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The red tiles of urban history

Older public housing estates in Singapore have low-rise buildings dedicated to shops and other commercial spaces, separate from the taller housing blocks. Examples include Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, and Yishun, all of which were built in the 1970s and 1980s.

These low-rise buildings have red squarish tiles in front of their facades and for the five-foot-ways or pedestrian passageways. I don’t really see this type of tile in newer neighbourhoods.

When the inevitability of urban redevelopment hits these older estates, I hope at least some of the low-rise buildings - and their red tiles - are conserved for posterity.


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