Coloured postcard showing Toa Payoh estate

This is an aerial view of the public flats and roads within the Toa Payoh Estate, Singapore’s second New Town. The area is approximately 8 kilometres from the city centre and was formerly a squatter settlement with numerous vegetable, pig and poultry farms set up mostly by Chinese squatters who were grouped according to their various dialect affinities. The influence of the Chinese secret societies was also very strong in the area. In the 1960s, Toa Payoh was cleared and plans were made for the development of a second major housing estate in Singapore. The first of such was in Queenstown. The Housing and Development Board (HDB) constructed many public flats in the area and relocated a significant number of the village populations into these flats. The Toa Payoh New Town continues to thrive as a busy housing estate but with an ageing population today.