It is well-known the fact that the authorities in Singapore are looking to bring the communities on this island even closer to each other, by strengthening the bonds and relationships of people that live in them. As part of this strategy, the Housing Board decided to create new and exciting playgrounds in various neighborhoods, with the purpose of giving children adequate outdoor spaces while bringing families together and paying an homage to the neighborhoods’ heritage.
Playgrounds existed since the 60s, due to the fact that technology was not that evolved then, so children and their families preferred to spend their spare time by having fun outside. But, the design of these playgrounds, which main had slides and a variety of swings, changed over time as more intriguing and sophisticated designs emerged. The new age playgrounds are made to suit the needs of children of all ages within a family, so that everybody can find something fun to do on a playground. But this is not the only particularity of these new playgrounds. They are also built around the history and heritage of each neighborhood, so each playground has its own theme. For example, the one found in Sembawang, which was the location of a naval base in the past, features a double-decker ship, in which children can embark and pretend to be sailing. Also, in Queenstown, more precisely Dawson, a new playground is scheduled to be built, having the theme of Alice in Wonderland. So, slides will take down the rabbit’s hole, the Cheshire Cat will watch over the swings, and maze cards will form a labyrinth ideal for the hide-and-seek game.
But, besides having themes that will be highly appreciated by children, the playgrounds are looking to stimulate their interest by providing a wide range of activities they can enjoy. Thus, they can climb, jump, swing, and balance, activities that, according to the Housing Board, help children build a healthy self-confidence. At the moment, 6 neighborhoods enjoy the presence of new playgrounds. These neighborhoods are Toa Payoh, Woodlands, Sengkang, Choa Chu Kang, and Sembawang. But, by 2021, the construction of 9 other playgrounds will be completed. The Dawson neighborhood is the luckiest, receiving 5 of these playgrounds, due to the fact that by the end of 2020, 5000 families will move into the area. Also, according to the statements of a spokesman from the Housing Board, this kind of playgrounds will be built in new estates as well, wherever it will be possible.
As HDB believes, playgrounds are capable of building the identity of a town while making families feel that they own and belong to the place where they live. Also, due to the thematic of these playgrounds, children can learn about the past history of the neighborhood in a fun manner and encourage parents to tell them stories from when they were young. For the senior citizens, these playgrounds may stir some nostalgia, but even so, the efforts of making such spaces are highly appreciated by everyone, regardless of their age.
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