The Park Connector Network Turns 25!
Did you know that the Kallang Park Connector is Singapore’s first park connector?
It was completed in 1995 as part of a plan to provide Singaporeans with greater recreational choices. Great space optimisation idea in land-scarce Singapore, the PCN makes use of areas that are not suitable for other purposes, e.g. drainage reserves originally set aside for the maintenance of canals, or spaces under MRT viaducts.
Where possible, the PCN working team select routes that provide users with a more enjoyable recreational experience. Biodiversity conservation is also taken into account, as these green corridors provide shelter and food for a wide variety of wildlife.
Linking parks together
Did you know that the first PCN loop linking several parks together was first launched in 2007? The Eastern Coastal Loop or ECL links up popular parks including East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park.
The Eastern Coastal Loop is the longest loop in Singapore, thus the PCN team came up with a pit-stop concept. Park visitors could rent a bicycle from one of several ‘PCN Pitstop’ bicycle-rental kiosks along the loop and return them at a different Pitstop if they tire along the way.
Two years later, in 2009, the Western Adventure Loop was launched. It linked together three nature parks – Bukit Batok Nature Park, Dairy Farm Nature Park and Hindhede Nature Park. In 2010 and 2012, two more loops were launched – Northern Explorer Loop, linking 11 parks in the northern part of Singapore, and the North Eastern Riverine Loop (NERL), linking another four parks.
The PCN was conceived as a way to give people more recreational opportunities, as well as to link up different parks. Thus users of Bukit Batok East Park Connector can take a break at the scenic Little Guilin in Bukit Batok Town Park.
Improving user experience over the years
When the first generation of park connectors were built, they had few amenities beyond street lamps and benches. Today, many of the park connectors have fitness corners and play areas that allow three generations of visitors to exercise and have fun together. From our experience, PCN users prefer routes along waterways or areas that were more scenic. Thus we work with various agencies to make the PCN more exciting. For example, we collaborated with PUB to incorporate ABC (Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters) features along some of the routes.
Active, Beautiful and Clean (ABC) water features have been incorporated into the design of park connectors to provide users with more scenic routes. Here, the Tampines ABC Water Project was completed in 2014.Admiralty Park Connector brings PCN users through Woodlands Waterfront Park, where the skyline of Johor Bahru can be seen in the background.
Today, the PCN has successfully brought people closer to nature with greenery enhancements, and provided park users with a wider selection of landscapes and choices for recreation.People are now using the PCN for recreational pursuits, exercise, social gatherings and even as part of their daily commute to work, school or home!
Our newest addition – Pelton Canal Park Connector. It has improved wayfinding signs, wider tracks and gates to minimise speeding.
Text by Lynn Tan
Photos by the PCN team
Come celebrate with us!
The PCN team has organised a year-long celebration, with several monthly events and activities such as networking rides, bike maintenance clinics, PCN etiquette workshops as well as appreciation days with tree and shrub plantings.
A series of upcoming events
On 7 August 2015, gear up in red and white and come celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday with us along the Western Adventure Loop! The cycling trip will start and end at West Coast Park. Non-cyclists can join us later at the park where a mass family carnival awaits all. This event is jointly organised by NParks and held in conjunction with SG50 Family Picnics in the Park and MSF Families for Life Monthly Celebrations.
On 20 September 2015, join us for a memorable ride along Pelton Canal where we will be launching our fifth PCN loop to commemorate 25 years of the PCN. For enquiries and to register for the cycling events, visit NParks website, or sign up to be on The PC&Frens mailing list.
Have views or comments on this article? Let us know via this form. If you would like to give us feedback on any other areas relating to our parks and gardens, please submit via https://www.nparks.gov.sg/feedback