SINGAPORE: Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing says Singapore will need to find a balance between redevelopment and preserving its heritage as it progresses.
Mr Chan pointed out Singapore’s first satellite town, Queenstown, is one example where such a balance has been struck .
He was speaking to reporters at the launch of the new My Queenstown Mobile Application, developed by civic society My Community and the Queenstown Citizens’ Consultative Committee.
The free application provides information and historical facts on iconic landmarks in the Queenstown neighbourhood.
It also provides five recommended heritage trails for people to try, centred around places of worship, public housing and old shops.
Lim Rong Sheng, who has been living in Queenstown for 24 years, said: "I was still young when the buildings were still around, so recently they’ve all been demolished. With the app I can find out more about the history, like the Commonwealth Market and the bowling alley, which I did not get a chance to actually visit when they were still in operation."
Residents can also receive updates and notifications on issues like estate upgrading, dengue and maintenance schedules through the application.
They will be able to email the community centre, town council or member of parliament using the application as well.
Mr Chan said technology is one way that memories will be better preserved.
But while some places will be preserved, there will be other sites that have to be redeveloped to meet the emerging needs of the younger generation.
Mr Chan added this is not a mutually exclusive problem.
He said: "If you look at any rapidly developing country, you will always have both sets of emotions. Everyone of us, individually as a community and as a society, has to find that balance between preserving what we hold dear to us and yet at the same time giving up some of the things for development for the future generation, because if the previous generation has done what they have done — which is to give up some of their memories for us to be where we are today — then I think it is also incumbent upon us to pay it forward at the same time."
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