How Singapore created a riverine park in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio

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See how Singapore created a 153-acre naturalised park between the housing estates of Bishan and Ang Mo Kio.


Blog visitor Don Anamalai, says:

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is located between the heartland estates of Bishan and Ang Mo Kio in Singapore. Comprising 62 hectures in total, it provides recreational facilities to the residents with fitness corners, running and cycling tracks, playgrounds and even a dog run area for pooches.

One of the most scenic aspects of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is the naturalised meandering river that runs through the park, giving rise to a rich diversity of tropical flora and fauna. It is a beautiful place to do sports, have a gathering or a relaxing stroll to enjoy nature.

The park was set up in 1989, but the introduction of a naturalised river over the last few years has resulted in a 30 per cent increase in biodiversity.

See how it was done:

Wikipedia adds:

The Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme was launched in 2006 to transform the country’s water bodies beyond their functions of drainage and water supply into beautiful and clean rivers and lakes with new spaces for community bonding and recreation. At the same time, it promotes the application of a new, water-sensitive urban design approach (also known as ABC Waters design features in Singapore) to managing rainwater sustainably. A long-term initiative, over 100 locations have been identified for project implementation in phases by 2030, with 20 projects already completed, bringing people closer to water. ABC Waters @ Kallang River – Bishan Park is one of the flagship projects under this programme.

Why can’t we do something similar over here for the ordinary rakyat instead of building more golf courses for the well-heeled? After all, we have a lot more land than Singapore! Or must it all be sold to developers and business interests for high-end property development?
Blog regular Kevin chips in:

I have been there several times over the past few years. I can tell you that Singaporeans value their green spaces. All parks are maintained by the Parks and Gardens Board which also maintains landscaping throughout public spaces in Singapore. Bishan park was recently upgraded and the river cleaned tremendously. To make it safe at night, lights were installed and alarms were installed at many spots to allow users to alert the authorities. Where parks are concerned, Singapore is probably the leader in the world and Pg should learn from them.

Blog visitor Michael adds:

Well done Singapore. Now, if large Singapore property developing companies backing two-ringgit Malaysian companies stay in Singapore and not exploit the lands of Malaysia, then Malaysians will not need to re-create rural environments out of narrow corridors between massive urban sprawl.

It is economically sustainable and ecologically responsible to plan towns and cities properly using the latest technology before strip clearing what was already there, and then reproducing what already existed but manicured to the nth degree.

Traditionally Malaysians lived in either forested areas, or agricultural areas. I think most people want to retain their natural settings, but appreciate modern services that come with urbanisation. Both are possible with planning. Smaller urban areas with efficient internal public transport can be linked by interurban efficient public transport. Around and within these smaller (10000 -20000 people) urban hubs, which architecturally unique within themselves and take advantage of whatever natural landscape features, are tree-lined narrower streets

Urban areas with low-rise buildings accessible by all income groups (especially if the ever widening gap between them are reduced) will return to the people that sense of belonging, to be valued. Malaysia, if not parceled out to a few elites, has plenty of land for both pleasant urban towns and agricultural and forested areas. There is no excuse for Malaysia to be encumbered by 20-plus storied monoliths; perhaps Singapore does have an excuse.

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Gerry
Gerry
13 Nov 2013 12.40pm

When in Singapore, I recommend the Eastern Coastal Loop cycling trail (42 KM) in Singapore. You can rent bicycle from PCN Pitstops scattered across the cycling network ($6 per hour rental).

Johnny
Johnny
13 Nov 2013 11.56am

So much to learn from Singapore!

don anamalai
don anamalai
14 Oct 2013 11.34am

Singapore is bidding to have its Botanic Gardens, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The process is in its final stages.

