Two lifestyle destinations recently announced redevelopment plans. Clarke Quay will undergo a year-long $62 million refresh, while *scape will be upgraded as part of a wider masterplan to revitalise the Somerset belt. As urban renewal gets back on track, perhaps the authorities could revisit plans to revamp Orchard Road with expanded green spaces at the Istana Park and connectivity to the Singapore River.
Remaking places is a familiar tactic in space-scarce Singapore. Equally familiar are the complaints that come hot on the heels of such schemes. When Clarke Quay was first redeveloped in the 1990s, the $186 million project turned a cluster of decaying buildings into a family-friendly destination with dining and retail options. But its commercialisation attracted criticism of the area’s heritage being whitewashed.