Some 25,000 participants in tomorrow's SG50 Jubilee Big Walk will find a rejuvenated Civic District tailored for walkers.
Roads have been turned into lawns and footpaths, benches and greenery proliferate, and waterfront steps provide spots for a break. The changes are part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's revitalisation of the historic area, as set out in last year's Master Plan.
In front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, part of busy Fullerton Road has been realigned to create a spacious lawn. Along the waterfront near the Asian Civilisations Museum, as well as along Queen Elizabeth Walk, broad steps run down to the edge of the Singapore River, providing a place to sit and admire the view.
These are just some of the improvements that participants of tomorrow's 5km Jubilee Big Walk will pass. The event is organised by The New Paper and the People's Association.
The route runs along parts of an 8km trail called the Jubilee Walk, which will be officially launched tomorrow.
The trail passes more than 20 landmarks with both historical and present-day significance for Singapore, beginning at the historic National Museum and ending at the Marina Barrage (see graphic).
"The Jubilee Walk allows Singaporeans to commemorate Singapore's past, celebrate our present, and inspires us to look forward to a brighter future together," said the SG50 Programme Office.
Gold SG50 markers on the pavement line the route, while signs shed light on the significance of landmarks. For a more in-depth experience, the public can also use the Singapore Time Walk mobile app to explore the trail.
As a self-guided trail, the Jubilee Walk has no fixed route and does not need to be done in a day, according to the SG50 Programme Office. Doing it in several trips, for instance, will allow people to visit historic buildings, which "will make the Walk more manageable, experiential and meaningful".
The Civic District improvements extend beyond the Jubilee Walk too. Connaught Drive has been narrowed from four lanes to two, with a wide pedestrian path allowing for an easy trip from the Padang to Esplanade Park.