Take a survey and have a say in how you want Pulau Ubin to retain its rustic qualities

Melody Zaccheus Straits Times 30 Sep 14;

SINGAPORE - Should Pulau Ubin have more campsites, colour-coded hiking and cycling trails, and more public amenities such as toilets, shelters and footpaths?

A Ministry of National Development survey hopes to get some answers as it gathers public feedback on the island’s future.

The form can be accessed by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1maAlTynq--aTVwxHIdh7ZL_DQo2UIquICPAf0ejf5So/viewform?c=0&w=1

The ministry’s aim is to find out how it can best preserve the island’s rustic charm, biodiversity and heritage while ensuring that it remains an enjoyable destination for all Singaporeans.

Users can vote for their favourite suggestions from a list of ideas contributed by nature groups, heritage groups, academics, anthropologists, sports enthusiasts and artists, who are part of the Friends of Ubin Network, which the ministry set up earlier this year.

Some of the suggestions include opening up the island’s farms for visits, restoring and rebuilding its kampung houses for overnight stays by visitors; new research facilities for researchers and students; and more cultural activities such as traditional wayang performances and art exhibitions.

The 10.2 sq km island, which is about the size of Changi Airport, is home to 38 elderly residents. Some of its buildings are dilapidated and have fallen into disrepair due to neglect. Its northern coastline is also fast being eroded by tides and currents.

The survey is part of “The Ubin Project”. Launched in March, it brings together members of the public and other relevant stakeholders to discuss how to improve Pulau Ubin’s unique characteristics, while “supporting thoughtful public access and nature-based recreation”.

The survey also has a section to find out how satisfied visitors were with their past experiences on the island. This includes ease of getting around the place and availability of information on the island’s history and biodiversity.

Said a spokesman for the ministry: “Through the respondents’ sharing of experiences and fond memories, we hope to learn more about the special places on the island, and collect more suggestions on how we can preserve the rustic charm and heritage of Pulau Ubin, so that it will continue to be a special place for our future generations.”