Space To Dream Big

By Betty Lim, a founding Kampung Temasek volunteer. She is also the founder and director of CrowdPowers, a CSR social venture.

Kampung Temasek –  a dream outdoor ecovillage – will be reminiscent of the 1960s kampungs. Once completed in 2013, city dwellers will get the unique experience of designing and building a happy community.

It started in 2009 with a generous gift from Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organisation (WTO), the global non- profit organisation committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. Jack gave over his plot of land in Sungei Tiram, offering it lease-free as a space where a dream community might be developed.

Veteran architect Tay Kheng Soon stepped in and offered to draw the construction plans. Together the change-making duo named their dream village “Kampung Temasek”.

“People need to take initiative and do things by themselves, and this will involve changing their mindsets. At Kampung Temasek, people will be empowered to try new things, to explore and develop their full creativity and innate strengths. With compassion comes effective collaboration and I believe a new idea of society will then arise from this new confidence” Kheng Soon explains.

“Singapore will naturally become a more wholesome society, with confident and knowledgeable people who are proud to be Singaporeans, and citizens of the world.”

Time for Rubanisation

New ideas require new mindsets, and new jargon. Kheng Soon shares a belief that 21st century cities and the countryside should be considered as one fully integrated space. “Each settlement will be no more than one kilometre in diametre, so we do not even need to drive. ‘Ruban settlements’ can be close together or far apart but always have farms in between them,” he explains.

Rubanisation will pave the way for a better way of living, and will constitute a big part of the new economy.

For those aspiring to be involved in Kampung Temasek,

Kheng Soon has this advice. “Open your mind to building a new world; make friends with someone you don’t quite like; and take small steps each day to do things you never thought you can do. Believe in yourself.”

Jack has these words of wisdom: “Stop the rat race. Hit the pause button. Run away from the city. Get out of your comfort zone. Simplify your life. Slow down. Reflect. Discover. Connect with nature. Live deeply. No more fear, jealousy, comparison.”