Unveiled: 50 special areas on Heart Map

Unveiled: 50 special areas on Heart Map
Mr Jason Lee and Ms Elena Ng at Gardens by the Bay - where they first got together - last Christmas. Their story is one of 80,000 memories of places and spaces that are part of the SG Heart Map project.

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.

Ms Ng, now 24 and an engineer, said: "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."

Her 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.

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

They include Little India, Orchard Road, Changi Airport and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Tours will be organised to rediscover some of these places.

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 cater to an average of 80 people a tour.

The north-east tour, for instance, will cover stopover points such as Punggol Waterway, Punggol Jetty, Pasir Ris Town Park and Tampines Round Market.

Those interested can sign up on the SG50 website at 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 about one in four contributions centres on lives and memories in Housing Board towns. The first HDB satellite town, Toa Payoh, is mentioned the most.

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

"By going through this SG Heart Map exercise, we realised 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 the country 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.

"There was one night we did not really look at the clock and we exceeded the time, so the gates were closed. I remember having to go around looking for the warden to open the gate for us," she said.

"This is the place I have very fond memories of... I used to go there with my family... and I still go there to jog regularly now from my (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) office. So indeed, it is a place that means a lot to me and I'm still interacting with it every day."


The 50 locations

THE 50 "special places in Singaporeans' hearts" are:

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park


Bukit Timah

Changi Village


Chinese Garden

Chong Pang Market and Food Centre

Downtown East

East Coast Park

Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

Haw Par Villa

Holland Village

Jurong Bird Park

Kampong Glam

Katong/Joo Chiat

Little India

MacRitchie Reservoir

Marina Barrage

Marina Bay

Marina Bay Sands

Merlion Park

Mount Faber Park

National Library building

National Museum of Singapore

National University of Singapore

Orchard Road

Pasir Ris Town Park

Pulau Tekong

Pulau Ubin

Punggol Waterway

Raffles Place

Resorts World Sentosa

River Safari


Science Centre Singapore


Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Flyer

Singapore River

Singapore Sports Hub

Singapore Zoo

Singapore Discovery Centre

Suntec City

Tanjong Pagar

Tiong Bahru

Toa Payoh


West Coast Park

This article was first published on May 25, 2015.
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