Enabling Village Wins the 2022 Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence and Shares Future Development Plans

11 Nov 2022

Singapore, 11 November 2022 – Enabling Village, the first inclusive community space in Singapore with a strong focus on training and employment for persons with disabilities, received the 2022 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Award for Excellence at a ceremony graced by Minister for National Development Mr Desmond Lee. 

Established in 1979, the ULI Global Awards for Excellence recognises truly superior development efforts in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Winning projects represent the highest standards of achievement in the development industry and the Awards for Excellence recognise the full development process of a project including its impact on the community and not just its architecture or design.

Developed and managed by SG Enable, Enabling Village is recognised with five other projects from around the world – such as Essex Crossing (United States) – as winners of the 2022 ULI Global Awards for Excellence. These winners were selected from a pool of 26 global finalists who had first won in the highly competitive regional competitions that saw a total of 152 submissions. Earlier in June this year, Enabling Village was selected as one of 13 winners of the Asia Pacific edition of the Awards, and it was the only winning project from Singapore.

The Global Awards jury lauded Enabling Village for creating a dedicated and supportive environment for people with disabilities to receive job training and education. “The project demonstrates a successful model for integrating disability services and accessible design into an existing community,” it said.

“The six developments from around the world serve as replicable models for how developers across a diverse set of circumstances can successfully transform their communities for the better. These projects go above and beyond in furthering ULI’s mission worldwide,” said Professor Khoo Teng Chye, chair, ULI Asia Pacific. “I am impressed by Enabling Village, the first-of-its-kind development in Singapore that fosters an inclusive community by welcoming people of all abilities and deepens integration with the local neighbourhood.”

Ms Ku Geok Boon, CEO of SG Enable, said: “We are honoured to have won such international recognition. We have catalysed greater disability inclusion efforts beyond Enabling Village through impactful innovations in early childhood education, sports and wellness, and inclusive training and employment. With these successes, we are expanding Enabling Village to prototype more social innovations to address the post-18 cliff effects. We seek partners and supporters to join us in Building Dreams and Enabling Lives.”  

Future Plans of Enabling Village

Enabling Village is expanding to do more and better for persons with disabilities. The four-storey extension, to be completed by 2024, will be a model for inclusion and innovation.  It is part of the larger strategy to garner corporate and community support to address the post-18 cliff effects. This will be done through the 4Es:

ENABLE persons with disabilities and caregivers to live more independently and thrive. Holistic programmes serving the whole person will strengthen their life experience at home, work and play. Persons with disabilities will learn life skills, acquire work experience, and cultivate self-expression while caregivers will be supported for their self-care and learning pursuits in parallel.   

The extension will feature studios outfitted with smart home technology alongside training programmes to strengthen independent living skills. This initiative will involve partnerships with social service agencies, technology companies, corporates, and volunteers to support persons with disabilities in their transition into adult life and living in the community. It also helps caregivers to include a practical component in their future care planning, providing a runway for them to prepare their loved ones with disabilities to acquire the skills to live independently with the support of community resources. The learnings from this initiative will also feed forward the plans for developing new community living models under the Enabling Masterplan (EM) 2030.

The new space will see the launch of the Enabling Arts Programme that not only provide opportunities for self-expression, but hone the skills of artists and craftsmen of different disability profiles for jobs in art, design and artisanal craftsmanship. Supported by renowned galleries like the Opera Gallery and Ode to Art, the new gallery, art studios and flagship store will bring together partners like The Art Faculty and TOUCH Community Services, SPED schools as well as established art groups like Temenggong Artists-in-Residence for collective impact.

Housing the Enabling Academy that was launched in May 2022, persons with disabilities will be able to pursue lifelong learning that does not just cater for professional growth, but also focuses on personal growth with courses that cater to diverse interests and abilities.

ENTERPRISE – By incubating disability-inclusive business practices and models, the extension helps businesses to grow with greater inclusion while providing training and jobs to persons with disabilities. Facilitating business success with skills and staff training through the Enabling Academy, and physical infrastructure support at the extension, Enabling Village gives businesses an economically viable scaffold to tap into a more diverse talent pool and integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce. These businesses showcase the talents of an alternative manpower resource and model the way for an inclusive workforce. Together with our employer partners and employment facilitation agencies, we will foster the replication of such inclusive businesses across Singapore.

ENVISION – As an innovation lab of new and evolving ideas to support persons with disabilities and caregivers, Enabling Village envisions a new work-life model of commerce, caregiving, user experience and community resource-building for persons with disabilities and caregivers. In driving training and support for businesses and caregivers with innovative practices and technologies, we improve lives. In championing inclusive design and cultivating an ecosystem of ideas and improvements, we strive to make an impact beyond Enabling Village. We aim to share our learnings with the world with Enabling Village being a world-class showcase and model of inclusion, and inspire others to take positive actions for inclusion.

ENGAGE - Enabling Village is an open and inviting space encouraging all communities in Singapore to integrate and empower persons with disabilities.  Visitors will actively engage in our practice of inclusion and share in our mission to build a more inclusive Singapore. With this, we are one of the strongest foundations of Singapore’s social compact and form an integral part of the Singapore community and society.

Launch of Design Playbook for Inclusive Spaces by Minister Desmond Lee

To mark the start of the development of the Enabling Village extension, Minister Desmond Lee launched the Design Playbook for Inclusive Spaces. The playbook is developed for businesses and establishments looking to make their spaces more inclusive. The principles and ideas in the playbook are distilled from discussions with persons with disabilities, their caregivers and inclusive organisations. Combining their needs and aspirations for inclusive spaces with placemaking qualities, the playbook serves as an inspiration to realise a vision of inclusion with welcoming spaces and experiences for all.  

It takes a village to build an inclusive society and enable lives. SG Enable is raising $10 million for the Enabling Village extension. Corporates, philanthropies and communities who wish to support this initiative can visit https://donate.enablingvillage.sg/ for more information.