“Celebrating L.I.F.E in the Heartlands” comes “to life” from 21 to 27 May as HDB heartlanders can look forward to fun-filled events that facilitate the building of communities, cultivate the emotional connection amongst residents and inculcate a sense of responsibility to play an active part for their living environment.
In his blog entry on 18 May 2012, Minister for National Development Mr Khaw Boon Wan commented that, “We had five decades building HDB homes. Now, we want to build community among the residents. The task of building community is harder but much more important. Building community is not a new mission, but we are giving it greater emphasis. As I said so before, we should now try to recreate the old kampong in our HDB towns.”
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is not just a provider of homes, but also a builder of active and cohesive communities. CEO (HDB) Dr Cheong Koon Hean said: “In October last year, we introduced the ‘Roadmap to Better Living in HDB Towns’ – a strategic plan that guides HDB to deliver a better living environment and meet the evolving lifestyle aspirations of our residents. Amongst the key thrusts under the Roadmap is to develop Community-Centric Towns – to build cohesive and resilient communities through ‘heartware’, harnessing the energy of the community to work with us in creating great homes and strong community spirit.”
In 2009, HDB formed a Community Relations Group (CRG) to look into fostering community ties in the heartlands. The intention was to nurture a more caring and close-knitted heartland community with a stronger sense of community identity.
The new group would design meaningful programmes to help residents feel a greater sense of belonging and attachment to their communities. Some of its initial initiatives included the launch of the Good Neighbour Award, and organizing welcome parties for residents at every newly completed BTO precincts to get to know one another better.
Hence, HDB’s inaugural Community Week is part of its overall strategy to further strengthen community bonds, raise awareness, and to try to recreate the old kampong spirit in HDB towns again.