6 Rail Corridor sites earmarked for special attention under URA design plans

SINGAPORE - Six places along the 24km Rail Corridor will receive special attention when the green stretch is eventually developed.

Under a request for proposal released on Wednesday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), designers will have to develop not just a master plan for the entire route, but also concept ideas for four "activity nodes" and two special interest areas.

The nodes have also been earmarked as gateways to the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu railway track, and are made up of the former Bukit Timah railway station, the old Bukit Timah fire station and areas near Kranji and Buona Vista MRT stations.

The special interest areas are the former Tanjong Pagar railway station - a national monument which will be the most important gateway into the Rail Corridor - and a stretch near Sungei Pang Sua canal at Choa Chu Kang. For the latter, designers will have to come up with an idea to merge the Rail Corridor and the canal, to create an environment with richer greenery.

The planning and design goals in the request for proposal come after more than three years of public consultation.

Proposals should ensure that the Rail Corridor is continuous and seamlessly connected, reflect its heritage as a former railway track and preserve its green nature.

"The quality of the space is really defined by the greenery," said URA senior director of physical planning Tan See Nin.

The path should also be inclusive, accessible, and provide spaces which can be enjoyed by neighbouring communities.

The pre-qualification stage of the request for proposal began on Wednesday, and teams have until April 23 to submit a statement of design intent.

In May, up to five teams will be shortlisted to develop the concept master plan and specific proposals. These will be assessed by an 11-member evaluation panel including representatives from the Government, academia, industry and civil society.

The successful team or teams will be announced in October and a public exhibition will be held from then till December to get feedback on their proposals.

From March to May 2016, the team or teams will then come up with a preliminary design for a 4km "signature stretch" of the rail corridor, which has yet to be revealed.