Leisure Island

Leisure Island 

 

By Jessica Lim 

 

NOTHING to do on the weekends in Singapore? Not if its city planners can help it.

Yesterday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed an ambitious blueprint to make Singapore a great place to work, live and have fun in.

 

Under its Leisure Plan, 900ha of new park space and 260km of park connectors will be added in the next 10 to 15 years.

 

The plan also includes an uninterrupted 150km round-island cycling and jogging route.

 

‘I think we may be the first and only people in the world to be able to take a walk, relatively easily, around our whole country,’ said Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan, unveiling the plan at the Singapore Institute of Architects’ 47th annual dinner last night.

 

He added that Singaporeans need not worry that higher economic and population growth will come at the expense of space and greenery.

 

The URA plan also earmarks six areas to be developed into leisure hotspots.

 

Five have been previously announced. Last night, Mr Mah added the sixth – the Kranji and Lim Chu Kang areas which will become a ‘countryside’ retreat for urban dwellers.

 

Boating activities such as kayaking will be permitted at the Kranji Reservoir and new parkland and nature trails will allow better access to the Kranji Marshes and the wetlands in Sungei Buloh.

 

A final plank in the plan is to inject more buzz into the city, especially at night. The URA is relooking everything from night lighting to street fixtures, and hopes to kick-start these after-dark activities with a new Night Festival in July.

 

The Leisure Plan is part of a bigger blueprint, the 2008 URA Draft Master Plan, which will be revealed tomorrow.

 

For ideas, URA planners combed the island looking for leisure opportunities for the young and old, said URA chief executive officer Cheong Koon Hean.

 

‘We want to ensure that even as we continue to grow, we can still enjoy a very good quality of life,’ she said.

 

 

 

Source: Straits Times

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