SINGAPORE - Two design ideas for Housing Board towns will be tried out in Tampines Central from June this year to May next year, to see if they can promote community bonding.
Get the full story from The Straits Times.
The first is a "social linkway concept" to convert linkways into more active social spaces, while another is a "one-stop community hub", for residents to connect through community activities.
Here is the statement on the research study by the HDB:
The HDB-NUS research study was initiated at last year's HDB Community Week to study the impact of the built environment on community bonding. It seeks to study HDB's past efforts in design concepts and to uncover new design strategies in facilitating community bonding.
The findings from the one-year study show that HDB precincts offer multiple opportunities for neighbours to meet, through facilities such as linkways, playgrounds and fitness corners. It also observed that residents who frequently use the amenities in their precincts registered a stronger sense of belonging and community.
From the findings, the study identified several strategies useful in facilitating community interaction in a precinct, most of which have already been implemented by HDB in the new towns.
The first strategy is the clustering of play-spaces. Co-locating three or more play spaces in an area will lead to an increase in the frequency of usage and attract a diversity of users as it caters to different needs. This can be observed in the Tiong Bahru and Punggol study sites where the 3G playgrounds are provided.
The second strategy is to facilitate the creation of micro-communities, particularly at floor level. HDB is testing this idea in a few projects, for example at the new Build-To-Order (BTO) development at Depot Heights, where larger lift lobbies are designed at every floor to enhance the quality and the intensity of neighbourly interactions.
Moving forward, HDB will study and test out other concepts proposed by the study. One of these is the social linkway concept. Currently, linkways are designed for transitional purpose and there is potential to explore how these spaces can be turned into more active social spaces. The social linkway concept proposes for linkways to be integrated with supporting facilities and functions, and to be equipped with more seating to increase chances of interaction.
Another concept that HDB is keen to test is the neighbourhood incubator concept. This concept centres around the idea that it is important to have a one-stop community hub, for residents to connect through community activities and ground-up initiatives.
HDB will be prototyping the social linkway and neighbourhood incubator concepts in Tampines Central for a year from May 2014 to Apr 2015. Similar concepts are also being explored for new housing areas like Bidadari and Tampines North.