When the idea of a green corner was first mooted, the residents of Bishan were not too convinced. “We’ve had similar initiatives that were not well-received,” Julie Lim, the Residents’ Committee vice-chairperson says. “Who’s to say this is going to be different?”
Two years on, the Green Hub, as the residents call it, has transformed into a lifestyle space spanning several void decks, featuring a community garden, recycling station, communal fridge and a library.
“It’s safe to say the Green Hub has succeeded,” Julie chuckles as she motions to the greenery decorating the void deck. “In fact, it has far exceeded our expectations.”
As its name states, the initial intention of the Green Hub was to promote sustainability and green living. The lush space is home to a communal fridge that is stocked by residents and food rescue groups, to minimise food wastage. Harvest from a nearby community garden can also be occasionally found in the fridge that is accessible to all.
“Everything in the Green Hub is upcycled,” fellow Residents’ Committee volunteer Fen Ng says.
It is well furnished with pieces such as a marble table and stools, all of which are from residents. “When the corner started coming together, we had residents approach us wanting to contribute – and this was how we came up with the idea of a nostalgia corner,” Fen explains.
Decorated with memorabilia such as a typewriter, spin dial telephones and tea sets, the nostalgia corner has brought together residents from different age groups. “We’ve seen elderly residents explaining to the younger ones what the items are, and having the items come from the residents themselves make the stories more unique.”
Made for the Community
At the adjoining void deck, residents can be found indulging in their favorite reads at the community library.
Tucked in a corner of the void deck is a reading nook comprising an antique mirror, high table and stools. “We often see residents enjoying their morning coffee here. They would also occasionally be here during teatime, catching up with each other over different books.”
Building A Sense of Neighbourhood Pride and Belonging
For Julie and Fen, the more rewarding moments from establishing the Green Hub comes from witnessing its transformation, as well as the residents’ pride in the space.
“It warms our hearts to see how the residents have taken it upon themselves to maintain the space and actively contribute to its growth. We’ve also seen residents taking visitors on a tour of the Green Hub and seeing their pride in the space is something that continuously amazes me,” Julie laughs.
“We started out with a revamped Residents’ Corner and today, this space has become more than a place for the occasional catch up – it’s a microcosm of our community,” Fen smiles.