Singapore, 18 August 2021 – Competing among some of the world’s best urban developments, the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Kampung Admiralty and Punggol town have clinched two out of the nine 2021 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Awards for Excellence.
The awards recognise the highest standards in land use, and the winning projects are lauded for excellence in innovation, having a meaningful impact on the community as well as their replicability on a global level—providing valuable learning points for other developers and communities to adapt and incorporate into their local context. The awards also pay tribute to the full spectrum capabilities of developers in overseeing the development process of winning projects, which includes planning, design, construction, sustainability and economic viability.
Kampung Admiralty and Punggol are among the three winning projects from Singapore, which stand alongside six other projects from around the world, such as The HUB (China), Plant Riverside District (USA) and Circl (the Netherlands). The winners were selected from a pool of 45 global finalists. The last time HDB won the ULI Global Awards for Excellence was back in 2011 for the iconic HDB development, The Pinnacle@Duxton.
Earlier this year, Kampung Admiralty and Punggol won the 2021 ULI Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence, together with projects from the region including from Australia and Japan. Projects that win ULI’s regional awards would qualify for the ULI Global Awards for Excellence.
HDB’s CEO, Tan Meng Dui said, “It is a great honour for HDB to win the ULI Global Awards for Excellence after a break of 10 years, and a special bonus to win the awards for two projects this time. These awards affirm the collective efforts of Team HDB in driving towards excellence in all that we do. This is not just in the holistic planning and design of Singapore’s residential towns and estates, but also in constantly exploring forward-looking public housing typologies and innovative designs that are both resident-centric and also future-ready. Kampung Admiralty and Punggol set the bar for new developments and towns, and HDB will continue to push the boundaries in creating liveable and sustainable homes for our residents.”
A Welcoming Vertical Urban Village
Conveniently located next to Admiralty MRT station, Kampung Admiralty is designed as a ‘vertical kampung’ to promote active living and encourage social interaction among the community. This first-of-its-kind development in Singapore integrates housing for seniors with a wide range of social, healthcare, communal, commercial and retail facilities. Occupying just 0.9 hectares of land area, the compact 11-storey development is designed with a tiered approach featuring:
- A well-ventilated community plaza on the ground level provides ample opportunities and a focal point for residents of different age groups to come together for various activities;
- A variety of food options, such as a hawker centre on the second level, brings added convenience to residents, and enables families and friends to meet and bond over a meal;
- A medical centre on the middle levels offers specialist medical care for the community;
- On the upper levels, an active ageing hub, a childcare centre and a community park serve to promote health and well-being and bind residents through common hobbies, while above them are flats designed with the safety and comfort of seniors in mind.
Kampung Admiralty also stands out with the generous provision of lush greenery cascading from the rooftop and throughout the entire development, providing visual relief while helping to reduce energy consumption together with other environmentally-friendly features such as solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system.
The complex’ integration of public housing with the innovative co-location of facilities under one roof, has enabled residents to live healthy, active and meaningful lives.
Singapore’s First Smart and Sustainable Town
The development of Punggol, Singapore’s first smart and sustainable town, commenced in the 1990s and continues today. The blueprint for Punggol was unveiled in 1996, with the vision for the town to be ‘A Waterfront Town of the 21st Century’. Under the blueprint, Punggol Town was planned with more intimate estates, to create smaller and closer communities. Within each estate, there would be a common green, school and a precinct shop cluster, to foster greater interaction amongst the residents and also to ensure ease of accessibility to amenities. To leverage its coastal location, the housing precincts will be integrated with a proposed 8.7-kilometre-long waterfront promenade along the town’s entire coastline.
Over the years, the development of the town has continued to evolve:
- In 2007, as part of the refreshed masterplan for Punggol, a 4.2-kilometre-long man-made waterway was introduced to connect Sungei Serangoon and Sungei Punggol which were dammed up to create freshwater reservoirs. This new waterway which meanders through the town, has opened up even more opportunities for waterfront living, and created a tree-lined activity corridor for pedestrians and cyclists.
- In 2010, Punggol was designated as the first Eco-Town, and a ‘living laboratory’ to test-bed ideas and technologies that promote sustainable development before they are implemented on a wider scale. The first eco-precinct, Treelodge@Punggol, was completed in 2010. Since then, many other sustainable features have been implemented beyond Punggol, such as the centralised chutes for recyclables, regenerative lifts, smart lighting and the use of environmental modelling in designing new developments. Punggol was also the first town to be developed under HDB’s Sustainable Development Framework, which sets targets in the areas of environmental, economic and social sustainability.
- The plans for Punggol were updated again in 2012 with the carving out of Punggol’s 11 distinctive housing districts, each with its own character and identity. Urban design guidelines were set up to guide the design process of each district to foster a greater sense of belonging for residents.
- In 2014, HDB took its sustainability journey further and unveiled the Smart HDB Town Framework, which covers five key domains: smart planning, smart environment, smart estate, smart living and smart community. Guided by the framework, smart technologies were introduced in Punggol’s Northshore district, to achieve a more liveable, efficient, sustainable and safe living environment for residents.
- Water-sensitive urban design features were piloted at Punggol’s Waterway Ridges which was launched in November 2011 and completed in 2016. Rain gardens and bioswales were introduced to cleanse surface water before draining it into the waterway.
- In 2015, HDB introduced the Biophilic Town Framework which outlines strategies to develop urban landscapes and planting, and applied it to new developments in Punggol Northshore District. The framework was later refined and applied to new public housing projects launched from July 2018.
Today, there are some 53,000 completed public housing flats and 8,000 private homes in Punggol. Residents of all ages help to promote sustainable living by volunteering as heartland ambassadors, and the community enjoys the amenities and facilities in the town, from the shopping mall at the town centre to neighbourhood centres (NC) like Oasis Terraces, the first NC to be co-located with a polyclinic and childcare centre. They can look forward to even more facilities when the town hub, sports complex and Punggol digital district are completed, and take a walk down memory lane when the old Punggol road is transformed into a heritage trail.
– Construction+ Online