A Healthy Precinct provides a conducive environment, activated community and an integrated health and social ecosystem to support and sustain healthy lifestyles for all.
“I can see, feel, experience and help create health everywhere”
“I am aware, I can adopt, I advocate for health”
The World Health Organisation defines health as “not just the absence of disease but a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing”. To achieve good health, we must focus not only on treating disease but also on preventive care and addressing the social, environmental and behavioural determinants that influence health.
With Singapore’s ageing population, it is important now more than ever to engage citizens in adopting healthier behaviours before they become patients.
Rather than relying on traditional healthcare partners, collective effort is required to improve population health. Therefore, it is important to empower communities and individuals to take charge of their own health.
Using a precinct-based approach, starting with Boon Lay as a pilot site, the Healthy Precinct concept involves deep engagement with residents to understand their health-seeking behaviours and working collaboratively with Government, Grassroots Organizations (GRO), health and social care partners and communities to co-create interventions tailored to the needs of residents. This includes:
creating conducive environmentsthat facilitate healthy living
growing an activated community of residents with the interest and enthusiasm to sustain wellness and health-promoting behaviours
convening an integrated care and support ecosystem to support and sustain health for all residents
The Healthy Precinct Framework serves as a foundation to guide our Healthy Precinct work and has guided the application of the framework into 3 actionable domains
Healthy Precinct Framework*
Socio-Environmental Determinants curated and prioritized from literature review and workshop with government agencies in 2019
Healthy Precinct Framework (3 Actionable Domains)
Harnessing the interactions between a conducive built environment, activated community and a caring and supportive health and social service ecosystem – it is hoped that keeping fit and staying healthy as a default will soon be the norm.
Read on to find out how you can be involved in our endeavour to create Healthy Precincts!
Understanding Healthy Precincts
A precinct-based approach enables context-specific interventions, tailored to the needs of the residents to be delivered through volunteers, community groups and organizations. This approach engenders a high level of engagement and partnership to cultivate individual and community attitudes, values and norms which sustain health-promoting behaviours, and creates environments where healthy living is the default.
How do Healthy Precincts improve health?
A Healthy Precinct aims to demonstrate a preventive health model which harnesses the interactions between a conducive built environment, activated community and a caring and supportive health and social service ecosystem to support and sustain health for all residents.
Boon Lay as
first Healthy Precinct
MOHT collaborates in agile implementations, through a multi-stakeholder approach, with a view for effective solutions to be shared and scaled across Singapore. For a start, we are testing out solutions and tools that facilitate healthy lifestyles in Boon Lay Precinct, where MOHT has had prior presence and partnerships.
Coupled with aligned and supportive Precinct leadership and strong partnership with NUHS, we envision to bring together relevant government agencies and community partners such that learnings could be shared as best practices to health-related projects across Singapore.
What will you experience
in a Healthy Precinct?
You will be empowered to take ownership of your health and nudged to make healthier choices in your daily lives, supported by an integrated health and social ecosystem of care partners.
Facilitated by a guide, the Community Improvement Walk (CIW) allows residents to actively participate in recommending enhancements to the physical environment to improve walkability and accessibility within your neighbourhood.
Jointly organised by MOHT, HDB, Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) (MDAS), OneBoonLay, SmartBFA and with the support of Our Accessible City @ Boon Lay Neighbourhood workgroup, CIW employed both the Environment Audit Tool (EAT) and SmartBFA tools during the Boon Lay CIW on Sunday, 18 September in Boon Lay. These tools investigate residents’ interaction and insights with their built environment to inform town improvements, and use crowdsourced path accessibility data to provide quicker, barrier-free navigation for wheelchair users respectively.
The CIW brought together adults, seniors and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), as well as facilitators from various organisations, to share their insights and feedback.
From finding out where you can go to play a game of hockey, to embracing nature at Jurong Central Park, this trail is designed for residents to connect with their families and neighbours through fun and joy. As you explore the wellness trail, visit mindline.sg to discover the various self-care tools available for mental wellness, and the OneBoonLay Telegram channel to uncover the exciting events happening in Boon Lay.
Boon Lay Wellness GameOnNILA! Trail
Boon Lay Wellness GameOnNILA! Trail is a walking trail that takes residents through 10 health and wellbeing related landmarks within Boon Lay, with attractive prizes to be won.
