SINGAPORE: The first phase of Singapore’s longest cross-island trail, a 62km route stretching from Changi to Tuas, will be completed by 2025, said the National Parks Board (NParks) in a media release on Thursday (Mar 4).
Named the Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Southern Trail, it is one of four new recreational routes that will open to the public in the next few years.
This is part of larger efforts to achieve Singapore’s vision of becoming a “City in Nature”.
Announcing the initiative in Parliament, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said: “Greening our city has always been a part of Singapore’s DNA, which we must continue to steward for generations to come.
“This will also help to mitigate the effects of climate change and urbanisation, and improve the living environment for all Singaporeans.”
Apart from the Southern Trail, there will be a 25km-long C2C Northern Trail, from Khatib Bongsu to Sungei Buloh, linking up the Central and Sungei Buloh Nature Park networks.
The first phase of this trail will be completed by 2026, and the entire route will be ready by 2030, said NParks.
These two trails running from east to west will complement the existing Coast-to-Coast trail, which will be renamed the C2C Central Trail.
EASTERN CORRIDOR AND CENTRAL CORRIDOR
Outdoor enthusiasts will also get to enjoy two new corridors running from north to south.
The 18km Eastern Corridor connecting East Coast Park to Pasir Ris, going through Bedok Reservoir, will be ready by the last quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile, the 34km Central Corridor from Woodlands to the city centre will be opened in phases and is due for completion by 2030.
“When fully completed, (these trails) will enable Singaporeans to explore nature throughout the island, across 360km of curated trails,” said NParks, which previously a set a goal of establishing 500km of park connectors by 2030.
“(The trails) will connect communities and bring about a sense of space many times beyond our small island-city state.
“It will also contribute to Singapore’s goal of enabling 100 per cent of households to live within a 10-minte walk of a park by 2030,” said the agency.
These routes will also help to “enhance ecological connectivity between our natural habitats, helping to strengthen Singapore’s ecological resilience”, said NParks.
The agency added that overall, more than S$315 million will be committed to expanding and enhancing islandwide trails from now until 2026. This sum will also be used to develop new parks and redevelop existing ones.
DEVELOPMENT AND REDEVELOPMENT OF PARKS, GARDENS
Specifically, it is aiming to develop more than 130ha of new parks and redevelop about 170ha of existing ones by 2026.
“These will feature intensified greenery and upgraded faciltiies, providing Singaporeans with access to lush greenery and nature,” said NParks.
It added that it will also work with PUB to “naturalise waterways and waterbodies where feasible”.
“This is a nature-based solution that can enhance flood resilience for nearby homes and properties while beautifying the environment and providing habitats for biodiversity,” said NParks.
READ: New central green corridor connecting East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park to be created: Heng Swee Keat
One of the new parks to be developed is at Teachers’ Estate in Upper Thomson.
Linking the Central Catchment Nature Reserve to Lower Seletar Reservoir, the park will include the forested area at the existing hillock, which will be conserved and enhanced, said NParks.
An example of a park that will be restored and enhanced is Mount Faber Park.
NParks hopes to improve pedestrian connectivity from Henderson Waves to Faber Peak, as well as enhance biodiversity there through conserving native plants and animal species.