Now, this is something I’ve always wondered about- and it’s not just me though. Taxi uncles seem to like talking about it too.
Just a month or so back, I was chatting with a taxi driver when he suddenly asked:
“Why nowadays HDB name all so atas one sia?”
Well, beats me. To be honest, I thought it was all for fun. You know, just an attempt to make HDB flats appear more atas and Condo-like. (Ehh, it’s still no Condo)
Names like Northshore Edge, Anchorvale Village and Fernvale Glades are just examples of names we get for HDB these days.
While these names definitely sound better than “Block 88 Bukit Potato Street 8”, one would simply assume that there are no deeper meaning or purpose behind the names.
But apparently, we were quite wrong. According to HDB, this is all part of a long-term branding policy.
“The objective was to create local identities that residents can relate to and foster neighbourliness,” a spokesman for HDB said.
Soooo, it’s an attempt to foster the Kampong spirit lah.
Can’t say that’s a bad idea. I do agree that Singaporeans these days don’t interact with their neighbours as much as compared to our grandparents’ generation.
Back when I was a young boy, everyone living in the same block pretty much knew each other. These days, you might not even know if someone is your next-door neighbour until you both got out of the elevator at the same time.
HDB also said that the guiding principles for names of projects include the location, design features and any historical or cultural link.
Sometimes, the residents are also involved in the naming process, such as the “Commonwealth 10” at Tanglin Halk Road. The name was chosen as the residents used to live in 10-storey blocks before being relocated due to an en bloc.
Residents have also been creating Facebook groups for the estates they live in, unifying fellow neighbours living in the area.
For BTO projects, we often see updates like the image below being posted in said groups so that members will be able to track the building progress.
Whatsapp groups were also formed for easier communication amongst the neighbours, as seen below:
In a way, I’m glad that this is an attempt at re-creating the Kampong spirit from the past. People really need to interact with each other more often these days and not stare at a screen all day, don’t you think?
And oh, if you want to know more about BTOs, you might want to watch this video:
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