View of a block of HDB flats

“They Told Us to Move”: Challenging the contributions of academia

Focused on the relocation of Dakota Crescent residents to Cassia Crescent, “They Told Us to Move” (2019) by Ng Kok Hoe and the Cassia Resettlement Team (CRT) – a volunteer team founded in 2017 to help these residents settle into their new homes – is a powerful collection of resident and volunteer narratives, unfortunately let down by the uneven and seemingly disconnected academic contributions, especially in the final third of the book. In this vein, the book is both a testament to the strong resident-volunteer forged through the relocation, resettlement, and redevelopment process as well as to the challenges of drawing meaningful connections between developments on the ground and the work of academia to effectively translate research into practice or policy change.