Singapore / Historical Documents: Plan of Housing Estates and Photos of Kampung
The map shows the location of Housing and Development Board (HDB) developments around Singapore. 80% of total population is living in housing estates ruled by HDB. The initial reasons for building large number of public housing are twofold. One is to create a better living condition for people within the country. Before the construction of public housing, people lived in ‘kampung’, which refer to villages of different races. The houses had bad hygiene and were primitive. As shown in photos, there was rubbish floating on rivers. Relocating people from kampung to public housing can increase their standard of living. Another reason is due to civic nationalism. Singapore is comprized of many ethnic groups. They are originally scattered around the country respectively. Public housing breaks the geographical boundary and provide a chance for people from different cultural backgrounds live together and have interaction to form a harmonious society. Different races can feel they are part of Singapore. Also, people having their own flats as property usually express a stronger sense of belonging and loyalty to the country, since anything happens to the country may affect their own assets.
Loo, L-S. (2003) Public housing and ethnic integration in Singapore. Singapore: National University of Singapore.