The Housing Board plans to build four new neighbourhood centres in Hougang, Punggol and Sembawang over the next three years, reported TODAY online.
Designed based on public feedback, the new neighbourhood centres will have lush terraces, waterfront features, green systems such as rainwater harvesting and public transport connections.
All four centres will feature a sheltered community plaza where residents can gather and mingle during community events or daily activities.
“We want to plan towns that are well designed, sustainable as well as community-centric…HDB is not just a developer and master planner, we also play a social role,” said Fong Chun Wah, HDB’s Group Director (Development and Procurement).
To serve around 5,000 to 6,000 households, they will be one-stop centres where residents can find a vast array of amenities such as food courts, supermarkets and other retail and dining options. All four will be designed to link to transport nodes such as an existing or upcoming MRT or LRT station, or a bus stop.
Oasis Terraces, for instance, will be located next to Oasis LRT station at Punggol Waterway. Designed to resemble a landscaped hill, it will feature cascading gardens as well as scenic views of the waterfront. It will also be home to the Punggol Polyclinic, which is set to become one of Singapore’s biggest polyclinics.
In view of Punggol Northshore’s goal of becoming Singapore’s first “Smart and Sustainable District”, the centre at Northshore Plaza will be a testbed for technologies such as smart fans, lighting, as well as an electronic carpark monitoring system.
Over at Sembawang, the three-storey Canberra Plaza will have an elevated link bridge connecting directly to the future Canberra MRT station. It will also have 11,000 sqm of floor space for a water playground for children, event plaza, restaurants, food courts and enrichment centres.
Meanwhile, Buangkok Square in Hougang will feature a sheltered community plaza that is integrated with a neighbourhood park where residents can stroll around rain gardens and enjoy facilities such as fitness stations and playgrounds.
The four new neighbourhood centres are the first to be built by HDB in over a decade. The last ones were Punggol Plaza and Pioneer Mall, which were completed in 2004. The agency explained that it had stopped doing so in order to “increase private sector participation in the provision of commercial facilities in HDB Towns”.
However, it noted that private developers usually build neighbourhood centres if they see that the population is large enough to support their business operations, creating inconvenience to residents.
As such, HDB decided to take back the role of building the neighbourhood centres to meet the needs of residents.
Image: Artist’s impression of Oasis Terraces. Source: HDB