The rich history and heritage of Bidadari will be assimilated into the new housing estate to be built there, the National Heritage Board (NHB) announced on Wednesday. It is the first time that a new estate will include these considerations from the design stage.
The NHB is working with the Housing Board (HDB) on a proposed pedestrianised Heritage Walk to replace the present Upper Aljunied Road. Residents strolling along the tree-lined boulevard in future will learn through photographs and boards about old landmarks once found in Bidadari, such as the 19th century Bidadari House once owned by a Sultan of Johor.
Relics and tombstones of notable Singaporeans once buried in Bidadari cemetery will also be relocated from the Bidadari Memorial Garden and included in the upcoming 10ha Bidadari Park.
A lost favourite, the Alkaff Lake Gardens, which were re-developed in the mid-1900s, will also be resurrected. The new Alkaff Lake within Bidadari Park would be inspired by its predecessor, a Japanese-themed leisure garden and lake that families flocked to in the 1920s to picnic and boat.
The NHB is also in discussions with the HDB to preserve some of the area's signature undulating green landscapes. For now, it is not involved in plans for the two other upcoming housing estates in Punggol and Tampines.
But its group director for policy Alvin Tan said: "We hope that such (heritage) considerations will continue to be factored into future housing estates so as to better promote place identity and strengthen a sense of belonging (for residents."