Orchard Road to turn into corridor linking key green city spaces

Pedestrians at Orchard Road (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Wide-ranging plans to transform Orchard Road into a green corridor connected key city spaces from Singapore Botanic Gardens to the Singapore River were unveiled by National Parks Board (NParks) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday (13 February).

When completed, the public will be able to enjoy a belt of recreation and leisure stretching from Orchard Road featuring a redesigned Istana Park, onto Fort Canning Park, and towards Singapore River and eventually Pearl’s Hill City Park.

Plans include redesigning the current Istana Park to combine with Dhoby Ghaut Green and Penang Road Open Space to create a larger green space with a new nature play-garden. The stretch of Orchard Road from Istana to SMA House will be realigned to merge with Penang Road.

From the Istana Park, there will be a new linkway and proposed sheltered escalators to Fort Canning Park. From the park, pedestrians are directly connected to the Singapore River, where there are plans for new public spaces at Clarke Quay and Merchant Road.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong opened an exhibition featuring these plans at the URA Centre on Thursday. The exhibition, titled “A Green Oasis in the City: From Orchard to Singapore River” is open to the public until 12 March.

These proposals followed a public exhibition and consultation exercise in 2019 on the plans for Orchard Road. More than 1,500 members of the public shared their feedback, with many suggestions calling for more green spaces and family-friendly facilities along Orchard Road.

Orchard Road becoming a green urban corridor. (SOURCE: Urban Redevelopment Authority)

Enhancements for Fort Canning Park, Singapore River

Besides Orchard Road, there are also planned enhancements for both Fort Canning Park and the Singapore River.

Fort Canning Centre, which housed last year’s Bicentennial Experience exhibition, will be repurposed as a historical gallery to showcase the rich history of Fort Canning Hill through the 14th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The nearby Jubilee Park will be doubled in size by 2021, and will feature a new nature play-garden. New play features include a discovery rain garden, play mounds, sand play, trampolines and climbing structures.

Along Singapore River, there are plans for a new waterfront hotel development in Clarke Quay, while part of the road that separates Liang Court and the river can be transformed into a pedestrian promenade.

Meanwhile, ideas such as new linkages across Merchant Road to connect Singapore River to Riverside Village and Pearl’s Hill City Park are being studied.

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