SINGAPORE: Plans to create a 6km-long green connection stretching from the Singapore Botanic Gardens to Singapore River have been unveiled by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board (NParks).
This comes after a public exhibition and consultation exercise by URA, NParks and the Singapore Tourism Board last year, where the agencies collected feedback from the public about enhancing the Orchard area.
Speaking at the launch of an exhibition at the URA Centre on Thursday (Feb 13), National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that the agencies had “received lots of feedback”.
He also announced three main enhancements: Connecting Istana Park to other green spaces in the area, a linkway between Istana Park and Fort Canning Park and developing more public spaces along the Singapore River.
REDESIGNING ISTANA PARK
The current 1.3ha Istana Park will be redesigned to combine with the existing Dhoby Ghaut Green and Penang Road Open Space to create a larger green space with a new nature playgarden on Orchard Road.
Three roads - Oxley Road, Buyong Road and Penang Avenue - will be converted for pedestrian use.
"These parks are not very well utilised today. I'm sure all of you would recognise that they are somewhat isolated spaces. They are flanked by major roads on both sides so accessibility is an issue," said Mr Wong.
Lifestyle activities, such as pop-up stores and festivals, will use the new park, and existing retail spaces in the area will “create an experience of shopping in a garden”, said URA and NParks in a press release.
Family-friendly facilities such as a play-garden and water play area will also be included.
LINKWAY BETWEEN ISTANA PARK AND FORT CANNING PARK
A linkway will be built at 9 Penang Road, at the former Park Mall, to connect Istana Park and Fort Canning Park.
To encourage visitors to Fort Canning Centre at the top of Fort Canning Park, URA and NParks will install sheltered escalators at Canning Rise.
Mr Wong added that Jubilee Park has been "very popular with families" since it opened last year.
"We will double the play area in size by 2021 and provide new and exciting play experiences for children to interact and connect with nature," he said.
This is part of the second phase of development for Fort Canning Park. NParks will also be calling for proposals to further develop Fort Canning Centre at the end of February.
READ: More greenery, street activities to make Orchard Road a 'lifestyle destination': URA, STB and NParks
MORE PUBLIC SPACES ALONG THE RIVERFRONT
A new waterfront hotel will be developed at Clarke Quay under the Government Land Sales Programme, which will create more vibrant public spaces by the river.
Liang Court will also be redeveloped, and the road separating Liang Court from the Singapore River will be transformed into a pedestrian promenade.
"In the longer term, to further enhance connectivity in the precinct and to create a continuous hill-to-hill connection from Fort Canning Park, ideas such as new linkages across Merchant Road to connect Singapore River to Riverside Village and Pearl’s Hill City Park are being studied," the press release added.
When completed, the green connection will stretch from the Singapore Botanic Gardnes to Pearl's Hill City Park and will take in the Orchard area, the redesigned Istana Park, Fort Canning Park and Singapore River.
“I think it will be quite an exciting journey in creating a new green oasis in the city ... All this is part of our efforts to ensure that Singapore remains a lush and liveable City in a Garden,” said Mr Wong.