50 ways to the Rail Corridor

50 ways to the Rail Corridor
Mock-up of how access points may look like by Singapore University of Technology and Design's City Form Lab

SINGAPORE - Cyclists here could one day start their ride along the scenic 24km Rail Corridor from 50 different entry points.

This would involve building pavements, staircases and bridges that connect to nearby office compounds, housing estates and train and bus stations along the Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands corridor.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, there are four access points today. These are the southern end of Rail Mall; the slope near Hindhede Road; the slope near Rifle Range Road and from the railway bridge on Bukit Timah Road. It is one of several ideas to "enhance liveability in Singapore" which are now on show at the URA Centre's Singapore City Gallery.

The exhibition called Re:Imagining Cities - Urban Design Research in Singapore features ideas from the Singapore University of Technology and Design's (SUTD) City Form Lab and Singapore-ETH Centre's Future Cities Laboratory.

Some of the proposed access points by the SUTD team include the intersections between Henderson Road and the Ayer Rajah Expressway; Commonwealth Avenue West and North Buona Vista Road; and Upper Bukit Timah Road and Petir Road.

These nodes were selected based on the number of residents and office workers they can serve, said Dr Andres Sevtsuk, the director of City Form Lab.

Said Dr Sevtsuk: "There are around 8,000 businesses found within a 1km buffer around the Rail Corridor. Their employees could benefit from the Rail Corridor by biking or walking to work."

The URA has been seeking ideas and suggestions from the public and interest groups since 2012 on how the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu railway land can be best used.

Other ideas on show at the exhibition, which will run till Oct 8, include plans to rejuvenate Singapore's historic districts, such as the densely packed Rochor district.

One suggestion is to replace the individual air-conditioning units along the backlanes of shophouses between Serangoon Road and Lembu Road in Little India with a central system.

This could help free up space for commercial activities such as alfresco dining while being more energy efficient, said Professor Kees Christiaanse of the Future Cities Laboratory.

Another idea is to build a community centre in Farrer Park that can serve as a space for the area's two "intersecting populations" - the thousands of foreign workers who are there on weekends and the expected influx of medical tourists who are set to throng Connexion, an upcoming hospital and hotel complex.


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