Singapore

Three heartland towns set for makeovers

When Mr Chung See Fook, 46, moved into Woodlands 25 years ago, the town was mostly forested and had few people.

It was a far cry from the crowded shopping malls and packed transport nodes of today.

But "there is still room for Woodlands to improve", said the engineer.

And changes are afoot, with plans for a new town plaza and upgrades to a waterfront park among others.

Come April 16, renewal plans for Woodlands under the Housing Board's Remaking Our Heartland programme will be unveiled in an exhibition at Woodlands Central.

Residents of Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris can also view the renewal plans for their estates from April 22 at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh and April 29 at Pasir Ris Town Centre respectively.

"These plans will further rejuvenate the town and will further benefit more than half a million residents living in the three towns," said HDB director of physical planning Choo Chin Hua.

Each plan focuses on strengthening the unique character and distinctive features of the respective town, as well as on enhancing community spaces and facilities so residents may interact more with one another, said Mr Choo.

Existing connectivity networks will also be enhanced to improve walking and cycling experiences within the towns, he added.

Highlights include a new town plaza in Woodlands Central, which will allow residents to organise more large-scale activities.

The Woodlands Waterfront park will also be transformed with landscaping and more shaded areas for visitors.

A new "community nexus" near Admiralty MRT station will serve as a one-stop hub for amenities for Woodlands residents, while the pedestrian mall at Toa Payoh Town Centre will be enhanced with more greenery, rest areas and shelters.

In Pasir Ris, a new town centre will serve as a focal point for community activities.

Pasir Ris Park and Beach will also be rejuvenated with more family-oriented spaces and recreation options.

More details will be provided at the exhibitions.

The plans were first announced in 2015, and some 400 residents and community stakeholders from the three towns participated in focus group discussions.

Residents can still offer feedback at the upcoming exhibitions, said Mr Choo.

"We do welcome residents to take a look at these plans and give us further suggestions and ideas to fine-tune the plans with the relevant government agencies," he said.

hdbWoodlandsToa Payoh