The Housing and Development Board or HBD manages the public housing in Singapore. Most of the residential places are publicly governed in Singapore and around 85% Singaporeans live in these houses. These houses are located within housing estates which are self sufficient in terms of having schools, clinics, supermarkets and hawker centres as well. The HBD provides many types of layouts and types of flats to cater to various budgets. HBD is responsible for providing housing to the masses in Singapore.
Though in many countries, living in public housing is considered a sign of poverty but this is not the case in Singapore. These houses are usually built cheaper than private houses but are in no way a sign of poverty. They cater to the upper middle class segment.
Singapore as a country has reached the developed country status at a very fast pace. The developments and infrastructures have been developed rapidly. But it is often listed as one of the more polluted cities of the world. The city has become more or less a concrete jungle. To change this image, Singapore and BD are hoping to create greener spaces to live and the residents of those housing estates. HBD has introduced a massive park in its estate, which provides the green respite to residents. This plan by HBD to bring sustainable living into existence will be carried out in Jurong East in phases from 2013 to 2014. With such a stressed out life, the potential of such green spaces is a lot. According to some residents, Singapore should be using more of such green spaces, for people to relax. HBD is also encouraging and aiding people to convert the existing sections of the housing estate into green living areas. They are building new cycling tracks, new bicycle parking facilities, planting more plants and trees. There are also plans for building of underground pipes to carry waste to centralized bins. The plan is also set up to intensify the greenery in and around the estate by having green roofs, landscaping and by adding vertical greenery. The green print includes solar panels, rainwater harvesting system and sensor-controlled LED lightings for outdoor street lamps. These eco friendly solutions can save up big money annually.
This proposed project for creating green spaces is HBD’s pilot neighbourhood and is going to have four revolving display to showcase the proposed plans and take opinions from the residents. There is also a scheme introduced by the local council. It is called as “Save – as – you – recycle”. This encourages residents to reduce waste and promote recycling. “Green towns need ‘green’ residents”, states Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, HDB Chief Executive Officer. It is necessary for people to embrace eco friendly practices to keep the city clean and green. It is expected that the residents will be a part of this process to generate liveable environments. These initiatives under the HBD greenprint are aimed at green neighbourhoods, greener flats and green communities.
The people staying are keen to help so that they have a clean and spotless. Reduction in 20 percent waste will save a dollar every month through the monthly collection fee. There is a proposal for increasing connectivity between people’s homes and neighbourhood parks and public transport points. Also pedestrian paths will be setup to encourage residents to commute to neighbourhoods by walking.
The green flats will be designed in such a way to help residents replace their appliances like refrigerators, lightings and air conditionings with more energy efficient ones. HBD is planning to get vendors to link up with the project so that residents get a discounted rate on the stuff. The change to energy-saving appliances not only adds to a greener environment, but can also potentially cut down the household electricity bills. Greener communities will be achieved by spreading awareness and attract people to take interest in activities like gardening, eco arts and form green interest groups. HBD is keen to take suggestions from the residents. There will also be a fund set aside which will be used for other HBD green projects and will be open to the rest of Singapore.
Singaporeans can set an example for the future of green movement and development for many other people. There was also an environmentally-sustainable lifestyle event organised to make the city realize the importance of going green. Many people participated in this event. This event as organised by the SEC, Singapore Environmental Council and the people response was great. They all wished to see Singapore an environmentally sound country considering the climatic issues faced across the globe. The event revolved around the “Green Theme” and focused on the association between protection of the environment with healthy living and the reduction of carbon footprint. It was also emphasized that going green should not be a compromise on the creativity. Both can go hand in hand.
Author Bio: The article is drawn by Jason Phillips. He is a real estate developer and a guest blogger. He keeps posting his articles on the topics like environment, real estate, etc. He last wrote for smsf property investment.