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Calling for proposals to revitalise public spaces

URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge seeks to co-create design prototypes for a vibrant and inclusive public realm
  Published: 29 October 2021

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) are jointly launching the third edition of the URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge1, themed ‘Enlivening Public Spaces’. Members of the public are invited to submit ideas for innovative design interventions to activate public spaces in mixed-use developments and shopping malls across Singapore. 

The theme for this year’s edition recognises the pivotal role that public spaces play in fostering connections between people. In highly urbanised societies around the world and in Singapore, creating well-loved public spaces that provide opportunities for bonding and interaction has become essential in enhancing well-being in our everyday lives.

To involve the public in contributing to the activation of our public and retail spaces, original and creative ideas submitted for the Challenge will be shortlisted and transformed into experiential installations in participating pilot Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and precincts for public enjoyment. 

This year, URA and REDAS are partnering the Marina Central and Paya Lebar Central pilot BIDs2, as well as the Jurong Gateway and Orchard precincts, to provide fresh and interesting experiences for visitors and shoppers who frequent the shopping malls and mixed-use developments within the area. This is closely aligned with local stakeholders’ efforts to develop and implement ground-up placemaking ideas to enhance the vibrancy and attractiveness of these spaces.

“To support businesses and citizens in tandem with the country’s progressive reopening, we look forward to design solutions from the public that will enhance the vibrancy and inclusiveness of public spaces, and in turn, encourage the resumption of rich and meaningful interactions in our community,” said Mr Lim Eng Hwee, URA’s Chief Executive Officer. 

“Developers constantly seek new and innovative ways to provide safe, interactive and memorable experiences for patrons and users of commercial spaces and malls. We collaborate and explore ways to provide interesting innovations and designs that could revitalise public spaces in such developments, making the shopping and working environment livelier and more engaging for all,” said REDAS President, Mr Chia Ngiang Hong.

SPARK Challenge: Competition details
URA and REDAS will shortlist four submissions—one for each participating pilot BID and precinct—and will provide a total of $56,000 in prototype funding for shortlisted participants to develop their ideas as physical installations. 

Exhibition and evaluation
These installations will be temporarily exhibited at suitable areas within shopping malls and mixed-use developments in the pilot BIDs and precincts. Please refer to the Annex [PDF, 12kb] for more information on the participating shopping malls and mixed-use developments.

During the exhibition period, a panel of judges will evaluate the installations on their originality and suitability, as well as how strongly their design concept and strategy contribute to the intent of this year’s theme. At the same time, the public will be able to take part by voting online for their favourite installations.

Prizes for winning entries
The winner of this year’s $10,000 prize will be selected based on the combined score from both public votes and judges’ evaluation. The other three finalists, as well as the most popular design by public vote, will be awarded $1,000 each.

Interested parties can view the competition brief and submit their design proposals for shortlisting at from Monday, 1 November 2021.

1 The URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge is a competition that seeks ground-up ideas from the public that can raise the quality of the urban environment. Each edition invites interested parties to submit design ideas based on themes that are typically tied to current issues faced by Singapore and our built environment.  

2 The pilot BID programme was launched by URA in 2017 to encourage stakeholders to take greater ownership in enlivening their precincts by adopting a formalised place management framework. To date, six precincts have formed pilot BIDs.