Next year, you can literally walk down memory lane, even as you head into the future.
Called the Jubilee Walk, the 8km trail will allow you to reminisce as you stroll pass old landmarks, marvel at our modernity and see Singapore anew. The commemorative walkway and walking trail will be launched as part of the celebrations for Singapore's 50th birthday.
You may have passed them many times, but the Jubilee trail promises to shed a unique perspective on landmarks such as the National Museum, Padang, Marina Barrage and the new Jubilee Bridge. There will be special trail and monument markers, mobile apps to guide the public along the trail, and a mass walk in November next year to launch the trail.
Its route was announced on Monday by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at his ministry's work plan seminar. Also slated to open next year: A permanent 300m Art Connector linking City Hall MRT station to the entrance of the National Gallery Singapore, which officially opens next year.
The walkway's design will feature the "diversity of our people" in portraits taken from the community. From next month, Singaporeans will be invited to provide a self-portrait sketch to be incorporated into the walkway design through a Portraits of the People campaign. The portraits will be collected at road shows at 50 locations islandwide.
Mr Wong said: ""Many things that we are doing for SG50 are events and activities. "But (the new walkway and walking trail) are physical landmarks which we can leave behind and remember for many years to come." Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, President of the Singapore Heritage Society Chua Ai Lin said that the Jubilee Walk comprises well-known sites that Singaporeans are familiar with and fond of. She said: "It will provide individuals like students and tourists with easily digestible narratives on different structures from different periods of Singapore's history - from the colonial era to the present day."
Fort Canning Park
The hill has been a majestic witness to Singapore's history as a regional trading hub since the 14th century, when the island was known as Temasek. It is believed to be the final resting place of the last king of Temasek. Variously called Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill), Bukit Bendera (Flag Hill) and Government Hill, Fort Canning got its current name because of its role as a military fortress when Singapore was under colonial rule.
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
Two separate buildings built more than 40 years apart and joined by a clock tower. Historically a meeting place and performance venue, the site served as a hospital during World War II, and was the location for the trial of Japanese war criminals after their surrender. Singapore's oldest performing arts centre, the hall will be fully operational next year after a major refurbishment.
Empress Place Building
Originally designed as a courthouse, it served as government offices. This was where Singaporeans first registered to be citizens so they could vote in the 1959 elections. It became the Empress Place Museum in 1989 and, subsequently, the Asian Civilizations Museum (ACM). By next year, the ACM will be revamped, with a new waterfront area opening onto the Singapore River.
This new 220m-long pedestrian bridge linking the Merlion Park and the promenade in front of Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay will enhance the continuous 3.5km waterfront loop around Marina Bay. The bridge will connect to the Esplanade Bridge in the middle. It will be completed next April and officially opened as part of the Jubilee Walk November next year.
In the 19th century, it was a popular leisure hang-out and sporting arena by the sea before reclamation works in the 1890s created New Esplanade Road and pushed the waterfront further away. Today, the Padang is a favourite site for National Day Parades. This was also where Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared independence on Aug 9, 1965.
National Museum of Singapore
The biggest museum in Singapore, at 18,400 sq m. Originally built by Colonel Sir Henry Edward McCallum as the Raffles library and museum in 1887, the neo-classical building is seamlessly joined by a new modernist extension of glass and metal.
The Art Connector
The Art Connector is a permanent 290m aesthetic sheltered walkway that links City Hall MRT to the entrance of the National Gallery. It will provide a continuous corridor of creative works, including an intricate pattern for the pavement and portraits from the community. The connector will be unveiled to the public in November next year.
The first reservoir in the heart of the city, it is also the island's largest and most urbanised catchment, with an area of 10,000ha, or one-sixth the size of Singapore. The Barrage boosts our water supply, alleviates flooding in the low-lying city areas and is a popular location for recreational activities. It realises the vision of Singapore's former PM Lee Kuan Yew, who had envisaged a freshwater reservoir at the mouth of the Marina Channel nearly two decades ago.
Gardens by the Bay
An oasis of lush greenery on reclaimed land, it comprises three waterfront gardens spanning 101ha in the downtown area. It is an integral part of transforming Singapore from a Garden City to a City in a Garden.
National Gallery Singapore
The City Hall and Supreme Court will be reborn as the National Gallery Singapore, which will open at the end of next year.
This article was first published on Oct 16, 2014.
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