Saturday, August 18

Old Singapore railway line to become new park

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Singapore is Asia’s greenest city. It could become even greener by the creation of another park. What a better way to do so than to revegetate an old railway? This is just one of the initiatives that aim to improve the eco-friendliness and amenity of the city-state. Do you wish to visit this awesome garden-city?

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The railway line to be transformed to park

The Rail Corridor is a former railway route extending across Singapore. The railway was deserted in 2011 and is earmarked under a new government plan for transformation into a park. Extending 24km, the railway covers virtually the whole length of the island, from north to south. The park, once completed, will most probably be among the region’s longest artificial recreational places, or even one of the world’s largest human-made recreational centers. The abandoned railway line (Railway Corridor) was the route that linked southern Singapore Tanjong Pagar Railway Terminal and the area bordering Malaysia.

Service on the line ceased in 2011 with the relocation of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Terminal to Woodlands, in the north of the city. Despite being of a lesser length, the plan is to rehabilitate it similar to  New York’s High Line, a railway stretch in Manhattan that has been revegetated and turned into a park. According to a director of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, the transformation of the Rail Corridor offers the nation a very rare and unique chance to create an exceptional public space.

Creating the design of the park

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has organised and run contests and exhibitions over the previous four years in order to come up with the park’s design. The winning concept, entitled ‘Lines of Life’, was created by Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei, in collaboration with a Singaporean landscape firm Tierra Design.

According to a Nikken Sekkei spokesperson, the park will celebrate the extensive area it will cover, as well as the varying ways of life of Singaporeans.

The park is hoped to become a point of unification for the city-state.

The symbolism of the design

The design of the park includes 8  themed areas and 10 ‘activity nodes’, each representing a sport or hobby.

PIE Viaduct, one of the nodes, will be known as the Community Cave, and will have yoga decks and a rock-climbing wall. Another, Queenstown Viaduct, will be called Passage of Light, and will have an installed automatic or smart floor light that reacts to the speed of the cyclist and pedestrians passing over it.

The park will also have a firefly garden. It will also be accessible through 122 access points, making it be less than 400 meters or a 5-minute walk from any nearby residential or business area. Ancient railway buildings and artifacts also will be preserved and renovated to commemorate the area’s heritage.

As the planning continues, designers expect the project  to bring about further new development, as well as enable the country to maintain its status as one of Asia’s most forward-thinking nations.


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