SINGAPORE — Residents in Bukit Merah can look forward to the transformation of their town centre and community spaces, as well as enhanced connectivity to green nodes such as the Rail Corridor and Southern Ridges in five to 10 years’ time.
These improvements, which are part of the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme, and other rejuvenation plans for Bukit Merah were announced by Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah on Sunday (Sept 17).
Bukit Merah, along with Ang Mo Kio, Queenstown and Choa Chu Kang, were selected for rejuvenation in 2020 as the fourth batch of towns to come under the ROH programme.
The programme, first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2007, aims to renew older estates to meet the changing needs of the community, while ensuring the HDB heartlands remain distinctive.
The latest renewal plans for Bukit Merah, comprising the Redhill, Tiong Bahru, Telok Blangah and Mount Faber estates, as well as a part of Tanjong Pagar, will “further reinvigorate” the town, said HDB.
Bukit Merah’s town centre will be given a makeover to enhance its attractiveness, improving the shopping experience for residents.
A new and larger sheltered event space that comes with seating will replace the current sheltered stage next to the Rubikon building, allowing for a more conducive space for larger community events, such as performances and festive bazaars.
The pedestrian malls at the town centre will be upgraded to include more seating areas for residents and where possible, new play areas will be built alongside to enliven the area.
New pedestrian and cycling paths, as well as sheltered linkways, will be added along Redhill Close to make it safer and more convenient for users to travel between Bukit Merah Town Centre and Redhill MRT Station.
Two new MRT stations – Keppel and Cantonment Stations – will open by 2026, closing the loop to Marina Bay Station.
The common areas of six existing neighbourhood centres in Bukit Merah, including Beo Crescent and Brickworks, will also be spruced up with more amenities such as outdoor seating, play facilities, pocket greens and spaces for community events.
As more than one-third of Bukit Merah’s residents are aged 60 and above, a key focus of the renewal plans will be to make the neighbourhoods more senior-friendly.
The common spaces in the town centre, neighbourhood centres and housing estates will be upgraded with sheltered walkways, ramps and non-slip flooring, as well as more seating areas, enhancing the safety of residents.
Active ageing amenities such as therapeutic gardens, fitness trails or corners and exercise equipment will be added to the various parks in Bukit Merah to promote healthy living.
CONNECTING BUKIT MERAH TO NATURE
There will be a new pocket park next to the existing multi-storey car park at Block 119 Bukit Merah Central, allowing for connectivity from the town centre to the Rail Corridor alongside the new cycling paths.
The pedestrian paths along Henderson Road, which connects Alexandra Canal, the Southern Ridges and Telok Blangah Estate to the future Greater Southern Waterfront, will be enhanced, while new rest points with landscaped seating areas will be added.
Fitness amenities will also be upgraded at Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park, with enhanced access and better wayfinding to the parks to come.
Lastly, improvements at neighbourhood parks like Alexandra Hill Park and Bukit Purmei Park will include more greenery, new sheltered pavilions and multi-generational facilities.
HDB will also aim to explore ways to incorporate aspects of Bukit Merah’s history into the town, such as through thematic playgrounds, wall murals and educational boards.
For example, the upcoming Alexandra Vale Build-to-Order development will feature a mural bearing a swordfish motif, inspired by local folklore about how Redhill got its name.
HDB will be seeking residents’ views on how to best design some of these heritage elements around the town.
The ROH plans will be on display at the Bukit Merah Town Centre from Sept 17 to 24, before shifting to Telok Blangah Community Club, Radin Mas Community Club and Tiong Bahru Plaza.
Residents are invited to visit the exhibitions. They can share their thoughts and feedback on the ROH plans online at HDB InfoWEB. CNA
For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.