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Title: Punggol Waterway: Waterfront Living, Liveability and Sense of Place in Public Housing
Authors: Wong Kar Mun Shermaine
Keywords: identity, liveability, place-shaping, Punggol Waterway, sense of place, waterfront living
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Wong Kar Mun Shermaine (2015). Punggol Waterway: Waterfront Living, Liveability and Sense of Place in Public Housing. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Waterfront living is often exclusive to private housing. However, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has brought waterfront living to Punggol, a public housing town. Central to the idea of waterfront living in Punggol is the creation of a 4.2km manmade landscaped waterway – the Punggol Waterway. The Waterway and its promenades are said to integrate social communal spaces that provide waterfront enjoyment for residents; lending credence to the fact that the HDB’s vision for the Waterway includes instilling a sense of place and raising the quality of life of its residents. Through discourse and content analyses of government and media publications, and housing developer websites, I demonstrate how the state has utilised urban environmentalism and environmental aesthetics ideals through the Waterway to shape and portray Punggol as a liveable waterfront town. Discourse and content analyses, together with 14 semi-structured interviews with residents, also allowed me to (1) explore the meaning of waterfront living to the state and residents and (2) uncover (a) how the state has forged Punggol’s identity through the Waterway and (b) the extent of success of this identity; that is if residents feel a sense of place in Punggol as a result of the Waterway. On-site participant observations helped to supplement the data from discourse and content analyses, and interviews. It is proposed that reification of waterfront living in public housing through the Waterway requires residents to engage more with the Waterway; making the Waterway part of their lives, and themselves part of waterfront living.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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