BankBazaar Singapore – January 9, 2018
Singapore: HDB has recently announced its plans to take the Build-A-Playground (BAP) initiative to other parts of Singapore, after the first playground co-designed and built by an enthusiastic group of Canberra residents.
First proposed by residents of Canberra estate, Sembawang, during the Annual Community Week hosted by the Housing & Development Board in 2014, the playground was officially opened for the public on 7 January 2018.
The first playground, designed and built by a resident community under the aegis of HDB, stands proudly adjacent to Block 334, Sembawang Close in Sembawang HDB estate. It is aptly called The Adventure Playground@Canberra. The success of the pilot BAP initiative has given HDB the confidence to expand its reach.
HDB announced on Sunday that five new community playgrounds in the HDB towns of Woodlands, Pasir Ris, Toa Payoh and Choa Chu Kang will be completed as a part of the BAP initiative through direct participation of the community residents.
HDB is hopeful that this project will inculcate a sense of community belonging, ownership and bonding among the residents. The project allows the adults and the children of these communities to have a direct say in matters of community integration and development.
The dream of having a playground built directly by and for the residents of an HDB community was achieved by hosting a series of engagement activities between 2015 and 2017, which included roadshows, surveys and workshops. The residents were encouraged to come up with their own ideas of what would be a suitable playground, keeping the unique history of Sembawang and their needs, in mind.
HDB said that around 1,800 residents of the community including those from Blocks 329 to 338, Sembawang Close, were involved in the design and creation of the ground. Students from nearby schools also participated in the transformation of the open plot of land close to Block 334 into a beautiful Kelong-inspired playground.
HDB further added that almost 300 people took part in the design workshops conducted by it. After numerous design ideas were discussed and mooted by the community members, the final design was conceptualised and finalised.
Keeping in view Sembawang’s heritage and past history of being a fishing village, residents planned to incorporate Kelong-themed design ideas while creating the 185m square playground. Kelongs or fishing jetties, nettings, hammocks and climbing structures were added to the layout because these are integral to Sembawang’s culture.
While interactive and adventurous equipment like fireman’s pole, climbing structures and step ladders were added to satisfy the demands of the children, more seats were also added keeping in mind the needs of the supervising parents and guardians.
The residents also decided to go with a green-and-brown colour code to complement the Kelong theme and adventurous spirit of the playground.
Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development & Second Minister for Finance, declared it open on Sunday. HDB has planned to take this initiative forward under some of its estate renewal plans.