MOHT collaborated with SportSingapore GameOnNILA! (GON) and OneBoonLay, to launch a Discover Wellness at Boon Lay Trail from 01 July 2022.
As Singapore’s first precinct-based walking trail with a focus on healthy living, residents can look forward to visiting 10 health and well-being related landmarks through gamification and ultimately win prizes. A wellness tip is also shared to increase users’ knowledge.
What activities would I see in my neighbourhood?
Discovery Walk in the Park
Discovery Walk in the Park is an opportunity for residents to keep fit while bonding with other nature enthusiasts in guided tours which incorporate health tips and short exercises at scenic points.
In collaboration with Sport Singapore (SportSG) Active Health Team, the “Discovery Walk in the Park” programme in Boon Lay precinct sees SportSG Active Health coaches lead walks for residents in local parks.
This guided tour incorporates health tips, as well as short exercises at various scenic points, incorporating both strength and cardio training (e.g., body weight exercises like shoulder press, leg curl etc.). We hope that after several walking trails, besides enjoying the therapeutic benefits of nature and outdoor exercise, residents can also be equipped with the knowledge, skills and motivation to organically organise and conduct similar walks for themselves and their neighbours!
Excited to find out more and participate? Sign up now here!
Garden2Gather organizes gardening workshops for seniors to grow edible plants; an opportunity to learn a hobby together and make friends while doing so.
The pilot allows senior residents to pick up gardening while connecting with like-minded enthusiasts, facilitating meaningful engagements that enhance mental wellness.
What are some examples of the healthcare services offered in Boon Lay?
Community Health Posts
Community Health Posts provide residents with easy access to services including health screening, education and training, elderly and home safety assessment, chronic disease management.
Residents can find out more by visiting:
179 Boon Lay Dr, #01-448, Singapore 640179 or clicking here.
Framework and Models are in place to conceptualize and explain mechanisms of behavioural change and empirical relationships between the drivers of healthy behaviours. These include the Healthy Precinct Framework.
Healthy Precinct Framework
Healthy Precinct Framework (HPF) illustrates the influence of key socio-environmental determinants of healthy behaviours within the community and environment. It postulates that a healthy precinct should:
Create environments that facilitate healthy living
Grow an activated community of residents with the interest and enthusiasm to sustain wellness and health-promoting behaviours
Facilitatea caring and supportive health and social service ecosystem to support and sustain health for all residents
Reach out to us should you wish to adopt and/or adapt the HPF in your community!
Healthy Precinct Framework*
Socio-Environmental Determinants curated and prioritized from literature review and workshop with government agencies in 2019
Tools & Resources
Digital Tools and data offer opportunities to sense make and inform solutions to facilitate healthy living. These include Behavioural Needs Assessment (BNA), Digital Local Connect (DLC), Environmental Audit (EAT-Lite) Tool and Healthy Precinct Dashboard.
Behavioural Needs Assessment
MOHT, in collaboration with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), conducted a BNA from June’21 to Jan’22 to facilitate the understanding of environmental assets (e.g. surrounding facilities, available infrastructure) in Boon Lay precinct, and the study of health behaviours and perceptions amongst residents to inform future intervention design. Employing a mixed methods approach, data was collected through site audits, observations, asset mapping and 1-1 and group community engagement sessions. Triangulation of the various data sources culminated in recommendations for community leaders and stakeholders to consider and prioritise for future action.
Contact us if you would like to find out more about the processes and methodology!
Digital Local Connect
Digital Local Connect (DLC) is a precinct-based mental health resource library, designed for precinct leaders (grassroots advisers and team), volunteers and other community stakeholders, to help guide their residents to the relevant services, programs and resources in the neighbourhood, as well as access to self-help training materials to co-develop community networks and initiatives.
What to Expect?
Support and Services:
Find specific mental health service providers in your neighbourhood based on your resident needs
Training and Guides:
Access to mental health and volunteer trainings and self-help materials to build knowledge and skillsets amongst residents and volunteers
Partner with us to bring and scale DLC to your neighbourhood today! Reach out to us to learn more.
