The draft Special Area Plan for the Penang Botanic Garden reveals plans for at least three more major concrete structures in the Garden.
The three buildings under the plans are a Visitors’ Centre, a multi-storey car park, and a so-called ‘Eco-friendly Garden Convention and Activity Building’.
Say what? A convention building right smack in the garden?
This is in addition to the ugly new concrete administration building recently completed.
And is the Visitors’ Centre really necessary? Why would visitors to the garden spend time at the centre when they can experience the gardens straight away, which is what most people would want to do. The Garden only needs sturdy informative display boards and maps at various strategic locations.
By the way, the Visitors’ Centre at the entrance envisages a ‘ticketing office’.
A ticketing office? For the Garden or the Visitors’ Centure? We don’t have many large parks in Penang and the Garden has doubled up as a recreation area. And now a ticketing office? Want to emulate Singapore? Well, admission to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is FREE. So too the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.
And a multi-storey car park (after the Kancil car park experience)? If car-park space is a problem, how about a shuttle bus service during peak hours from various points outside the Garden?
Why this urge to put up more buildings in our precious garden area? More contracts to be dished out?
Although the Garden is to be expanded from 72 acres to 598 acres, much of the expanded area is made up of hilly land, whereas the flat land, which most visitors use, is very limited. And they want to put up more concrete structures here. Sigh… maybe the sign at the entrance should read, “Welcome to the Penang Concrete Jungle”.
That said, the draft plan envisages the removal of the Shooting Club from the Garden. This is something we should support. A shooting club next to a botanic garden? Don’t ask me how that happened.
Download the Executive Summary (in pdf format) of the Special Area Plan from the Friends of the Penang Botanic Garden Society website.
One month is too short for the public to submit objections. Most people are not even aware the draft Plan is out. Two or three months would be more like it.
At the moment there is no provision for feedback via email. You have to print out the feedback form (available on the Society’s website), fill it up, and submit the hard copy.
In this day and age, when Penang is supposed to be an “intelligent city”, why is feedback by email not allowed? Don’t we want as many people as possible to respond?