RESIDENTS of Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Pasir Ris will soon get a chance to contribute ideas to the revamps of their towns.
The Housing Board will be conducting eight focus group discussions next month with about 500 residents and community stakeholders from these towns.
The three towns are the third batch in the HDB's Remaking Our Heartland programme, which is aimed at rejuvenating HDB towns and estates here.
Punggol, Yishun and Dawson were the first towns selected for the programme in 2007, followed by East Coast, Hougang and Jurong Lake in 2011.
There will be two discussion sessions each for Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris, while Woodlands will have four. This is the first time that the HDB will be gathering feedback from residents and stakeholders at an early stage.
The early consultation will provide the HDB with a better understanding of residents' experiences and views about their towns, and allow it to get ideas from them to build a better living environment in the towns, said the HDB in a statement yesterday.
The discussions will cover issues such as how to improve connectivity networks and how to enhance public spaces to promote interaction among residents.
Among the three towns that are due for a freshening up, Toa Payoh was singled out as being a special place for many Singaporeans by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.
"This year, Singapore turns 50 and so does Toa Payoh town. Its development runs parallel to the progress of Singapore," he said at the HDB's Good Neighbours Project award ceremony at the HDB Hub.
"From a backward swampland, Singapore's first new town fully planned and built by the HDB is today bustling and thriving."
Toa Payoh, which means "big swamp" in Hokkien and Malay, is home to about 110,000 HDB dwellers. In commemoration of the town's jubilee anniversary, an electronic photograph book and exhibition on its heritage was launched as well.
At the award event yesterday, students from primary, secondary and post-secondary schools were lauded for carrying out projects that encourage neighbourliness.
The projects, which will be shown in an exhibition at the HDB Hub till the end of this month, include a baking class, a book donation drive and a game carnival.
The baking class was organised by five students from the pastry and baking course at the Institute of Technical Education College West. They taught about a hundred residents how to make traditional food, such as nine-layered cake, glutinous rice balls and muah chee, at Chua Chu Kang Community Club last month.
Ms Nur Nazirah Arianie Sairi, 18, one of the students, said: "We wanted to not only help the residents bond, but also introduce traditional kuehs to the younger generation."
For the discussion sessions, residents can sign up by June 1 at http://heartland.hdb.gov.sg/roh3_public_consultation.html
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