SINGAPORE: From an old skate park to a multipurpose building with a range of facilities bringing different services together under one roof, Heartbeat@Bedok aims to serve as a lifestyle hub for residents of all ages.
The seven storey building, with a land area that makes up the size of about three football fields, was officially open on Sunday (Feb 4) by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Heartbeat@Bedok houses multiple agencies managing different facilities, such as the sports centre, the Bedok public library, Kampong Chai Chee Community Club, Bedok Polyclinic and a Senior Care Centre that has yet to open.
There are also more than 30 retailers including F&B outlets, sports specialty shops and childcare and education centres. The amenities have been opening in phases from July 2017.
Rain or shine, sport enthusiasts will not have to worry about working out, with four swimming pools featuring aqua related programmes, as well as eight indoor badminton courts and six sheltered tennis courts on the rooftop.
The concept of Heartbeat@Bedok is almost similar to Our Tampines Hub, and Grassroots advisor Lee Yi Shyan said: “When we started to brainstorm on this idea, we never knew the Our Tampines Hub was in parallel, being developed. It was a pure coincidence. It was only much later that we realised”.
Mr Lee added that it’s a more efficient use of land now that all the public facilities are congregated together in one place.
“In the past, we had all the amenities in a distributed fashion. The community centre was at one place, the library and polyclinic at another place.
"When we had a chance to rebuild, we thought it might be a good idea to bring everyone under one roof so that residents can access all these service within short distances. In terms of the freed up land, it’s important to provide new housing options for young families to inject a younger population into this otherwise rather matured and also older demographics”.
With the amenities brought together, Mr Lee also said that this allows the agencies to do more than just providing services for the residents, but also come together to organise integrated programmes. He said it is a requirement that all the agencies have a minimum of 40 per cent of their services to be co-delivered at Heartbeat.
The polyclinic, for example, has been working with People’s Association to refer its patients for healthy cooking classes, and it also collaborated with ActiveSG to send some patients for a gym orientation.
“We want to create a healthy ecosystem for our patients beyond the borders of our clinic. These referrals are mainly aimed at patients with chronic and lifestyle diseases so they can learn to pick up healthier habits and be less sedentary. We look forward to scaling up such tie-ups with the other agencies here so that patients that come to us are also healthier and it becomes a win win situation,” said Dr Juliana Bahadin, Clinic Director, Bedok Polyclinic.
To ensure the Heartbeat meets the needs of residents, a series of consultation were launched with some 11,000 people to get ideas and feedback on the type of programmes they would like.
According to Mr Lee, about 14 to 18 per cent of residents in Bedok are aged 65 and above. Hence, many of the activities at Heartbeat are related to social and physical wellness.