Kallang River / photo: wikimedia.org

URA: Call for public feedback to rejuvenate Kallang River

The 10km Kallang River – about three times the length of the Singapore River – that stretches from Lower Peirce Reservoir to the Kallang Basin, is to be rejuvenated, as revealed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) through the ‘A River Runs Through It’ exhibition launched on Wednesday (29 Mar).

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong officiated the launch of the exhibition at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Centre.

Kallang River aerial view / photo: ura.gov.sg

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; some initial ideas include building spiral ramps across the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and waterfront housing developments.

Kallang River is the longest river in Singapore, extending 10 km from Lower Peirce Reservoir to Nicoll Highway, and running through Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Toa Payoh, Bendemeer and Kallang Bahru, before merging into the Kallang Basin.

The Lower Peirce Reservoir, formerly known as the Kallang River Reservoir / photo: nus.edu.sg

‘Kallang’ is an old Malay name referring to a group of indigenous sea gypsies of Singapore called Orang Biduanda Kallang, who lived at the mouth of the Kallang River. There are now about 800,000 people living within 2 km of Kallang River.

Today Online reported that Minister Wong said, “We will add up to 100,000 new residential units within 2km of both sides of the Kallang River In the next 20 years,”. In addition, the area will be served by 20 MRT stations when the new lines are up by 2023. To string all these new developments together, more jogging and cycling paths will be inserted for seamless connectivity along the entire corridor.

In his speech in Parliament earlier this month Mr Wong said, “The development of Kampong Bugis will form part of our larger rejuvenation efforts for the Kallang River. Along the way, we will enhance the river with more greenery, seamless jogging and cycling paths. More homes will be introduced and the older industrial estates in the area rejuvenated.”

“All these will be done in a way that is sensitive to the rich heritage and biodiversity of the river so that over time, we can transform the entire riverfront, and bring back new life and vibrancy to the area.”

The government has outlined five broad key ideas to rejuvenate Kallang River:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Enhance accessibility by providing a seamless active mobility route along Kallang River between Bishan and the city centre. The exhibition will present some aspirational ideas to overcome major obstacles along the river bank, such as new underpasses and a cycling bridge across PIE.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Public feedback for exhibited proposals

URA is calling on members of public to share their feedback on the proposals to revitalise Kallang River and Kallang Basin. URA will also be inviting grassroots and residents living along Kallang River and other stakeholders to the exhibition for their views. Members of public are also welcome to give their feedback online.

The ideas and proposals will be exhibited at The URA Centre Atrium from 29 Mar to 2 May, 9am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays. Admission is free, URA said.