Singapore’s URA to rejuvenate Kallang River, offer 100,000 new homes
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched the “A River Runs Through It” exhibition on Wednesday, which showcases opportunities to revitalise areas along Kallang River.
The exhibition is a call for public feedback and ideas on a preliminary conceptual plan to rejuvenate the Kallang River, and revitalise the areas around the river.
The Kallang River is Singapore’s longest natural river. Originating from Lower Peirce Reservoir, the 10 km Kallang River passes through many housing and industrial areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Toa Payoh, Bendemeer and Kallang Bahru, before merging into the Kallang Basin. There are now about 800,000 people living within 2 km of Kallang River. In the next 20 years, there is potential to inject around another 100,000 dwelling units in the area.
Waterfront rejuvenation started in the 1980s in Singapore, following the clean-up of both the Singapore River and Kallang Basin. In the past 30 years, the government has focused on the Singapore River, Marina Bay and the Kallang Basin. The time is ripe now to start a discourse to further rejuvenate the Kallang River in the future.
Many of the ideas exhibited at this stage are conceptual and aspirational in nature, and not developed in great detail. The intention is to invite public feedback, so that they can be developed further. The government has outlined five broad key ideas to rejuvenate Kallang River:
- Activate the waterfront, and enhance Kallang Basin as a sports and recreational venue. Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) projects will animate the waterfront. An idea that is being developed for implementation is an eventual stream, cascading waters and rain gardens between Bishan Road and Braddell Road. Meanwhile, more facilities are being studied at the area around the Sports Hub to strengthen its standing as an inclusive sports and recreational precinct. Sport Singapore, in collaboration with other agencies, will be transforming the area along Jalan Benaan Kapal into an inclusive community space that celebrates active living.
- Inject new waterfront housing developments in park-like settings and renew old industrial estates. Kampong Bugis and Kallang Distripark are primed for the development of quality green residential neighbourhoods. Home to smaller industrial estates, Kallang Industrial Estate has the potential to be renewed into a mixed-use precinct with new industrial developments. The Kampong Bugis project was announced by Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament recently, and consultations with industry have already started.
- Enhance accessibility by providing a seamless active mobility route along Kallang River between Bishan and the city centre. A seamless promenade along the Kallang River will have a key catalytic effect to spur developments around it. The exhibition will present some aspirational ideas to overcome major obstacles along the river bank, such as new underpasses and a cycling bridge across the Pan Island Expressway.
- Enrich the biodiversity of Kallang River. Current habitats along the river can be complemented with the naturalisation of more stretches of the waterway, and wider green setbacks, to allow biodiversity to flourish even more.
- Celebrate and incorporate the river’s rich heritage. The public will be invited to help capture the memories and heritage associated with the river to enrich future development plans.