Environment Audit (EAT-Lite) Tool
MOHT partnered with SUTD and URA in 2021, to develop the tool to be more user-friendly and accessible to communities. Broadly, EAT-Lite covers 7 categories:wayfinding, building features, facilities and amenities, lighting, mobility, outdoor spaces and safety. With the help of Glide Application, it allows residents and volunteers to take photos and document feedback in a seamless fashion. To date, MOHT has rolled out EAT-Lite in 3 precincts, Yio Chu Kang, Queenstown and Boon Lay.
Shaping your neighbourhood can be made easy with EAT-Lite. Reach out to us to
Healthy Precinct Dashboard
The Healthy Precinct Dashboard aims to enable Precinct Leaders (primarily grassroot leadership team and volunteers) to better understand their communities across different resident demographics, built environment and community assets. For example, the dashboard would help identify disease hotspots and opportunities in the built environment and community assets within the neighbourhood. The dashboard is currently work in progress.
Reach out to us to learn more about how you can collaborate on the
Healthy Precinct Dashboard!
Movements for Health
Movements for Health (M4H) represents a ground-up approach that harnesses the momentum of social movements to sustain behaviour change that leads to better health.
We believe movements have the potential to create large-scale system-level changes in health, for the following reasons:
Movements encourage ground-up actions, which tend to be better tailored for the needs of a community because they deeply involve, engage, and are initiated by community members.
Movements spread through relationships between people and provide alternative pathways to connect with individuals who may otherwise be underserved or unreached.
Movements are more likely to create sustainable behaviour change and establish new social norms for healthy living, because they are powered by people and their communities.
How will M4H be implemented?
The M4H programme implementation spans over 4-years. On M4H implementation, we will focus on three key aspects:
Capability Building for Partners.
Strengthen Social Networks through understanding community ecosystem and forge collaboration across healthcare and community partners and establishing common platforms for learning and sharing.
Develop projects that will embed health into activities that influence health behaviours and build habits.
Examples of M4H Projects:
Green Nudge, a leading green social enterprise, is creating sustainability trails with health messages embedded in the activities for seniors.
Contact us if you are interested in being a CHANGEMAKER as part of this movement for health!
Examples of your involvement could include:
Becoming a Community Movement Champion or Community Coach
Working with our Community Movement Champions
Joining our network of M4H partners
Care & Support Ecosystem
Interested in finding out about ComLink projects or developing convening community platforms and enhancing strategic alliances to build social-health ecosystem with the aim to improve care delivery and health outcomes for residents in Boon Lay?
Build interface with health and social partners
Aggregate resources through a common platform
Outreach to community
Contact us and we will link you up with the appropriate partners!
Creating Healthy Precincts would not be possible without our partners!
Thank you to the following partners and stakeholders for joining us on the journey of creating a Healthy Precinct in Boon Lay:
Agency for Integrated Care
Boon Lay Garden Primary School
Boon Lay Grassroots Organisations
Centre for Liveable Cities
Church of St Francis of Assisi
Health Promotion Board
Housing & Development Board
Land Transport Authority
Loving Heart (Jurong)
Ministry of National Development
Ministry of Social and Family Development- Social Service Office
National Parks Board
National Healthcare Group
National University Health System
Singapore Association for Mental Health
Singapore Health Services
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities
Urban Redevelopment Authority
Viriya Community Services
JOIN US today on our journey in creating Healthy Precincts!
For more information, please contact: Healthy.Precincts@moht.com.sg
MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) is an MOH unit with a mission to shape the future of healthcare in Singapore by identifying, developing and experimenting with game-changing, systems-level concepts and innovations in the promotion of good health, prevention of illnesses and delivery of care. We adopt an agile, collaborative approach with stakeholders and partners, using sandboxed test-beds and pilots in a small number of areas where fundamental change is critical for the effective transformation of the healthcare system, with the intention to scale these across the public healthcare system if successful.
“Healthy Precincts” sits within one of the key programmes of MOHT - the Integrated Health Promotion (InHealth) Programme - which focuses on novel strategies to a) improve health, b) promote and sustain behaviour change and c) prevent the onset and progression of disease amongst the population. It aims to achieve this through co-creating Healthy Precincts with stakeholders and partners.
Through the conceptualisation and development of Healthy Precincts, behavioural frameworks, models and tools are introduced and offered to stakeholders and partners to adopt, adapt and/or collaborate on further enhancements.