Tanjong Pagar opens new playground; site may host concerts to connect community

Children playing at the new eco-playground in Tanjong Pagar on March 26, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Residents of Tanjong Pagar will have access to a new eco-playground located at a site where organisers are looking at hosting outdoor concerts and carnivals to connect the community amid the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The playground was launched on Saturday (March 26) by Discover Tanjong Pagar, a group of eight property and business owners based in Tanjong Pagar which aim to make the precinct more vibrant.

Mr Chai Khye Yeien, co-chairman of the group, said: "We have plans to organise some carnivals over the weekend in time to come now that the restrictions have eased.

"We can bring in food trucks, to make (Tanjong Pagar) bustling."

The playground is located at the site of Discover Tanjong Pagar Community Green, a 1,650 sq m space bounded by Tras Link, Wallich Street and Peck Seah Street.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the launch, Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, shared her vision for the site.

"Covid-19 has meant that we have had to maintain social distancing.

"We see how the lack of social interaction has impacted mental health. People have to build those bonds again after so long," she said.

Ms Indranee, who is a Tanjong Pagar GRC MP, said she hopes there can be activities to give people the opportunity to connect and have that sense of community.

"You could have quartets, scaled-down orchestras playing in the evenings (here).

"In the morning, I would imagine it would be quite good for taiji programmes," she added.

From March 29, most Covid-19 curbs will be eased as Singapore moves towards living with the coronavirus, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced on March 24.

Up to 75 per cent of employees who can work from home will be allowed to return to their workplaces, and people can gather in groups of up to 10 people.

The playground is located at the site of Discover Tanjong Pagar Community Green. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

These measures have been welcomed by leaders in the business community, especially those in the food and beverage and hospitality sectors.

Mr Kenneth Li, chairman of Discover Tanjong Pagar and managing director of Carlton City Hotel Singapore, which is located in the area, said: "We're looking to get back to our day-to-day business which is welcoming tourists and making them have an enjoyable stay in Singapore."

Tanjong Pagar resident Ren Qiao was with her two children aged three and seven at the newly launched playground on Saturday. The 41-year-old housewife said: "It's great for the kids. I hope they will organise activities here as well, so that the children can try out sports such as soccer, or attend outdoor drawing workshops."

Designed and built by Roger&Sons, the playground was made from upcycled wood from felled old trees.

The playground was made from upcycled wood, and was designed with inclusiveness in mind. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

It includes a series of logs of uneven height and dynamo bicycles so that children can see how the energy generated through pedalling can be converted to power fairy lights strewn over the logs.

The playground was designed with inclusiveness in mind, with square wood pieces teaching children sign language greetings.

The benches are also equipped with handlebars, making it convenient for seniors in the precinct to use.

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