NParks opens extension to Villa Verde Park, transforming unused land under an expressway viaduct into a vibrant green space for the community
05 Nov 2023
- Park features were designed in close consultation with the community, including residents of Villa Verde, under the Friends of the Parks Engagement initiative
The National Parks Board (NParks) opened an extension to Villa Verde Park beneath the Kranji Expressway (KJE) viaduct this weekend. The 1.3-hectare extension is connected to the existing Villa Verde Park via the Villa Verde bridge over Pang Sua canal and the opening of the extension marks the completion of enhancement works to Villa Verde Park. Located under an expressway viaduct, the unused land has been transformed into a unique recreational green space. Residents can now enjoy the additional park space and its features such as a multipurpose plaza, community plaza, aroid garden, allotment garden, three-generational fitness corner, railway-themed playground, nature playgarden, cycling track for toddlers, and a dog run. The extension also features a rain garden that filters and cleanses groundwater, and four bioswales that run through the park and act as naturalised drains. The unique location of the park also creates a shaded activity node for users of Pang Sua Park Connector and the Rail Corridor.
The opening of the extension was held in conjunction with Clean and Green (CGS) Singapore 2023 and 60 years of greening Singapore. It is part of efforts to transform Singapore into a City in Nature by further integrating nature into our urban landscape and providing more recreational green spaces.
Partnering the community to design a green space for residents
NParks worked closely with the community, including residents of Villa Verde, Friends of the Parks and Friends of Rail Corridor, to design the features within the park. Public consultation efforts commenced in September 2020 under the Friends of the Parks Engagement initiative. Villa Verde Park is the second park under this initiative (after Pasir Panjang Park) to incorporate community stewardship in the park design process.
The community had suggested having naturalistic features, therapeutic spaces, and areas for social interactions. These ideas were incorporated into the park design and led to features like the nature playgarden with a butterfly garden and a sandpit inspired by the heritage of the Rail Corridor, therapeutic spaces in the form of an aroid garden and the Serene Walk, and community spaces such as a multipurpose plaza with a stage, a community plaza, and an allotment garden. These spaces can be used for a variety of community activities including group exercises, performances, and gardening workshops.
Participants from the Youth Stewards for Nature programme provided inputs for the design of the nature playgarden. For example, they designed the layout of the nature playgarden and butterfly garden, and suggested adding grass mounds resembling the hilly terrains that train tracks pass through, which children can use for exploratory play in the naturalistic setting. NParks also worked with a resident, who is a doctor at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, to study and select suitable equipment for the fitness corner and to add ground markings to the area next to the toddler’s cycling track for self-directed physiotherapy exercises. These physiotherapy exercises were designed with input from the Physiotherapy Department at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. These exercises can help improve balance, agility, and speed, and strengthen joints, ligaments, and tendons. They are suitable for the elderly, those recovering from injuries, athletes for their training purposes, and the general public.
The design of the park took into consideration optimal use of both sheltered and unsheltered spaces, as features such as the multipurpose plaza, community plaza, three-generational fitness corner, and playground are sheltered by the expressway viaduct, while naturalistic features including the allotment garden and butterfly garden are located in unshaded areas.
NParks will continue to transform Singapore into a City in Nature by extending our natural capital and will partner the community in these efforts. Members of the public can learn more about the extension to Villa Verde Park at https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/villa-verde-park or join us as a stakeholder under Friends of the Parks at https://www.nparks.gov.sg/partner-us/volunteer/friends-of-the-parks.
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