Singaporeans prioritise nature spaces, affordable housing: Poll
Eight in 10 of those who responded to a poll on long-term land use plans felt that parks, nature spaces and greenery are key to making Singapore a good place to live, work and play.
A similar number said affordable housing was critical in the poll by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which gathered Singaporeans' views as part of a year-long consultation on the Long-Term Plan Review.
More than 5,600 people responded to the poll between July 17 and Aug 27, said URA yesterday, adding that respondents were of diverse backgrounds and profiles.
Previously known as the concept plan, the long-term plans will guide development over the next 50 years and beyond. They are reviewed every decade to take into account evolving trends and changing demands.
Meanwhile, it has held three workshops since Aug 28, in which about 200 members of the public - representing various segments of the community - discussed the poll's preliminary findings.
The third workshop took place yesterday, with participants considering topics such as what will make Singapore a good living environment, as well as their concerns and the values they hope the country will uphold.
At the virtual workshop, 75 participants were split into smaller groups to discuss these issues before reassembling to share what they had discussed.
Their top concern about the future was the impact of climate change, with many also keen to see Singaporeans live in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah, who hosted yesterday's workshop and sat in for some of the small group discussions, said the idea of sustainable living and sustainability goes beyond addressing climate change, as she touched on the sustainable use of land.
"I noticed that in one of the (small group) chats, there was discussion on lease expiring, and would it be possible to extend the leases," she said, citing the 99-year leases for Housing Board flats.
"If you look at it from a sustainability viewpoint, that wouldn't be what we want to do," said Ms Indranee, adding that 99-year-old buildings were not designed to last longer than that, and may face issues such as leaking pipes and spalling concrete.
She also said that values will anchor Singaporeans' collective vision for the future. About 80 per cent of the poll's respondents said they wanted society to be inclusive and caring, with workshop participants like Ms Pek Aiwei suggesting more could be done to meet the needs of an ageing population.
"With smaller family sizes and a population that is ageing, the burden of care will fall disproportionately on the younger generation in about 20 years, so it is critical to consider long-term solutions to this," said the 36-year-old, who works as a risk manager in a bank.
"Whether it is providing housing solutions for the elderly and their caretakers, or the stress of relocating old people when rejuvenation projects are called, land use policies have a large role to play in alleviating potential problems," she added.
The next stage of the consultation will touch on specific themes such as the environment, living, work and mobility.
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