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URA and Redas roll out initiative to seek public input on urban solutions

THE government and the developers' association have joined hands to seek greater public involvement in innovations that will raise the quality of the built environment.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development, is rolling out a joint initiative with the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (Redas) called the URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge to reach out to members of the public to participate.

The participants will have a chance to develop their own prototypes and test them with shoppers in six selected shopping malls. The best prototype stands to win S$10,000.

"This award seeks to spur and recognise ground-up innovations that help to enhance the quality of the built environment," said Redas president Augustine Tan.

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"Our developers are always looking for new and better ways of providing interesting and memorable experiences. We believe the people who frequent our developments could have some of the best ideas," Mr Tan, who is also executive director for property sales and corporate affairs at Far East Organization said.

Launched by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong at Redas' 58th anniversary dinner, the theme for this inaugural edition is on health and wellness. Participants of this year's competition will seek solutions to enhance health and wellness within the built environment.

The public can register and submit project proposals online till Feb 7, 2018. Three proposals will be selected, and the participants will be given S$5,000 each to develop two prototypes.

A total of six prototypes will be developed and placed at malls owned by Redas members - City Square Mall, Millenia Walk, Orchard Central, Raffles City, The Centrepoint and Velocity @ Novena Square.

The public will get a feel of the prototyped environments over three weeks and vote for their favourites. The winning prototype will then be chosen based on the judging criteria as well as the public's response.

URA chief executive officer Lim Eng Hwee said: "The places where we spend our time can have a big effect on our physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.

"By placing prototypes that make a difference to our health in commercial developments, we hope to add to the buzz of these places while showing people that creative ideas to improve our built environment can come from anyone," Mr Lim said.

At Redas' anniversary dinner on Tuesday, the Redas Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Redas past president Daniel Teo, who has made substantial continuous contribution to the community and the built environment over the years. Mr Teo is also chairman and managing director of his family's Hong How Group and a director of property developer Tong Eng Group.

The Redas Luminary Service Award was presented to Tan Swee Yiow, a committee member who has dedicated more than 15 years of service to the Association. Mr Tan is also CEO of Keppel Reit Management.