SINGAPORE: Nearly 130,500 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 (Sep 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.
HDB said in its press release on Sunday that it conducted a series of surveys and focus group discussions with residents and stakeholders from 2020 to 2022 to seek their views when drawing up the renewal plans for the fourth batch of ROH towns.
Some 1,700 residents and community members from the four towns participated in these discussions and HDB used the feedback to refine its plans.
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. Residents will also be invited to co-create some of these community spaces.
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 and enhancing rail network connectivity for the residents and commuters in Bukit Merah.