SINGAPORE: New plans for Orchard Road will be aimed at turning the main shopping center of Singapore into a must-see place. January 30).
These plans include future developments for multi-use at the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line Orchard Interchange MRT station and the opening of a local designer showcase and Design Orchard incubator.
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Authorities are also considering a pedestrian walkway on Orchard Road to connect existing green areas in Istana Park, Dhobi Gout Green and open space in Singapore Square.
This announcement follows a review of future plans for Orchard Road STB, URA and NParks in conjunction with the Land Transport Authority.
Speaking at the official opening of Design Orchard, Minister of Commerce and Industry Chang Chun Singg said that with the change in the concept of shopping, Orchard Road should also change.
“Shopping will change and constantly evolve as a concept,” said Mr. Chen, who also co-chairs the ministerial steering committee on Orchard Road. “This is a place where we hope that new shopping experiences, new products, new services, new ideas will be transferred from here to the rest of the world.
We hope that Orchard Road will remain a place where people will want to come here to see and see their new products and new ideas. ”
Consultations with private sector stakeholders were also held during the exercise, along with a study conducted by urban planning consultancy firm Cistri.
“All cities have their own popular shopping streets and neighborhoods. In Singapore, Orchard Road is our main shopping area. But it faces tough competition from other cities and must adapt to rapidly changing retail trends, ”said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who also co-chairs the Orchard Road ministerial committee, in a press statement.
“That is why government agencies are working with private sector stakeholders on Orchard Road rejuvenation plans. We gathered these ideas to illustrate the possibilities of turning Orchard into a place where everyone can experience and enjoy. ”
"UNIQUE IDENTITY" SUB PRECEPT OF GARDENING
In order to strengthen the position of Orchard Road as a place to live, the plans are aimed at offering an experience that will reveal the unique individuality of its four subareas – Tanglin, Orchard, Somerset and Dobi Gaut.
For example, in Tanglin, a conservative Tudor courtyard can accommodate more proposals for art, culture, and lifestyle in order to emphasize its identity as an area with “strong art and craft taste”.
Orchard, on the other hand, will remain the “retail center of Singapore”, but plans will further improve shopping experience by providing more activity on the streets and improving pedestrian traffic.
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For example, starting in April of this year, the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) will begin one-year trials to hold activities to revitalize the space for events along pedestrian shopping centers on Orchard Road. These activities can range from retail and pop-ups with food and drinks to art and entertainment events.
Speaking to reporters, ORBA Chairman Mark Shaw said that the initiatives are “pretty good,” but noted that it would be important for all interested parties to work together in order for these plans to be implemented.
“We think that the ideas are pretty good, but we think that some of them may be difficult to implement, but we will see how this will happen,” he said. “Establishing cooperation between different landlords, owners of shopping centers, stakeholders on the street – this will really be the biggest challenge.”
Future multi-purpose developments will also be built at the future Thomson-East Coast Line Metro Station Orchard Interchange, and these developments will be connected to Orchard Road via side streets.
To improve communication, elevated communication bridges might make it easier for visitors to cross the Orchard Road and Paterson Road junction.
Underground tunnels now link buildings at this intersection, including Ion Orchard, Wheelock Place, Show House and Center.
The appeal of the “youth center” in Somerset will be enhanced by the opening of Design Orchard, various agencies said. In the retail space there are domestic brands, there are incubation rooms and an amphitheater on the roof.
This “will bring a greater variety of retailers to Orchard Road, as well as provide promising brands with an unprecedented opportunity to present themselves in a world-class location,” said URA, STB and NParks.
To separate Orchard Road from other international shopping streets, it is also planned to “return the garden” and turn it into a green urban corridor connecting Singapore Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park.
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New initiatives to make this happen can include “a vivid demonstration of trees and shrubs”, as well as the rejuvenation of Istana’s park with “themed gardens based on the botanical and horticultural traditions and practices of Singapore”.
From Wednesday to February 13, the Orchard Corner Fountain will host an exhibition of future plans for Orchard Road, where members of the public can visit and share their reviews. They can also do this at https://ura.sg/orchardrd until May 31st.
“Orchard Road is not 2.4 km of IPPT. We don’t want people to go through Orchard Road in nine or ten minutes, ”said Mr. Chan.
“We want people to come here, communicate and ensure that they have different experiences at every step,” he added.