Playgrounds in Woodlands East which has a “community” theme can feature kampung-inspired play equipment (Source: HDB).

HDB introduces Town Design Guides to strengthen the distinctive identities of 24 HDB towns

Housing and Development Board (HDB) is introducing Town Design Guides for each of its 24 towns.

In a press release on Tuesday, HDB stated that each customised Guide will chronicle the town’s history, vision and distinct character to unify its future developments as the town evolves.

On the same day, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, launched the first guide, “Our Town, Woodlands: Design Guide 2018” at the PEAK Forum held at the HDB Hub.

Unique to each town, HDB said that the Town Design Guides will serve as a useful reference document to guide new developments in the town, as well as the rejuvenation of existing areas under various programmes which are carried out by different government agencies and town councils.

"With a holistic understanding of the history, planning vision and design intent of each town through the guide, these agencies will be better-placed to build on the town’s distinctiveness and maintain its identity when they carry out enhancements and improvements to the town," it noted.

HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean said, “Every HDB town is planned with its own distinct character and features that reflect the town’s history. With different agencies and the town councils carrying out regular enhancements and improvements throughout the life cycle of the town, it is important to align all the different agencies’ efforts and ensure a coherent design and town identity."

"Hence, HDB as the master planner, is taking a step further by publishing a Design Guide for each town.  Over the next five years, every town will have its own Design Guide. This will guide the agencies, town councils, and their design consultants, as they carry out improvements to the towns in the years to come. In this way, we continue to strengthen the identity of each town, preserve the distinctive local flavour, and deepen the sense of belonging among residents to their home," he added.

The Town Design Guide consists of three key scales – town, neighbourhood and precinct. Town scale layers provide the overall theme, concept and vision of the town, neighbourhood scale layers set out the themes and concepts based on the heritage and character of each area, and precinctscale layers guide the detailed design of individual projects, aligned with the neighbourhood themes.

Source: HDB.

HDB stated that Woodlands, one of the towns identified for renewal under the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme, is the first to have its own Town Design Guide. The Woodlands Town Design Guide sets out the context and history of Woodlands, and the planning, urban design and architectural design intents conceived for the town.

As the designs of public housing evolve, HDB stressed that more attention will be paid to infusing character and identity into the towns. The introduction of a Town Design Guide for each town marks a key milestone in our journey towards well-designed, sustainable and community-centric towns under our Roadmap to Better Living in HDB Towns.  

Going forward, HDB stressed that it will continue to seek out new planning concepts and design ideas to create towns with strong identities to foster a strong sense of place and belonging for Singaporeans.