Facilitating Community Participation

HDB continued to drive place-making as an integral part of its community-building efforts. This FY, HDB organised the third run of Build-a-thon, which drew the highest participation since its inception. Build-a-thon is an innovation challenge for residents, offering them an opportunity to create innovative projects that promote community bonding and enliven heartland spaces. HDB partnered Republic Polytechnic to conduct Design Thinking workshops, which helped to refine the proposals put forth by the participants to make the neighbourhood even more vibrant. Some $145,000 was set aside from HDB’s Friendly Faces, Lively Places (FFLP) fund to prototype selected ideas, such as a hydroponic community garden and rejuvenated void deck with 3D wall murals.

In October 2019, the FFLP fund and the Build-a-thon were consolidated under an umbrella programme called the Lively Places Programme (LPP). Under it, HDB received over 80 applications in the past FY and disbursed close to $220,000 to support these community-driven projects. The Build-a-thon was also renamed as Lively Places Challenge (LPC).

Celebrating Heartland Life

Friends of Our Heartlands volunteers from Jurong Pioneer Junior College interacting with the elderly during the HDB Community Week

The HDB Community Week, held from 25 May to 2 June 2019, brought 11,260 residents together over a week of events and ground-up community activities that encouraged residents to take greater ownership in strengthening community ties.

As part of the events, 14 National (Open and Student) Recipients and 2 Most Active Schools were recognised with the Good Neighbour Award (GNA) at the GNA Ceremony held at Oasis Terraces. Co-organised with People’s Association (PA) and Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), it attracted 3,052 nominations.

76% of those who participated in the HDB Community Week 2019 survey said they picked up tips on neighbourliness, while close to half said they were willing to organise activities for the community.

Getting Youths Involved

HDB continued to grow youth involvement in community-building efforts. In 2019, HDB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Temasek Polytechnic (TP), to promote active ageing in HDB estates.

Supported by the Lively Places Programme, students planned a Silver Fitness and Wellness Carnival at Bedok Town Square in conjunction with HDB Community Week 2019. The students who majored in Gerontology put into practice their learnings and organised activities aimed at helping the elderly remain healthy and involved in the community. Over 5,200 elderly residents participated in activities such as mass stretching, a talk on ‘Mindfulness’, and workshops during the carnival. In addition to the carnival, TP students befriended 763 seniors through a series of physical activities in the FY, as part of their curriculum.

HDB’s Project SPHERE (Students, Singapore Pools, and HDB Enriching and Reaching out to the Elderly) saw more than 2,200 students and adult volunteers interacting with elderly tenants in HDB’s rental flats, through activities such as spring cleaning and gate painting. HDB also organised 64 OHYAY! (Outreach to Young and Youth) roadshows in schools to raise students’ awareness about neighbourliness and caring for the environment.

HDB towns are designed with a variety of community spaces for residents of all ages to interact and bond

Strengthening Bonds

About 15,862 soon-to-be-homeowners attended the 20 MyNiceHome roadshows organised by HDB as of March 2020. The roadshows aim to give new neighbours the opportunity to build bonds and familiarise themselves with their living environment, even before they move into their new homes. To help them better visualise the interiors of their flats, HDB also rolled out a new 360-degree virtual tour function in March 2020.

In addition, HDB surveyed 700 future residents of Tengah to better understand their expectations of their future living environment. HDB will use these findings to develop community-building programmes in the new town.