The Evolution of Public Space Design and Provision and its Usage

The Evolution of Public Space Design and Provision and its Usage

Traditionally, public housing development has been undertaken by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) of Singapore, to provide affordable and quality housing for the citizens of Singapore. In the recent years, in a bid to improve the quality and design of public housing, HDB has, through competitions, awarded firms from...
Spatially Defiant Practices in Singapore's Public Spaces

Spatially Defiant Practices in Singapore’s Public Spaces

In the planning of public space in Singapore, the hegemony of the planned space dominates the discussion. However, at the level of spatial practice, or the “lived” social dimension, the prescribed uses or desired social outcomes of the physical planned infrastructure are not always directly manifested or translated. This is...
Stakeholders of Community Participatory Design: Designers as Community Facilitators

Stakeholders of Community Participatory Design: Designers as Community Facilitators

Continuing from my previous article ‘Extending community participatory design in Singapore’s built environment: the potential of designers’, which postulates why designers should be mobilised in the push for greater community participatory design (CPD) efforts, we now take a closer look into the stakeholders within CPD projects. Through the analysis of...
Hong Kong’s In-Between Spaces: Alleyway

Hong Kong’s In-Between Spaces: Alleyway

Hong Kong is a city known for its lack of space – both public and private. Some may argue that the government has provided sufficient public space in the form of recreational parks within the public housing estate and other sizable parks which includes Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Park, Victoria...
Tactical urbanism in Singapore

Tactical urbanism in Singapore

Rising trend of tactical urbanism Tactical urbanism is a term coined by Mike Lydon [1] describing the deliberate short term action of local ideas, typically executed in form of lighter, quicker and cheaper interventions. These short-term ideas are often temporary and relatively inexpensive alterations to a public space, enabling direct...
The evaluation of public space in Singapore’s housing estates

The evaluation of public space in Singapore’s housing estates

In Singapore, the role of public space within the public housing estates developed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has perceivably shifted in its approach.  This shift entails the role of public space from pragmatic considerations of ventilation and recreation, toward political and ideological representations of identity and community,...
The Evolution of High-Rise Living in Singapore: A Hypothesis of what has changed.

The Evolution of High-Rise Living in Singapore: A Hypothesis of what has changed.

Singapore is a young nation but she has seen one of the most numbers of high-rise residential developments over the past few decades since she gained independence, alongside other developing countries in the Southeast Asia, and in China. Building typologies today are so different than when it was, more than...
The public life of Sham Shui Po

The public life of Sham Shui Po

Sham Shu Po is one of the 18 districts in Hong Kong, and the poorest one. It is considered one of the areas with the highest population density, and also the highest poverty rate at 18.2% [1]. Despite its popularity with tourists, this district is concentrated in low-income families, new immigrants,...
Creative Placemaking: Re-imagining urban spaces in Singapore

Creative Placemaking: Re-imagining urban spaces in Singapore

Shift from top down place management to bottom up placemaking As a rapidly developing city, Singapore has adopted a highly centralised approach to the planning of land-use since the 1960s. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore sifts out a quinquennial Master Plan to revise the use of Singapore’s limited land...
Extending community participatory design in Singapore’s built environment: the potential of designers

Extending community participatory design in Singapore’s built environment: the potential of designers

In a dialogue with Singapore Perspectives 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed that “It is our responsibility as a government to try and help Singapore society come to a consensus on issues. We must all have a stake in growth and progress, and feel that society is going in...
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Towards high-density green living: Case studies of green vertical buildings

Towards high-density green living: Case studies of green vertical buildings

Out of the three main pillars of sustainable development for Singapore (figure 1), a major part of environmental sustainability in terms of the built environment comes from the BCA Green Mark Scheme as well as the ABC Waters Programme by PUB (Public Utilities Board). The Green Mark Scheme by Building Construction Authority (BCA) focuses on sustainability...
Unregulated but Dynamic:  Economy and Community within the Kowloon Walled City