OWC
OWC
7 Oct 2013 11.22am

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtrxWU3xB-0 Sungei Buloh was designated as a nature park in 1989 and in 2002 Sungei Buloh was officially designated as a nature reserve and renamed as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to better reflect its status. It is a region with a long history, once a big mangrove forest with a rich flora and fauna. But man also discovered this fertile region and used it for fish farming. Not for long, because people soon discovered that the entire mangrove ecosystem was intact. Mudskippers, crab, shellfish, water snakes, spiders, lizards and birds. This 130ha ecological jewel… Read more »

sukdev
sukdev
2 Oct 2013 1.12pm

Anil should organise a ‘lawatan sambil belajar’ trip to Singapore.
His ardent readers should be happy to join.
Air Asia is affordable. Can stay in JB as suggested by Anamalai.
Tunglang can go there to see how good the Singapore food is, and notice how many Malaysian good hawkers are now operating in Jurong Point.

Jeannette
Jeannette
2 Oct 2013 3.49pm
Reply to  sukdev

Yes, Jurong Point has many stalls selling good Malaysian hawker food at reasonable price.

SingLand Scout
SingLand Scout
2 Oct 2013 4.57pm
Reply to  sukdev

tunglang can be more appreciated by singland gomen if he goes there and take photos with his Nikon SLR and does write-ups via anilnetto.com ? CAT meow meow appears to ignore his ideas and his talent could be imported by singland ???
May be tunglang can be inspired by the man-made gardens in Singland for him to venture out of Penang heritage ???
Like Astro AEC Golden Classic singing contest – never too old to sing in singland if meowland ignores you ???

tunglang
tunglang
2 Oct 2013 10.57pm
Reply to  SingLand Scout

TQ, SingLand Scout. In fact, I was offered a job in 2010 by a landscaper in SingLand but decline cos’ the pay could not cover my monthly expenses & personal needs, what’s left after CPF deduction but sobbing kacang puteh & brown skins to feed 5 mouths! Now, I am saving every 5 cents minus monthly Char Hor Fun to get a full frame (FX) Nikon camera which I will use to capture what I see worth recording/archiving for future generations, whether it’s Malaysian Rainforest (virgins only) or Old World Charm Penang (authentic living heritage only, sorry no plastic, green… Read more »

phyllis
phyllis
4 Oct 2013 11.37am
Reply to  SingLand Scout

Street food is to be savoured, not to be looked at in a museum.

Eat, Eat, Eat > Pass Out
Eat, Eat, Eat > Pass Out
4 Oct 2013 2.07pm
Reply to  SingLand Scout

Phyllis, you are the type that “Eat, Digest but Forget”, right?
Food culture, the world renown Asian cuisine creation of Penang street hawkers should be kept as archive of original recipes for future generations to appreciate for a long, long time.
Even Singapore has its own Food Museum lest it also lost a culture fast overtaken by fast food that don’t last, not even in your stomach.
Know the multi-purpose of a museum, not only for art exhibition, historical figures & artefact.

Phyllis
Phyllis
6 Oct 2013 11.28am
Reply to  SingLand Scout

Dear “Eat, Eat, Eat > Pass Out” I doubt the ori-maestros of Penang food will reveal their trade secrets for you to archive the original recipes. You can never replicate the original taste from archived recipes. Anyway, recipes can be archived in cookbooks, just go to Popular bookstore and you could see lots of recipe books on sale. I am just hoping that Penang food is not consigned to museum. For the Penang street food legacy to go on, the descendants of the ori-maestros must be willing to carry on the business, and incentives must be given to top street… Read more »

sukdev
sukdev
2 Oct 2013 1.02pm

This is how public fund should be utilised for the benefits of rakyat.
So much for Malaysia to learn from Singapore.

Alas, in Bolehland public fund is abused by the BN’s civil servants.
Just check the 2012 AG Report where cases of corruption that are somehow missed by MACC.

