Speech by DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, at the opening of Punggol Town Square and Punggol Discovery Cube on 15 January 2017.
“Coming Together for Punggol”
Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Education Dr Janil Puthucheary,
Member of Parliament Ms Sun Xueling,
HDB Chief Executive Officer Ms Cheong Koon Hean,
Pasir-Ris Punggol Grassroots Leaders and Volunteers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to join you at the opening of Punggol Town Square and the Punggol Discovery Cube.
A Waterfront Town of the 21st Century
Ten years ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced HDB’s Remaking our Heartland programme to transform HDB estates into more vibrant homes for Singaporeans. Under this programme, Punggol was planned as “A Waterfront Town of the 21st Century”.
Indeed, Punggol has seen a huge transformation. In the past decade, more than 26,000 HDB homes and 5,800 private housing units have been added to Punggol Town. We now have 50 000 units in Punggol and many more planned in the coming years. We have a new reservoir, the beautiful MyWaterway@Punggol, which some call the “Venice of Singapore”. And we now have a vibrant Town Centre, Waterway Point Shopping Mall and SAFRA Punggol, with amenities catering to the needs of our residents.
Punggol is also Singapore’s first ‘eco-town’ and a living laboratory for HDB to test out new green technologies and urban solutions. Many initiatives for sustainable living have been implemented, in the areas of clean energy, water and waste management. For instance, Treelodge@Punggol was HDB’s first Build-to-Order project to pilot solar PV installations. This has helped to power common services such as corridor lighting and lifts. To date, over half of the HDB blocks in Punggol have solar panels. This will be extended to all suitable HDB blocks in Punggol by 2020. These developments have brought us closer to the vision of Punggol as a sustainable and waterfront town.
Bringing Punggol to Life
Volunteer groups such as the Waterways Watch Society have organised programmes to encourage stewardship for the environment. There are also 630 Heartland Ambassadors in Punggol. These young students reach out to our residents, and spread the message of gracious and responsible living. You will see many of them here at the exhibition, including those from Punggol View Primary School and Edgefield Primary School.
This Town Square is part of our latest efforts to bring Punggol residents together. It is a good place for residents to gather and bond – located in the heart of Punggol, well-connected with transport facilities, and with shopping, dining and other facilities.
To make the best use of the Town Square, a multi-agency Town Square Activation Team will bring the Town Square to life, with over 300 ideas for activities that our residents have suggested.
We have already lined up activities for 2017. For instance, the mass walk along MyWaterway@Punggol was led by a team called “FitNgss” (pronounced as “Fit Ngs”), named after the pair of fit sisters with surname Ng! With your active participation, you can help contribute your ideas and bring Punggol Town to life.
The Punggol Discovery Cube is the first visitor centre to be built in an HDB town. Come discover Punggol’s rich history, development, and unique features through the interactive model and video shows in the Discovery Cube. It will help educate more residents and students on how we can make our towns more sustainable and green.
For those who prefer to explore Punggol on foot, HDB has launched a new mobile app called “Our Heartland Trails.” It takes you on an interactive journey and features many landmarks in Punggol.
Do take time to rediscover all these interesting places within Punggol with your family, friends and neighbours.
Punggol is about you, your family, your neighbours, and your community. Come together as a community and make Punggol a great home for all of us. Thank you and have a wonderful day ahead.
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