SINGAPORE: Joo Chiat is Singapore's first Heritage Town and the National Heritage Board (NHB) is funding the area's plans to showcase more of its rich legacy to the tune of S$100,000.
This part of Singapore seems to have two faces to it. On one hand, there are shophouses exuding the old world charm of Singapore in the 1960s and 70s. And on the other, swanky cafes and eateries, offering the modern worker a welcome reprieve from a hard day at the office.
However, those are not the only reasons why Joo Chiat has been crowned Singapore's first Heritage Town.
Alvin Tan, Director of Heritage Institutions with the National Heritage Board, said: "Joo Chiat was awarded our Heritage Town for 2011 because of the quantity and the diversity of heritage activities that they're proposing as well as the extent of community involvement from grassroots organisations to associations such as the Peranakan Association and the Eurasian Association."
And such programmes will be boosted with fresh funds from the National Heritage Board.
The government also hopes other constituencies will emulate Joo Chiat's desire to preserve its legacy.
Information, Communication and the Arts Minister Lui Tuck Yew said: "By engaging the population through programming in the heartlands, partnerships to develop heritage content and so on, we strive to encourage and promote more active participation and co-ownership of our shared heritage."
The search for Singapore's next heritage town will occur in 2013.