Singapore has the third highest prevalence of diabetes, as 1 out of 9 Singaporeans from 18 to 69 years are affected by diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is similar between genders however, there are differences between ethnicities (Satkunanantham, 2011). Malays and Indians continuously have a higher prevalence of diabetes than Chinese. Moreover, one out of three people with diabetics are unaware of their condition, and those who are aware of it never manage their condition well (Satkunanantham, 2011).
According to (Daly & Allen, 2018), placemaking can provide places to allow people to participate in exercises and access to healthier products which leads to increased physical activity, improved social engagement and healthier eating. Hence, this helps to tackle obesity and obesity related diseases such as diabetes. Placemaking motivates people to come together to generate new ideas to create public spaces that gives people a sense of belonging, healthy lifestyle and social connection to allow more development of the public places to be the heart of the community (Wiley-Schwartz & Madden, 2000).
A case study in United States of America (Heroux, Norris, Rube, & Nadimi, 2016), reported that many people do not have a safe and supportive environment to walk and cycle because of the busy traffic, pollution and noise and regular car accidents. The residents made a petition to request for wider medians bike lanes and walking pavements so that they can walk and cycle without any worries. Hence, this allow them to engage in walking, brisk walking, jogging and cycling which helps to promote active lifestyle.
Place making also creates more business opportunities as well as promote healthy lifestyles (Heroux, Norris, Rube, & Nadimi, 2016). There is evidence that that people who are disconnected from their social circle are two to five times at a higher risk of dying from all causes than those who have good connections with their social circle (Public Health Network CYMRU, n.d.).
The community place must be clean, safe and have adequate seats that are located conveniently either outdoor or indoor. Areas with poor lighting and inadequate information about the layout of the park to be solved through involvement of the people, regular maintenance and good design of the park (Project For Public Spaces, 2008). According to (Heroux, Norris, Rube, & Nadimi, 2016), for placemaking to be successful, there must be usage and activities at these spaces. To encourage people of all ages, genders and ethnicities to come and use these spaces, it is important to choose suitable and recommended ranges of fun and interesting activities catered to them at different timings. There is evidence that when spaces are green, they are more appealing to engage in physical activities and this resulted in reducing the obesity levels, stress and improving mental wellbeing regardless of socioeconomic status, age and gender (Thompson, Oliveira, Wheeler, & Depledge, 2016). Moreover, green spaces also provide more opportunities for recreation by encouraging more people to have social gatherings and cultural events which allows bonding for loved ones and even for business purposes. It is important to have public spaces that reflect people’s needs regardless of age, gender and occupations to promote inclusivity (Data-Driven Aid, 2015). For place making to be successful, needs assessment helps to identify areas to address in the community and allows for the comparison between options to solve the problem.
According to (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013), needs assessment helps in changing the policy, systems and environmental. Policy, System and Environmental change
Policy change System change Environmental change
- Policy change involves in creating laws, regulations, rules, protocols and procedures to influence the people’s behaviour.
- Taxes on tobacco
- Menu labelling in restaurants to cause changes to the environment.
- System change changes all the community components such as parks becoming smoke free. Consist of three factors:
- Changes or the presences of activities or services such as health care, healthy food or improving the environment where people can walk and access to social services.
- Positive attitude or behaviour towards the health promoting policies, health practice and more favourable about non-smoking policies.
- The incentive to encourage people to engage in positive activities.
To meet the components, questions will be created to ask how supportive the environment are with incentives, programmes and services to allow them to live an active and healthy lifestyle for chronic diseases prevention and management.
A case study in United States of America (Heroux, Norris, Rube, & Nadimi, 2016) showed that Codman Square Neighbourhood Development Corporation (CSNDC) and Health Resources in Action (HRiA) conducted an assessment and found out that green space, health education signs and the availability of facilities are what the community needs. Hence, implementing it to benefit the community’s health. Another case study (Heroux, Norris, Rube, & Nadimi, 2016) showed the importance of collecting needs and how to engage stakeholders. The community empowered the residents to come out with solutions for the problems they faced in the neighbourhood. Resident given an application to record what their barriers in their daily life, safety and access to healthy food in their neighbourhood. This information can help the relevant agencies come up with ways to improve the public spaces to make it more safe and equal access to everyone.
The land in Woodlands North Coast is currently in development for the Woodlands residents by JTC and more information are needed to collect from the Woodlands community to develop the new space for their needs and wants. Our main aim of this project is to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment so that we can understand the needs of Woodlands residents. By focusing on the health-related areas is to know the environment is supportive enough to allow them to have a healthy and active lifestyle. With the information we gathered, we will know what to expect, what to improve in the woodlands community and to pass this information to JTC.