SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today opened Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park including its star highlight - a meandering river running through the park.
The river, originating from the Kallang River and flowing into Marina Reservoir, is carved out of a concrete canal that ran along the 62 ha park.
Besides offering residents a new recreational experience, the river can help to slow the flow of rainwater so that downstream waterways have more time to drain.
This will in turn help to prevent the waterways from overflowing in times of heavy rain.
Local bilingual newspaper, my paper, earlier reported that this is possible because of features such as the river's winding design, as well as vegetation and use of bio-engineered soil along the banks of the river.
The river's capacity is also now 40 per cent more than when it was a canal.
The $76.7-million Bishan Park redevelopment project, by National Parks Board (NParks) and national water agency PUB, has been in the works for over two years. It is part of PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme.
At the event attended by more than 2,000 people, PM Lee also announced that the National Parks Board (NParks) will rejuvenate selected existing parks into thematic ones.
Under this project, Destination Parks, the newly revamped parks will feature recreational elements not usually found in public parks.
The elements include, playgrounds with giant slides, climbing slopes, sporting arenas and outdoor classrooms.
Some of these features were suggested by the public as part of the 4,000 ideas gathered from a public engagement exercise launched by NParks last August.
Admiralty Park, East Coast Park and Jurong Lake Park will be the first to undergo the changes and are expected to be developed within the next three to five years.