Island Joe
Island Joe
1 Oct 2013 10.41pm

Imagine having a big park like that which is well maintained, and is surrounded by well planned low-medium cost housing. What a great place to live. It can be especially effective in transforming a less than ideal part of town. With public space for recreation, you don’t need big houses and expensive condos to have a great quality of life. A developer would never do this as they would not provide big pieces of parkland and this is why the government must take the lead with the people put first. Why not say to a developer that the government will… Read more »

Kenny Sim
Kenny Sim
2 Oct 2013 12.32pm
Reply to  Island Joe

If you have never live in Singapore, chances are that you will never know there are so many green parks all around the island and easily accessible by bus or MRT. Malaysia’s mainstream media tend to portray the negative aspects of Singapore, and thus many ignorant people tend to miss out the wonderful things of this island. In Singapore parks, all the public amenities are maintained properly and function well. This is unlike our Malaysian gardens where the water fountains by Majlis Bandaraya are usually dry and not functioning. Today I read in dismay the 2012 AG Report, highlighting once… Read more »

Priyanka
Priyanka
1 Oct 2013 11.39am

I just checked out SingLand’s National Parks Board (they have tiny land BUT they make efforts to preserve, create and maintain) which is responsible to make Spore a Garden City whereby the following housing estates (HDB) have free green parks for residents to enjoy : http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=parks HDB Community Parks : Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West Bedok Town Park Choa Chu Kang Park Clementi Woods Park Tampines Eco Green One-north Park Pearl’s Hill City Park Punggol Park Sembawang Park Sun Plaza Park Toa Payoh Town Park Woodlands Town Garden Yishun Park Jurong Central Park… Read more »

Don Anamalai
Don Anamalai
1 Oct 2013 12.33pm
Reply to  Priyanka

Such parks in Singapore are located within the HDB heartland, free and easy accessibility to the HDB residents, no membership required. They provide clean, green and safe space outdoor activities for HDB residents who may do not the luxury of personal home garden. The new Tampines Eco Green is one to look out for.

I am sad to see the dirty and depilated conditions of the playground near my Taman residence, where weeds grow in the drain that breeds mosquitoes. So much to learn from the Red Dot.

McMinion
McMinion
1 Oct 2013 11.01am

Check up Singapore’s “Southern Ridges Trail” on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXBCq1G-hFA The Southern Ridges comprises 10 km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. It is probably the best spots in Singapore to catch panoramic views of the city, harbour and the Southern Islands. Henderson Waves connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. It is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore standing 36m above Henderson Road and frequently visited for its artistic, distinctive wave-like structure consisting of a series of undulating curved ‘ribs’. The other highlights… Read more »

Priyanka
Priyanka
1 Oct 2013 10.38am

Another excellent greenery public park in Spore housing estate at Punggol, when can we learn from them ???

Kevin
Kevin
30 Sep 2013 8.00pm

I have been there several times over the past few years. I can tell you that Singaporeans value their green spaces. All parks are maintained by the Parks and Gardens Board which also maintains landscaping throughout public spaces in Singapore. Bishan park was recently upgraded and the river cleaned tremendously. To make it safe at night, lights were installed and alarms were installed at many spots to allow users to alert the authorities. Where parks are concerned, Singapore is probably the leader in the world and Pg should learn from them.

moot
moot
30 Sep 2013 6.03pm

It looks like WETLAND RESTORATION to me. And Bolehland can say WTF, because we keep feel into government propaganda of various “SILVER BULLET” development that “will fix so and so”. Lots of Malaysia drainage system is just copy cat Singapore “clean and lean monsoon drain”, islotate from the surrounding with concrete drain. So there is little chance that those water do down into the underground, hence, the “drainage” capacity is limited from the day it build. So now Singapore go reverse the course. Well, will Bolehland government follow? Nope, bad habit die slow, especially for many year Malaysia the Bolehland… Read more »

rajraman666
rajraman666
30 Sep 2013 4.43pm

Singapore import brain.
rajraman.Malaysia export brain and UMNO import (people) for brainless job and gives them citizenship to be Ketuanan Melayu.

rajraman666
rajraman666
30 Sep 2013 7.01pm
Reply to  rajraman666

Anil,
What is really happening to my icon?My email same but my icon keep changing.
rajraman.Is wordpress haywire?

bigjoe99
30 Sep 2013 3.56pm

In Singapore, I live in LKY’s own constituency around Tiong Bahru. I used to be able to see the ocean from my apartment, feel sea breezes and on the weekends, not only is everywhere I walked in my neighbourhood was green but I could walk all the way to Chinatown almost entirely with trees around me. Today, all I see from all my windows are spanking new condo as high as 60 storey and concrete paths everywhere I walk.

