SINGAPORE - Seafront public housing, an expanded town centre, more green parks and corridors, as well as a pedestrian-friendly heritage trail.
These are just some of the Housing Board's (HDB's) plans for the next chapter of Punggol's development in the next five to 15 years, and beyond.
"The number of apartments (in Punggol) will be increased from the current 26,000 to nearly 100,000. Punggol will be twice of what Ang Mo Kio is today," said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday, during this year's HDB Awards held at Marina Bay Sands.
The awards are presented annually to HDB's top industry partners, in recognition of their contributions towards providing quality public housing for Singaporeans.
HDB said that Punggol is currently at the halfway mark, with 48,000 units to be completed by 2016.
The Housing Board also revealed that public- housing projects in the Matilda and Northshore districts will be launched within the next five years, subject to demand.
These districts will be the latest to feature water- front housing after Waterway East and Waterway West, which are under development.
Other new areas that can be expected are Punggol Point District, Crescent District and Canal District.
Each district will feature signature characteristics, to give residents a stronger sense of attachment to their neighbourhoods, said HDB.
For instance, Northshore District will house Punggol's tallest residential buildings, with better-designed gardens and garden forecourts, while Matilda District's landscape and architecture may draw inspiration from the area's rich plantation history.
The Punggol town centre will be expanded to form the new Punggol Downtown, with more civic spaces including a waterfront market, learning corridor for educational institutions and a creative cluster to host commercial activities.
Residents of Punggol, HDB's first eco-town, can also look forward to the Green Heart, an enhancement to the existing My Waterway@Punggol and the Punggol Waterway Park. And Green Fingers will provide residents with recreational space which is closed to vehicular traffic.
Other community spaces to come include the Punggol Town Square, a new sports complex, a horse-riding centre and a new hawker centre.
The plans for Punggol are in line with the key thrusts of HDB's road map in developing "well- designed, sustainable and community-centric towns", said Dr Cheong Koon Hean, chief executive of HDB.
Mr Khaw stressed the importance of "creating gems out of our HDB towns", so that Singaporeans can appreciate "a good quality of life in our heartland".