Tag Archives: Clementi HDB Estate

Clementi Heartlands Instawalk

Our Singapore (SG) Heartlands, the places that we lived in and grew up in, something close to our hearts, minds and souls. While Singapore is a small country in size, our various Housing Development Board (HDB) Housing Estates does have its own unique characteristics and community. It can be an interesting adventure to walk around various HDB estates heartlands and explore the area, especially when they have a mix of older and younger generation HDB blocks of flats. There was a recent project: MND Heartlands by Ministry of National Development, a social media campaign to encourage Singaporeans to explore the places and spaces around them. There were a few heartland walks around Singapore recently too and when I received news that fellow photographer Weili organised a Heartlands Instawalk to my Clementi Heartlands, and Aik Beng was going to lead the Heartlands Instawalk into my heartland Clementi estate, I came forward to help out Weili and Aik Beng in bringing them around my Clementi heartlands.

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Clementi Heartlands is interesting with a mix of older and new HDB blocks, with beautiful greenery near the Sungei Ulu Pandan and Ulu Pandan Park Connector. We met nearby at the Clementi MRT Station and proceed walking up towards Clementi Avenue 4, through the Clementi Community Centre. Along the way, Aik Beng shared a lot on mobile photography tips to the participants, highlighting to them the things/perspectives to look out for. I wasn’t too actively taking photographs on my iPhone 5 and uploading onto Instagram nor taking many photographs with my Canon DSLR. Since I was helping Aik Beng in leading the Clementi Heartlands Instawalk, I had to spend more time leading and looking after the group of participants! I double up as a historian for the walk because this is my Heartlands for 30+ years! Nevertheless, it was fun and enjoyable, something that I enjoyed doing it and used to organise such walks for friends last time!

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Upon reaching Sungei Ulu Pandan and Ulu Pandan Park Connector, we walked along the Park Connector and they could view the Sunset Way Old Railway Bridge and the greenery surrounding the Clementi Heartlands. A major highlight of the Clementi Heartlands Instawalk was to visit the Clementi Community Farm for Clementi Residents and to see the community heartlands active in farming and community activities. The Clementi Residents were very friendly and shared with the participants about their produces they were growing. The participants spent a bit of time there to look around the community farm and the former KTM Railway tracks that once passed through the Clementi Heartlands.

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Walking to our next destination, the newest segment of Clementi HDB heartlands, the Casa Clementi HDB blocks at Clementi Avenue 1 there were recently completed and the new tenants moving over to stay in them. We had a bit of a slow walk from Clementi Avenue 4 to Clementi Ave 1, through the various void decks, a distinct feature of the heartlands. We also came across a bird singing competition around Blocks 332 and 333, another unique heartlands activity! The participants reached Casa Clementi and had a view of the newest HDB blocks of flats, the designs and the beautiful roof top garden for the residents of Casa Clementi and come down to relax and have fun!

The SG Heartlands is something unique and special in its own sense, spaces and surroundings. Do go out and explore your Heartlands in your own neighbourhood and the other SG Heartlands in Singapore as well! The SG Heartlands is where we learn, collect and compile our history, heritage, culture, landscape and memories of our past and for our future. Take many photographs of SG Heartlands, remember to tag #SGHeartlands and share them!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Old Playgrounds & Old HDB Estate (Part 1)

This is the start of a new journey into something that touches not just myself but also many Singaporeans who grew up and are now in their 20s and 30s, what was new and fresh during their time is now becoming history and old, with some places, locations, buildings, areas and community lifestyle that they grew up in, will soon be gone forever into history books, photographs and archives.

It’s a personal project, influenced, encouraged and motivated by Old Places in Singapore, the photojournalistic journey of capturing the Old Places of Singapore, recording her time when she’s at her peak, the community and lifestyle that many heartlanders called Home. This first photojournalistic walkabout brought me back into my childhood and schooling days, of Old Playgrounds in Clementi Central and Dover Park Estate, an Old Housing Development Board (HDB) Estate known as Queenstown HDB Estate.

Living in Clementi HDB Estate since I was born, over 30 years and still counting. The memories of my childhood, playing with my primary school friends at the playgrounds, the fun and laughter, without any worries, pressures and chasing of material wealth. It’s all about play and fun, and that was something we as kids looked forward to all the time, after school (before rushing back to do school work).  Bringing a group of photography friends, Clayton, Daphne, Amanda, Sue, Ted, Dylan and Noel, we started with the small Old Playground in Clementi Central, beside the hawker centre, right beside where A&W once was. The bigger Old Playgrounds were gone, lost forever into our history books and personal memories, what left was a small Old Playground. Nevertheless, it was of great fun, hanging around, sliding down the slides and doing all over again, nothing beats the kid inside me.

Next stop was Dover Park Estate, this area was initially navigated by myself personally prior to bringing my group of photography friends. This area is slated for en-bloc development, the people living in this area had already vacated and it’s like a ghost town. The Old Playground, something different from the Old Playground at Clementi Central, just one of the few designs that was known to us during our childhood days. The kid in me came out again, climbing up and down the pelican, the swing and merry-go-round is no along around though. Walking through the vacated Old Dover Close HDB Estate, it was a great photojournalistic opportunity to document them. More photographs of Dover Close Estate Old Playground and HDB Estate here!

Our final stop was the Old Queenstown HDB Estate, slated for big plans redevelopment and transformation. What once was her pride and joy in the landmarks of Singapore, a historical first in many areas –

the first satellite town, where the first HDB flats, the first branch library, the first neighbourhood shopping centre and the first sports complex were built – (via Heritage Trails Singapore)

I remembered the hawker centre and the library a lot, they were a significant part of my childhood memories and growing up. The area is similar to Dover Close HDB Estate, vacated, sealed up in most places and inaccessible. However, some areas were still open and it was walk through memory lane, showcasing the early days of a heartlander in a HDB Estate. The Queenstown Bowling Alley was another of the places I went to and the Golden Crown Restaurant was used to be there too. More photographs of the Old Queenstown HDB Estate here !

As we ended the first part of the Old Playgrounds and Old HDB Estate photography walkabout, this is a start to capturing more Old Places in Singapore. It’s time to document and capture them down in photographs, words, thoughts, emotions and feelings, before they are gone forever. In this modern and fast paced society, it’s inevitable that some older places have to make way for the newer and future generations. Let’s pray that whatever we can preserve our heritage and history, let’s all do it.