Homing in on 50 fave spots on SG Heart Map

Homing in on 50 fave spots on SG Heart Map

Under the moonlight, two friends perched atop a "super tree" fell in love. The lovebirds, university undergraduates Elena Ng and Jason Lee, had been working at the newly opened Gardens by the Bay during their holidays in June 2012.

It was at the OCBC Skyway, an aerial walkway linking a cluster of tree-like architectural structures up to 22m in height, that their relationship blossomed.

Said Ms Ng, now 24 and an engineer: "The skyway was our favourite station among the attractions. At the end of the night, when the crowds had left, we would linger for another 15 minutes chatting as we took in the view of the glittering skyline before us."

Ms Ng's story is one of 80,000 personal memories of places and spaces that are part of the SG Heart Map. The project has singled out 50 special areas that "define Singapore as home", to mark the country's 50th birthday this year.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu unveiled the 50 locations yesterday.

They include Little India, Orchard Road, Singapore Changi Airport and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Tours will be organised to rediscover some of these spaces.

The free tours will take place on June 27 and 28, July 4 and 5, and Aug 7 and 10. They will cover five zones across Singapore and can cater to an average of 80 people per tour.

The North-East tour, for instance, will cover stops such as Punggol Waterway Park, Punggol Jetty, Pasir Ris Town Park and the Tampines Round Market. People can sign up on the SG50 website www.heartmap.sg.

The SG50 project has been collecting stories via its website, contribution booths and roving vans since its launch six months ago.

Organisers said that about one in four contributions centred around lives and memories in Housing Board towns. The first HDB satellite town, Toa Payoh, was mentioned the most.

Noting the mix of older areas such as Little India, as well as new sites such as Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Sports Hub, Ms Fu - who is the co-chair of the SG50 Environment and Infrastructure Committee overseeing the project - said: "It shows that...we have some acknowledgement about the past development and appreciation of newer developments.

"By going through this SG Heart Map exercise, we realise that Singaporeans are building new and common memories together in new places."

In her contribution to the map, she chose the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which Singapore hopes will soon be named a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Ms Fu said she used to go on dates and strolls there with her boyfriend - now her husband - technopreneur Ivan Lee.

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