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Mon 24 May 2010
Make Singapore an endearing home? How about we "cherish and safeguard our built and natural heritage"
Category : conceptplan
The Focus Group on Sustainability and Identity for the Concept Plan Review 2011 presented their "Summary of Preliminary Recommendations" on 6th May 2010 for pubic feedback. You can read the entire document and submit your feedback by 25 May 2010 at http://spring.ura.gov.sg/conceptplan2011/publicforum/
One question the focus group addressed was "Making Singapore an endearing home - Singapore is famous for being clean, green, safe, and meticulously planned. What is it about Singapore, however, that makes it special‚ endearing‚ to us, and how can we keep it that way?"
The focus group responded with two suggestions, here is the first:
CHERISH AND SAFEGUARD OUR BUILT AND NATURAL HERITAGE
Singapore has much built and natural heritage which can contribute to an increased sense of belonging to Singapore. These include our historic districts (such as Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Little India) and monuments (such as the old Supreme Court and City Hall), local areas of identity (such as Thomson Village, Joo Chiat, and Changi Village) and iconic structures (such as Esplanade and Merlion), public housing estates, parks and waterbodies, and nature reserves/areas (for example Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Pulau Ubin).
Our historic districts should continue to be relevant to our people in terms of their activities and uses.
- A Heritage Charter jointly drawn up by the public, private and people sectors can be introduced to guide the kinds of activities and uses to be allowed in heritage areas, for example historic districts.
- We should respect certain monuments when considering the type of uses to allow in their vicinity.
- While the kind of activities and trades in historic districts would have to stay relevant with changing needs, the key traditional trades and activities within historic districts should be retained to better differentiate these areas from other places.
- The activities in our local areas of identity should complement the character of the surroundings.
- We also need to develop more iconic structures.
What is also unique about Singapore are our public housing estates, where more than 80% of Singaporeans live.
- We should retain significant buildings and iconic structures in such estates even as we rejuvenate them so that they are differentiated and distinctive in the eyes of those who lived there.
- Popular facilities that anchor people to our housing estates should be retained and enhanced so that they remain relevant to the needs of the people, such as schools, wet markets and hawker centres and town centres/squares.
- Original names of places and streets can also be retained to strengthen our sense of identity.
Singapore's image as a City in a Garden can be further strengthened to make Singapore even more distinctive and to enhance our sense of belonging to Singapore.
- We should make our parks more distinctive by designating parks with national or historical significance as 'National Parks.'
- Town parks in public housing estates should also be made more distinctive through a combination of waterbodies, activities, landscaping, and greenery that reflect the history of the town.
Our natural heritage is also an important aspect of what makes Singapore distinctive and endearing.
- We should give stronger and more explicit emphasis to recognizing the role of our natural heritage in creating an endearing home.
- While much biodiversity on land has been retained, we should also retain and protect more of our remaining marine biodiversity.
- We should also consider how biodiversity can be promoted in our urban environment at 3 levels:
- (a) local, such as the incorporation of green features into our buildings including green roofs, skyrise gardens, and green walls,
- (b) district or regional, by including the connectivity of green spaces as part of the general planning guidelines, and
- (c) system-level, by thinking of and planning green spaces as urban ecosystems that support biodiversity and provide key ecological services to people.