Renewed city park and river breathes new life to community
Ang Mo Kio - Bishan Park is Singapore’s most visited local park where a concrete drainage channel along the park edges has been turned into a beautiful naturalised river that meanders through the park. This project is part of the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, a long-term national initiative to transform the country’s water bodies beyond their functions of drainage and water supply, into beautiful and clean streams, rivers and lakes with new spaces for community bonding and recreation.
The new park provides many new facilities including three new playgrounds, two new restaurants, toilets and the landmark 'Recycle Hill', a look-out point built from blocks of concrete recycled from the old concrete channel. The park is open 24/7 and is at the centre of local life; it is the place to do tai chi, walk your dog and just get out in the fresh air. But the absolute highlight is the naturalised Kallang River which runs through the park. The soft, planted river banks allow people to get close to the water and in the case of a heavy downpour, the park land that is next to the river doubles up as a conveyance channel, carrying the water downstream.
Within the park, water cleansing elements are integrated into the landscape - a cleansing biotope feeds clean water to a water playground and drains have been converted into swales. Water is celebrated throughout the park! Ang Mo Kio - Bishan Park is an inspiring example of how a city park can function as ecological infrastructure, a smart combination of water source, flood management, biodiversity, recreation, and thanks to personal contact and an emotional connection with water, increasing civic responsibility towards water.