The Kallang River at Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park is a flagship project under the Singapore’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme Rather than being viewed as separate components, the idea of water and its surrounding area is thought of as a whole, where recreation and community bonding occurs amidst the water conveyance system. Instead of a physical boundary (as the canal has been in the past), the redesign of the river unifies the park with the neighbouring housing estates as a whole.
The highlight of this project is the revitalization of the river. The changing waterscape creates multiple land use in the park. When the water level in the river is low, users can get closer to water and enjoy recreational activities along the river banks. During heavy rain, the river doubles up as a conveyance channel, carrying the flow downstream. With landscaped banks and gentle slopes, the gentle meandering river provides opportunities for the public to get close to water and experience its natural rhythms and beauty. This influences the community’s perception and sense of stewardship towards the environment.
ENHANCEMENT OF NATURAL & BUILT LANDSCAPE
At Kallang River, the unique plan to break the concrete channel and create a naturalised waterway was conceived for the first time in Singapore. Designed based on a floodplain concept, people can enjoy recreational activities along the river banks during dry weather, and during heavy rain, the adjacent park land to the river doubles up as a conveyance channel, increasing carrying capacity by 40%. This enables multiple land uses within the park, creating more spaces for the community as well as ecologically valuable and diverse habitats. To date, the park has seen the park’s biodiversity increase by 30% with 66 species of wildflowers, 59 species of birds and 22 species of dragonflies identified – some of which have been identified as rare in a city environment. It is the proximity to nature that endears the park to people. As they get close to water and appreciate nature’s rhythms and wonder, their experience of water and their sense of responsibility to the environment changes towards that of better stewardship.
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