Sembawang Residents to Embrace Sport, Health, Food, Greenery and Heritage at Bukit Canberra
Singapore, 1 July 2018 – From the first half of 2020, residents of Sembawang will have a uniquely designed Bukit Canberra – an integrated sport and community hub, that will inspire them to live better. To be opened in phases, the 12-hectare hub will provide amenities such as a hawker centre, indoor and outdoor sport facilities, a polyclinic, a senior care centre, green spaces for community farming and lifestyle related amenities for the community within a lush and naturalistic environment.
“Bukit Canberra is both a historical treasure and the brainchild of our residents. We have been engaging Sembawang residents since 2016 to co-create a vibrant gathering place for our residents and families. The general consensus was to conserve the greenery as much as possible, and at the same time put in place useful facilities that the community finds most useful. So by 2020, we will have swimming pools, a hawker centre, a polyclinic and an indoor sports hall nestled in a nature and heritage park. It will be a special place in Sembawang and Singapore.” said Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education and Adviser to Sembawang GRC Grassroots Organisations.
Since the Sembawang Sport and Community Hub was first announced in 2016, grassroots volunteers have been engaging residents through house visits to gather ideas on possible facilities and programmes. One of the main takeaways was that they hoped to see more areas for community activities to socialise with their fellow residents of Sembawang.
Mr Ong, together with his fellow Advisers to Sembawang GRC Grassroots Organisations – Minister Khaw Boon Wan, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin, Dr Lim Wee Kiak and Mr Vikram Nair joined over 800 residents at a family carnival on Sunday morning at the future site of Bukit Canberra to commemorate the start of construction works. Symbolising the start of works, the Grassroots Advisers planted the Sembawang Tree (scientific name: Mesua ferruginea) which will be part of the 1,600 additional trees that will be planted at Bukit Canberra.
Bukit Canberra will have facilities by Sport Singapore (SportSG), Ministry of Health (MOH), National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), National Environment Agency (NEA) and National Parks Board (NParks). With inputs from National Heritage Board (NHB), Bukit Canberra will also highlight the heritage of the area.
Greenery and Heritage
The development and landscaping of Bukit Canberra is shaped around the existing terrain, and retains and highlights the hilly characteristics and lush vegetation. More trees and shrubs will be planted throughout the entire site and be integrated with the various facilities to enhance the existing greenery and biodiversity, thereby allowing users to enjoy the hub’s features in a natural setting while at the same time bringing them closer to flora and fauna.
In line with the existing vegetation on site, a forest buffer around the periphery of Bukit Canberra will be conserved. It will be planted up progressively to help it mature into a tropical secondary rainforest with thriving biodiversity, and complement the surrounding NParks Nature Ways in terms of species. Running trails of varying difficulty will pass through different landscapes throughout the hub, providing a range of experiences. The Fruit Orchard and Food Forest will showcase a variety of fruit trees and food plants, and the community will be able to grow their own plants in the community gardens.
In addition, heritage story boards will be featured around the green spaces of Bukit Canberra for residents and visitors to learn more about the history of the area as a former naval base and its historic structures, including a National Monument – the Former Admiralty House that used to accommodate key military commanders based in Singapore.
Other structures also include the ANZUK House Gate, which commemorates the history of ANZUK (acronym for Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) forces in Singapore in the 1970s; and a World War II bunker discovered in 1990 near the Former Admiralty House.
Sport Facilities and Active Health
ActiveSG Sembawang Sport Centre in Bukit Canberra will have Town Sport Centre features under the Sports Facilities Master Plan (SFMP). Sembawang residents can look forward to:
- A six-lane sheltered swimming pool, an eight-lane lap pool, a wading pool and a fun pool for children
- Indoor sport hall with 500-seat gallery for sports like basketball and badminton
- An inclusive gym, an outdoor forest gym and fitness studios
The ActiveSG Gym with two fitness studios, will be the biggest ActiveSG gym yet. As an inclusive gym, it will be accessible and catered to people of varying abilities. The gym will be overlooking the swimming pools and span across 1,500sqm.
The hub will also have an Active Health Lab and Nutrition Studio to serve the Sembawang residents. The Active Health Lab, supported by Active Health Experts, is a proactive space where people can learn about preventive healthcare and exercise advisory through the management of Physical Activity, Nutrition, Sleep and Screen Time. The Lab leverages on knowledge of exercise, sport science, medicine, health and wellness that is supported by technology to encourage the community to embrace active living on a sustained basis with the aim of promoting the ownership of one’s health.
Health and fitness will go hand-in-hand at Bukit Canberra by having sports and healthcare facilities such as a polyclinic, a senior care centre and sports facilities at the hub. This will allow the various agencies to work closely to help people improve their health and fitness.
The polyclinic is part of MOH’s plan to invest in primary care, and to enable Singaporeans to receive care closer to home. It will offer a range of medical services to cater to the healthcare needs of residents in Sembawang. These will include treatment for acute and chronic diseases, women’s health services such as cervical and breast cancer screening, and child health services like immunisation and developmental assessment.
The Senior Care Centre will provide a range of health and social care services for seniors, including day care and rehabilitation services, so that seniors requiring care can be supported within the community. The centre will also offer home-based care services to frail and elderly residents living in the area.
The hub will also have a hawker centre which is conveniently located at the north-west side of Bukit Canberra, and easily accessible to the rest of the development. It will feature over 40 stalls and more than 700 seats. Residents can look forward to enjoying affordable hawker fare in a park-like environment, as eating spaces are organised to incorporate views of lush greenery. The hawker centre will also be a place for community bonding and social interaction for residents and visitors of Bukit Canberra.
Connectivity and Co-programming
As the lead agency for Bukit Canberra, SportSG curated inputs to design and build the hub to allow fellow partners to have opportunities for co-programming through shared spaces. The hub is also designed to connect seamlessly with the existing and future cycling networks in Sembawang and the Park Connector Network.The Bukit Canberra is expected to be fully operational by September 2021.
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