Thursday, July 28, 2011

We Saved It!


So it looks like the uniquely Singaporean way of 'protesting' can achieve results, too. I must admit I was extremely skeptical of the Nature Society and Eugene's (of The Green Corridor) strategy of staging guided walks on the railway and gradually attracting more and more 'fans', leading up to getting some Minsters to walk and experience the opportunity for themselves. This was apparently how the Chek Jawa intertidal zone was preserved instead of being turned into another petrochemical processing terminal, but still, it just seemed to me that the allure of the filthy development lucre was going to be a far stronger persuader than a bunch of hippies in sandals and floppy hats going for walks. But I was wrong.

Or, was I? I still think that the government might have had this plan, or something like it, up their sleeve the whole time. They have been saying for years that there will eventually be a 'continuous' network of park connectors encircling the Island, and if they weren't going to use the railway land, how else were they going to complete the western section? The Mandai loop is too central, and the far west is all military reserve. Then again, perhaps I should never underestimate the ability of Singapore's bureaucracy to fail to see a obvious and simple solution to a problem they hadn't yet created, but would have.

But whatever and however, it looks like there will at least be a continuous stretch of greenery incorporating a PCN, and that's an acceptable outcome. I'd like to think that the letters I wrote to Minsters and encouraged others to write, the snarky comments and goading remarks, and links of alternative possibilities from around the world I left on facefuck contributed in some small way. Even better of course would be to hold an International Design Competition to subtly develop the corridor in harmony with the jungle and the cycleway, and offer residents and tourists an alternative to bread and circuses architecture, gambling, and consuming. Hopefully.

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