Liveability: Health and Well-being in the City

Date: 4 October, Wednesday
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm


This breakout session will discuss how social research can play a role in analysing the impacts of our built environment on people's health and well-being. The speakers will share conceptual frameworks that illustrate the relationships between environmental factors, health determinants and health outcomes. In addition, the session will explore case studies on inclusive designs and longitudinal studies on neighbourhood land uses using health measures. In doing so, it brings together multi-disciplinary viewpoints on the relationship between the built environment and our health, as well as how it intersects with the role of planning.  


About the Speakers


Assoc Prof Ong Ker-Shing resized

Associate Prof Ong Ker-Shing
Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore (NUS)
Co-founder, Lekker Architects

Ong Ker-Shing is a designer and educator, co-founder of Lekker Architects, and Associate Professor (Practice) and BA Architecture Programme Director at NUS Department of Architecture. She is a registered Architect, with Masters degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from Harvard GSD. Shing was granted the prestigious Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship in 2002, included in the third edition of the “20 Under 45” series organised by URA, and at Lekker, won the President’s Design Award of the Year in 2015 for The Caterpillar’s Cove Childcare and Development Centre and again in 2023 for Hack Care: Tips and Tricks for a Dementia-Friendly Home. Shing sits on the Advisory Board of PSM, Singapore, and the Council of Singapore Institute of Architects. 


Topic: Inclusive by Design, in Practice

Ar. Ong Ker-Shing will walk us through some recently completed projects that address different aspects of inclusive design. These will range from built facilities such as the Quiet Room at the National Museum and the Oasis hospice day care at Outram Community Hospital, to an event prototype for isolated seniors at MacPherson, to a book of design ideas called Hack Care: Tips and Tricks for a Dementia-Friendly Home, which won the P*DA Design of the Year 2023. Where possible, her practice embraces projects that include design research as part of the overall design methodology. This talk will give some examples as to how she and her team have translated design research into the design of small projects.


Assoc Prof Fung John Chye

Associate Prof Fung John Chye
Department of Architecture
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Associate Professor Fung John Chye is Director, Centre for Ageing Research in the Environment (CARE) and Deputy Director, Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC), both at the College of Design and Engineering, National University of Singapore. He was the Lead-PI for a study funded by NRF on nursing homes and is a member of the Health District @ Queenstown project. Prof Fung’s research covers ageing and healthcare in architecture, urban planning and urban design. Among his publications are design sourcebooks on nursing homes and dementia. He is also a qualified architect with more than 20 years of professional experience.


Topic: Towards a New Paradigm in Planning and Design for Urban Health and Well-being

Aspiring for good health and wellbeing is the zeitgeist of urban living in the twenty-first century due to the convergence of medical advancement, economic progress, transformative technologies, climate change, population ageing, pandemics, and the rapid propagation of human knowledge through the Internet. A high-density environment poses immense challenges to human health and wellbeing. Conversely, it offers opportunities for inventing new models of urban health and healthcare. This talk will examine urban planning and design by reimagining our future urban neighbourhoods as a crucible of human health. It will prospect a framework to illustrate the relationships between environmental factors, health determinants and health outcomes.


Dr Evelyn Loo resized

Dr Evelyn Loo
Principal Investigator
Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS)
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Dr Evelyn Loo is a Principal Investigator from Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Agency for Science, Technology and Research. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor from Department of Paediatrics and Principal Investigator from Human Potential Translational Research Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Her research focus is on understanding the role of the exposome, which includes a diverse array of environmental exposures ranging from individual-level factors to broader-scale influences such as air pollution, so as to derive interventions that translate into clinical practice and impact public healthcare policies.

Her ongoing work involves the study of green space exposure and indoor dust microbiome as well as mechanistic studies of the exposome using multi-omics approaches and machine learning methods. As the Principal Investigator in two large birth cohorts in Singapore – the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) and Singapore Preconception Study of Long-Term Maternal and Child Outcomes (S-PRESTO), she has led and published many multi-disciplinary works with international collaborators. She is supported by national funding such as from the National Medical Research Council and Human Potential - Prenatal/Early Childhood Grant to develop novel treatments and preventive strategies to improve human health.


Topic: Neighbourhood Land Uses and their Association with Individual Health Measures – Findings from GUSTO

Much of the global population resides in urban built environments, with the proportion poised to reach 72% by 2050. The urban environment has a profound influence on our well-being. This talk features preliminary findings from a pilot study using data from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) project which is a prospective population-based cohort study involving 1,247 healthy pregnant mothers recruited during their first trimester with longitudinal data on their child’s health collected at regular follow-ups. The pilot investigates whether neighbourhood land uses correlate to child’s health outcomes, while accounting for key individual- and neighbourhood-level confounders, such as age and income. While preliminary findings indicate a lack of association, this study showcases the potential of leveraging on longitudinal cohort studies to better understand the influence of the built environment on health and well-being.


Mr Choo Chin Hua

Mr Choo Chin Hua
Group Director, Design Development Group
Housing Development Board (HDB)

Chin Hua leads the Design Development Group at HDB, overseeing the design of new public housing projects as well as upgrading programmes for existing public housing precincts.

Trained as an architect-planner, Chin Hua has worked in HDB for more than two decades handling different portfolios ranging from architectural design, town planning, building programme, digitisation, town rejuvenation and health & wellness. Prior to leading the Design Development Group, Chin Hua also underwent a secondment to URA, overseeing the master planning of Singapore’s Northern Region under URA’s Physical Planning Group.