13 towns identified for Remaking Our Heartland scheme since 2007

February 2, 2021

The upgrading works aim to strengthen the identity of the neighbourhoods with the building of entrance promenades and heritage markers, as well as upgrading of facilities. Each plan usually takes around five to 10 years to be implemented.

A total of 13 towns/estates have been identified for the Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) scheme since the programme was launched in 2007, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) in Parliament on Monday (1 February).

The towns are identified based on their potential and opportunities for rejuvenations, said the ministry in a written reply to Member of Parliament Hany Soh’s question on the prerequisites to qualify for the scheme.

The ROH is “a multi-agency effort to develop customised plans that suit the needs of each ROH town, and to bring the plans from different agencies into a holistic package to rejuvenate the town as a whole”, noted the MND.

Considering the scale and effort involved, each plan usually takes around five to 10 years to be implemented.

On the scope of works covered, the ministry revealed that the ROH package is “usually the upgrading of the neighbourhood centre, with the upgrading work aimed at strengthening the identity of the neighbourhoods such as through entrance promenades and heritage markers, infusing more greenery, and providing more public spaces for the community to gather, such as community plazas, common areas sitting or fitness facilities”.

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Works could also include upgrading existing facilities, it added.

“As ROH funding is limited, there is a need to prioritise works that will benefit the community, rather than specific groups such as commercial tenants for which other programmes are available,” explained MND.

Among the programmes aimed at helping commercial tenants is the Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) Scheme.

Under this initiative, the HDB co-funds physical upgrading works with shop owners to improve the shopping environment and retailers’ promotional activities.

To qualify for the programme, retailers must be represented by a Merchants’ Associations (MA), which will be responsible for preparing the scope of physical upgrading works.

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“This is to encourage ownership of the upgrading plans by local stakeholders,” said the ministry.

Upgrading works may include re-tiling under the fixed awnings, replacement of shop signages as well as installation of shopfront awnings and vertical blinds.

Currently, the ROS scheme is being reviewed, with the details of the changes to be announced once ready.

MND noted that the ROS is implemented independently from ROH, enabling “MAs in towns that have not yet been identified for ROH can tap on ROS to upgrade their business environments whenever they assess that there is a need to do so, and have garnered sufficient support from the retailers within the town or neighbourhood centre”.

“Nonetheless, where a site has been identified for both ROS and ROH or other upgrading programmes, HDB will work with the MA to scope the ROS upgrading works to complement the common area upgrading works under ROH or other upgrading programmes where possible. This is to facilitate a more comprehensive and impactful improvement to the shopping environment,” it said.

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