Unregulated but Dynamic: Economy and Community within the Kowloon Walled City

BACKGROUND   Twenty years after its demolition, the Kowloon Walled City (KWC) in Hong Kong remains an intriguing example to urban planners and architects today. With 50,000 people and businesses housed in a mere 2.79 ha, KWC was the densest place in the world (1,920,000 people per km2). (Figures 1 and 2) KWC was originally...
Learning from the Dutch: A Case Study of Shared Inter-generational Living for the Young and Old

Learning from the Dutch: A Case Study of Shared Inter-generational Living for the Young and Old

In Singapore, the number of senior independent dwelling living has increased from 14,500 to 42,000 during 2000-2014. While the number of young people decreases continuously, the age group over 65 years who live independently is expected to increase up to 80,000 by the year of 2030. Due to the consequences arising from demographic change, such as poverty and loneliness among the elderly, there is an urgent need to find sustainable solutions to develop...
Case Study: Project Nemausus by Jean Nouvel

Case Study: Project Nemausus by Jean Nouvel

                                  Project Nemausus by Jean Nouvel was a radical housing experiment that sought to apply industrial principles and materials to social housing. Nemausus was built in 1987 and is situated in an industrial zone in the southwest part of...
Rethinking and Redefining Rental Housing

Rethinking and Redefining Rental Housing

The success story of public housing and mass home ownership in Singapore is a matter of great national pride.Singapore is well known for its wide spread implementation of public housing that does not possess negative stereotypes of public housing, prevalent in other countries, as homes for the destitute and poor that are often hot spots...
Challenging Age Segregation:  Rethinking School Systems and Typology for Intergenerational Learning

Challenging Age Segregation: Rethinking School Systems and Typology for Intergenerational Learning

PREAMBLE   People are segregated by age in everyday lives – education is seen as the domain of the young, work as the adults’, and retirement and leisure as seniors’. This is the tripartite structuring of our lives (Figure 1) – an age-based thinking institutionalized and manifested into age-segregated spaces – that has become socially...
2030 Singapore: Live, Work, Play...and Grow?

2030 Singapore: Live, Work, Play…and Grow?

Global Food Risks: Urbanization, Growing Population and Climate Change Globally, more people live in urban areas than in rural areas, with 54 per cent of the world’s population residing in urban areas in 2014. It is postulated that by 2050, 66 per cent of the world’s population will be residing in urban cities. Continuing population...
Cohousing as an Alternative Communal Living for Singapore

Cohousing as an Alternative Communal Living for Singapore

Current Housing Situation in Singapore In Singapore, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is the organisation that provides proper housing for the citizens since the 1960s. Today, these HDB flats can be considered as financial assets due to high cost and land value. Apart from the housing policies and criteria, home ownership has become increasingly expensive...
Community gardens and sustainable urban design

Community gardens and sustainable urban design

Community gardens have gained a lot of attention and popularity over the past years in terms of community-driven and sustainable urban design, which can help cities in addressing their social, economic and environmental problems. Although South Korean and Slovene cities don’t have much in common at first sight the Community Eco Garden in Maribor may...
Sungei Road: The Final Contest

Sungei Road: The Final Contest

“We need an environment which is not simply well organized, but poetic and symbolic as well. It should speak of the individuals and their complex society, of their aspirations and their historical tradition, of the natural setting, and of the complicated functions and movements of the city world….Such a sense of place in itself enhances...
Learning from Hong Kong Part II: A Case study of Citywalk, Tsuen Wan Town Centre

Learning from Hong Kong Part II: A Case study of Citywalk, Tsuen Wan Town Centre

The comprehensive development of Citywalk the podium structure strategically located at the Tsuen Wan Town Centre was a redevelopment area proposed by Urban Renewal Authority, where the preceding land was old buildings for public housing owned by the Housing Society. The former buildings were demolished in the year 1990 with building age of over 30...
Learning from Hong Kong Part I: Towards Mixed-use (Podium) Development

Learning from Hong Kong Part I: Towards Mixed-use (Podium) Development

Introduction to Mixed-use development in Hong Kong Hong Kong represents a singular case of its own. Hong Kong is unique because it represents an extreme case of overcrowding, escalating population growth, scarcity of land resource, intensification of land-use activities, burdened by an absence of raw materials and natural resources. High-rise and high density living is...