Jeannete
Jeannete
2 Oct 2013 3.47pm
Reply to  bigjoe99

Aiyoh! Bigjoe99 should realise that Tiong Bahru and it’s nearby Tanjung Pagar in Singapore is becoming, if not already, a business district not suitable for residential ie. to raise a family. Therefore you see more high rise buildings there. Anyway the place as in all Singapore, has proper walkway for pedestrian, with trees and plant providing the shades.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
30 Sep 2013 3.37pm

Simple answer.

No commercial projects (e.g. condos/golf resort/tunnel/bridge/highway/etc) = no income = no chance for income for someone in charge

Corruption happens everywhere. Only small kids believe that there is angel gomen that never involves in corruption. In fact it depends on the skills of hiding that corrupted practices.

SamYap
SamYap
30 Sep 2013 5.27pm
Reply to  Gerakan K

There isn’t any need for corruption in Singapore. The whole damn island belongs to just one party PAP which puts on public display of holding a GE every five years. UMNO is aspiring to do just that, make the whole of Malaysia belong to just one party BN, and that party BN to be dominated by UMNO who will lord it over the blockheads like MCA Gerakan and MIC. And worse, make the races fight among themselves.

rajraman666
rajraman666
30 Sep 2013 6.53pm
Reply to  Gerakan K

Agreed corruption happen every corner of the world.
rajraman.but not like Malaysia corruption is part of life.Very open until small kids also knows Barisan aka UMNO so corrupted. They (mess with) the kids brain until corruption is the way of life and acceptable openly.

Andrew I
Andrew I
30 Sep 2013 11.16pm
Reply to  rajraman666

Haha, well said, raj.

Kenny Sim
Kenny Sim
2 Oct 2013 12.36pm
Reply to  Gerakan K

See the latest AG Report. We can smell so much corrupted cases of abuse of public fund.
You need to check up Chinese newspapers for the detailed report with pictures,
Unusable and NST chose to sidetrack the matter.TV3 8pm bulletin last nite put the US economic woes as it’s headline in an attempt to steer the Malays’ attention away from the AG Report.

Michael
30 Sep 2013 3.05pm

Well done Singapore. Now, if large Singapore property developing companies backing 2 Ringett Malaysian companies stay in Singapore and not exploit the lands of Malaysia, then Malaysians will not need to re-create rural environments out of narrow corridors between massive urban sprawl. It is economically sustainable and ecologically responsible to plan towns and cities properly using the latest technology before strip clearing what was already there, and then reproducing what already existed but manicured to the nth degree. Traditionally Malaysians lived in either forested areas, or agricultural areas. I think most people want to retain their natural settings, but appreciate… Read more »

Donald Anamalai
Donald Anamalai
30 Sep 2013 2.11pm

There are so much to learn and benchmark from Singapore.
BN will never to do because of pride reason and no opportunity to engage foreign consultants or ‘ lawatan sambil belanja’ overseas trips.

‘Lawatan sambil belanja’ will not be expensive as the Penang Pakatan YBs can take Bas Konsortium (not more than RM80) or Air Asia flight to Singapore and stay in a JB hotel (e.g. Tune Hotel @Danga Bay) or Hotel 88 (hourly rate motel chain in Singapore).

looes74
looes74
30 Sep 2013 2.07pm

Anil,
Little bit of the history of Bishan Park It used to be a cemetery area. Hence, logical to develop it into a park. But one got to give thumb up to singapore government for preservation