My Community has submitted a conservation paper to the authorities in July 2013 that is backed by over 2,500 residents.
As Singapore’s first satellite estate, the streetscape in Queenstown provides a lucid illustration of the evolution of public housing from the Singapore Improvement Trust-era to the Housing and Development Board-era. The proposed developments in Dawson and Strathmore would further enhance “the Queentown Story” and allow Queenstown flourish as a “walking gallery of public housing” in Singapore.
The myriad of social institutions and amenities constructed for Singapore’s first satellite estate is also an important reminder of Singapore’s past. These buildings are proposed for conservation “based on their historical and architectural significance, rarity in terms of building types, styles” and their contributions to overall Singapore Story. From the first polyclinic, first public library to the first sports complex and first flatted factory, these amenities also serve as “third spaces” where people meet to forge strong family and friendship ties. They are essential for reinforcing “social trust and community networks.”
My Community recognises the need for greater cohesion and connection in assessing values to heritage buildings. These recommendations require a fundamental adjustment in the authorities’ approach to embrace public participation in any form of assessment. The existing framework in Queenstown also ensures that a cordial and sustainable working relationship between the statutory boards and citizens can be conceived and easily replicated. In the long term, an institutional framework is essential to ensure that conservation programmes remain responsive and relevant to ever-changing cultural conditions.
Queenstown needs unequivocal support from the Government to create sustainable and broad ranging heritage policies that protect heritage buildings in the neighbourhood. A transparent public-private partnership in conducting impact assessment studies and institutionalising legislation arrangements can ensure that the heritage assets in Queenstown will continue to benefit present and future generations of Singaporeans.
Three of the fifteen sites are gazetted by URA for conservation in their Master Plan 2014. They include Queenstown Public Library, Alexandra Hospital and Former Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market.
For the updated conservation paper, please click here (PDF)
For the full list of historical sites, please click here (PDF)