Bishan Park is one of Singapore’s most popular parks in the heartlands of Singapore. As part of a much-needed park upgrade and plans to improve the capacity of the Kallang River along the edge of the park, works were carried out simultaneously to transform the utilitarian concrete channel into a naturalised river, creating new spaces for the community to enjoy.
Currently, 38% of the world’s population experience water scarcity. As the latest UN statistics state that 60% of the world’s city will face water shortage by 2025, ironically many cities across the globe experience in parallel the devastation of flooding. The Kallang River- Bishan Park project is a new vision for blue-green city infrastructure which addresses the dual needs of water supply and flood management while creating spaces for people and nature in the city. This project is part of the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, a long-term initiative to transform the country’s water bodies beyond their functions of drainage and water supply, into vibrant, new spaces for community bonding and recreation.
At Bishan Park, a 2.7 km long straight concrete drainage channel has been restored into a sinuous, natural river 3 km long, that meanders through the park. Sixty-two hectares of park space has been tastefully redesigned to accommodate the dynamic process of a river system which includes fluctuating water levels, while providing maximum benefit for park users. Three playgrounds, restaurants, a new look out point constructed using the recycled walls of the old concrete channel, and plenty of open green spaces complement the natural wonder of an ecologically restored river in the heartlands of the city. This is a place to take your shoes off, and get closer to water and nature!
Official opening: 17 March 2012 by the Prime Minister of Singapore
Area of Bishan Park: 52 hectares (before redevelopment), currently 62 hectares
Annual visitorship: > 3 million
Length of concrete channel before redevelopment: 2.7 km
Length of naturalised section of Kallang River: 3 km
Total length Kallang River: 10 km
Timeline design: 2007-2010
Timeline construction: October 2009 to February 2012 (2 ½ years)
Construction costs: 76 million SGD / 45 million € / US$ 60 million