SOMERSET BELT

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody,
only because, and only when, they are created by everybody"

The Somerset Belt is set to become the space that defines us, the youths, to spark new beginnings. A destination for communities to come together, collaborate, pursue collective aspirations or just to hang out and have a good time. This is where we can express ourselves, and freely voice our thoughts and ideas on what we want to see through the lens of our collective imagination.

In line with the spirit of the SG Youth Action Plan, we've heard your views, researched, brainstormed, and carried out various placemaking exercises. Take a look at what we've done over the past year.

WHO ARE WE?

To become a vibrant place for us to call our own, we first needed to have a deeper understanding of our characteristics, behaviours, and how a place like the Somerset Belt can shape our growth.

This is who we are and what we want in our space:

We Are
Third Place
Seekers

We want a place where we can find our daily escape and fully express our best self.

A sanctuary, our third place.

We Are
Hyper Connected
Socialisers

Whether it’s physically or digitally, we want to be constantly connected to our social networks.

We are Shapers
of our Future
World

As we live and breathe our passions, we are active creators and we want to shape our own future world.

We are
Self-aware
Individuals

To be constantly aware and involved in everything that happens around us, we want to voice out and be part of something bigger or a space to simply unplug from the digital world.

We are
Conscious
consumers

We look for unique experiences when shopping in a physical space, otherwise we will turn elsewhere for convenience.

IDEAS IN TRANSLATION

Now that we have a better idea of what we want in the space, we then carried out brainstorming sessions covering the following 4 topics to gather our thoughts and concerns that were later addressed in an Urban Hackathon:

1

The Design
& Build

We want to create spaces versatile enough for all our endeavours regardless of interests as well as for programmes to emerge. In a nutshell, a seamless experience comfortable enough for us!

2

Youth
Expression
& The Arts

These spaces, once created, should be able to exude all sorts of youth expressions, with equal opportunities to hop on the spaces to co-create and co-exist.

3

The Branding
& Identity

If it’s anything that we seek today in terms of fulfilment, that’s global recognition. To achieve this, we need to figure out our identity. The Somerset Belt should feel like home for us.

4

Commercial
Concepts –
Sustainability
& Partnerships

As we look at how to commercialise the areas within the Somerset Belt, there is also a need to have a balance of economically feasible and sustainable partnerships with our interests in mind.

CO-CREATING SOLUTIONS

Next we approached our insights from the brainstorm sessions in a full-day Urban Hackathon which was broken into two parts - Concept Development and Prototype Development.

Concept Development

We split up into six groups and worked on co-creating abstract concepts that we want to see come to life.

Prototype Development

Three of our six concepts were chosen to move on to the Prototype Development phase, turning them into initial prototypes using stationery and building blocks.

A panel of industry experts then decided on the winning proposal through a series of criterion (including engagement, feasibility, and impact), where 10 of their prototypes would then be displayed along the Belt. These public prototypes were used to further garner insights that will be consolidated and used to reiterate the final masterplan.

CO-CREATING SOLUTIONS

Next we approached our insights from the brainstorm sessions in a full-day Urban Hackathon which was broken into two parts - Concept Development and Prototype Development.

Concept Development

We split up into six groups and worked on co-creating abstract concepts that we want to see come to life.

Prototype Development

Three of our six concepts were chosen to move on to the Prototype Development phase, turning them into initial prototypes using stationeries and building blocks.

A panel then decided on the winning proposal through a series of criterion (including engagement, feasibility, and impact), where 10 of their prototypes would then be displayed along the Belt. These public prototypes were used to further garner insights that will be consolidated and used to reiterate the final masterplan.

HARNESSING THE COMMUNITY

Here is where we heard your voices and brought your ideas to life!

In September 2019, the winning ideas from the Urban Hackathon came to life as prototypes along the Somerset Belt for the wider community to experience! Engagement boards were displayed together with each prototype to collect ‘votes’ and feedback from the youths who interacted with it. From the responses gathered, all of the prototypes received overwhelmingly positive responses with a majority agreeing that they were great ideas for the Somerset Belt.

ESTABLISHING THE FOUNDATIONS

Based on all the feedback and responses gathered, we've created 5 broad strategies to help guide us in imagining a future possible Somerset Belt experience:

1

Dual Spine
Experience

Envisioning the Somerset Belt divided into two contrasting experiential areas - the Active spine with a vibrant and dynamic street life (think busking zones and graffiti art) and the Quiet spine with a restful, zen vibe (spaces for quiet walks or 'me-time' away from the hustle).

2

Memorable
& Inviting
Connections

We're imagining distinctive features to encourage exploration and connections to link the different areas into one seamless experience. This will help leave a lasting impression and keep us coming back for more.

3

Variety of
Quality Public
Spaces

The different public spaces will embody the characteristics of those from different communities, to create opportunities and collaborations.

4

Hybrid of
Land Uses

The goal is to create a unique hybrid of different experiences and offerings within the same space. The space will enable new ideas for seasonal usage, with room to realise new possibilities.

5

Thoughtful,
Community-
Powered
Activations

Having a balance of regular programmes and ad-hoc community initiated activities empowers us to take ownership of these spaces, bringing together the various sub-cultures present in Singapore.

PICTURE THIS PERFECT

This is how we imagine the future of Somerset Belt to be. The space will continually evolve to become a place that we can call our very own, where it will be...

A Place of
Many Things

Diverse programmes and ever-changing activities throughout the year that bring life to the colourful streets

A Place to
Simply Be

Spaces that allow us to take a break, hang-out, or simply be alone

Creative,
Cultural
& Communal

Flexible and adaptable spaces like studio cabins and semi-outdoor workshop spaces to cultivate creativity within us

A Distinct
Sense of Place

Building an identity that is unique to the Somerset Belt by collaborating with the various communities

"This partnership and co-creation with our youths does not stop with the release of the Masterplan. We will continue to involve and collaborate with them to test and refine these Masterplan concept ideas throughout the year"

- Baey Yam Keng
Here, we present to you the Somerset Belt Masterplan -
an experience at Somerset like no other.
DOWNLOAD THE SOMERSET BELT MASTERPLAN AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!

REALISE YOUR SOMERSET PROJECT

Have bold and innovative ideas that will transcend physical and digital boundaries? Now's your chance to bring them to life!

The Realise Your Somerset Project is looking to support different unique and experimental programming projects to bring out the Somerset Belt of your dreams!

What are you waiting for? It's time to get our creative juices flowing!

Download Factsheet Download Application Form