Toa Payoh, in the Hokkien dialect, translates as ‘big swamp’. The name references the large swampy area that the town used to be.
As one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, HDB commenced the development of Toa Payoh Town in 1964 as the first comprehensively planned town. The town was developed based on the ‘Neighbourhood Principle’ which groups several neighbourhoods around a town centre. Toa Payoh town centre acts as a focal point for the entertainment and shopping needs of the residents, and is home to HDB’s headquarters, i.e. HDB Hub.
Over the years, Toa Payoh has played host to many significant events, such as the visits by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, and again in 2006. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also visited the town in 2007. It also hosted the South East Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games in 1973.
Punggol is a coastal town located at the north-eastern part of Singapore. Formerly known as ‘Kampung Punggol’, this area used to be a rural village better known for fishing and pig rearing.
The blueprint for Punggol 21 was first unveiled in 1996, with the vision of creating Punggol as “A Waterfront Town of the 21st Century”. The aim was to develop Punggol as a pioneer town of the new millennium, incorporating various new concepts and high quality public housing. In 2010, Punggol was selected as Singapore’s first Eco-Town to spearhead initiatives for sustainable living.
In 2011, several key strategies were formulated to realise the vision of Punggol as a waterfront town, including the developments along the Waterway corridor and Punggol North. Green living by the waters is now a reality, which includes notable public housing projects such as the Waterway Terraces and Waterway Ridges.