Singapore Heritage Trails

An app for heritage rediscovery


Project brief























Places evolve - albeit too rapidly with the city's development. Building, moving and converting structures puts places through quick successions of change, morphing and modifying people’s relationships with these places, and eroding the sense of place.

NUS CUTE Center's initial research explored places rooted in historical meaning in Singapore. They found that community groups and heritage enthusiasts have stories about these places which are not widely known, and many of these places are not commonly perceived as 'heritage spots', an interesting contrast and complement to the widely known meta-narratives. In a city that have undergone tremendous transformation in the last 50 years, the sense of place is quickly dissipating amidst lost accounts and loss of interest towards heritage.

How might we preserve and extend place-based narratives in this rapidly changing world?


CrowdTrails is a crowdsourced digital placemaking platform for people to share and celebrate stories connecting places. By presenting multiple narratives to places and adjoining them to yet other spaces, the platform hopes to build a collective experience to enhance the richness in visiting and revisiting these places and inspire people to see 'heritage' in everyday places.

I was engaged to design the Singapore Heritage Trails app, which builds on the CrowdTrails platform for heritage exploration and rediscovery, as part of the Singapore Heritage Festival.


Organized by National Heritage Board, Singapore HeritageFest 2015 celebrates Singapore's heritage, by encouraging Singaporeans to explore familiar places, rediscover the lesser known and forgotten stories behind their past. The Singapore Heritage Trails app needs to support its users while navigating the trails and tell stories about these places. 


The app currently presents around 15 heritage trails, comprising of 5-15 spots, managed by National Heritage Board - but it will need to accommodate more than 60 trails with contribution from grassroot committees and other groups in the future. Due to time constraints for the development, the app had to adhere to Crowdtrails' app framework.



Trails celebrate places

Represented by photographs taken over the years, the trails are highlighted by the places showcased.


Learn about the places

Tap on the trail to have a quick overview of its stories and places.


Previous versions of the app only allow users to view information about the trails that were produced by NHB. From the team's research, alternative narratives pose as an interesting counterpart and create interest to revisit heritage spots. Singapore Heritage Trails app builds on this insight to enable users to learn about personal stories and share their own about places with important memories.


Discover new places and stories

The Discovery tab encourages users to take the routes less travelled by highlighting trails with lesser known spots and stories.


Share stories about places

Users can contribute to the richness of the place's heritage with their personal stories.





NUS Keio CUTE Center's CrowdTrails team, Samantha Lim

NUS Keio CUTE Center



Design & development in 2 months