Pedestrian-friendly touches added in Civic District facelift

New touches such as waterfront steps and phone-charging benches have been added to the historic Civic District and more improvements are on the way.

New solar-powered signs will be added at entrance points to the area to help visitors, for instance, find their way around, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in an update last weekend.

A new children's playground will also be built in Esplanade Park.

Esplanade Park itself will be improved so that it can better serve as an event space. Facilities such as restrooms, lighting, power points and water sources will be added.

This is the second phase of URA's efforts to rejuvenate the historic area.

The works have already started and will be completed in the fourth quarter of next year.

The aim is to make the Civic District a more pleasant place to walk, with added greenery and pedestrian-friendly changes.

In the first phase, which started last December, roads were pedestrianised to "stitch together" the spaces around the Padang and link up the Asian Civilisations Museum, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, the new National Gallery Singapore, Empress Place and Esplanade Park.

The aim, said URA, was to create "an integrated arts, culture and lifestyle precinct".

Practical additions in phase one include new benches where visitors can charge their mobile devices and added night lighting to enhance the ambience.

Waterfront plazas have also been added in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum and at Queen Elizabeth Walk, with steps that go down to the water's edge, providing a place to rest and enjoy the view.

Creating more event spaces in the Civic District is a key part of URA's efforts. Ahead of the upcoming Esplanade Park changes, the new Empress Lawn has already become an outdoor venue.

Infrastructure such as power, water and lighting has been added.

This will enable events to "plug in" without the need for external generators, noted URA.

One of the first events hosted there was the National Parks Board's Satay Night Live on Saturday. With food stalls, music acts and guided tours, it commemorated the former Satay Club which used to be in the area.

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