen community bonds -- these are two ideas the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is planning to study and test.
They will be tried out in Tampines Central for a year, starting this month.
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said if successful, such design strategies could be part of the HDB's plans for new development areas like Bidadari and Tampines North.
This follows a study by the HDB and the National University of Singapore (NUS) on the impact of the built environment on community bonding. It looked into the past design efforts of the HDB, and uncovered new design strategies that met this objective.
One of its findings, Mr Khaw noted, is that residents met incidentally and unplanned at places like lift lobbies and linkways during peak hours in the morning or evening, even though these places have a transitional purpose.
Thus, the social linkway concept aims to deepen interactions, with more seating or even exhibits along it to make it a node of interest.
As for the neighbourhood incubator concept, Mr Khaw said the study indicated that it is important to have a one-stop hub for community activities.
He said community leaders will be needed to drive this. Therefore, it makes sense to co-locate the incubator space with the Residents' Committee centre.
The HDB will also work with the People's Association and town councils to find ways to make better use of the void deck spaces next to the RC centre.
Mr Khaw outlined these plans at the opening of this year's Community Week on Saturday morning, which marked the start of a series of initiatives and activities -- including the new Good Neighbours Movement.