Bringing Singapore River alive for visitors

Stakeholders along the Singapore River have formed a new partnership to enliven the various precincts along the river and enhance visitor experience. Called the Singapore River One or SRO, this not-for-profit entity will work with property owners and business operators along Singapore River to execute a five-year business plan with the aim of making the precinct more vibrant and attractive to visitors.

SRO will be looking into ways to enhance visitor experience along Singapore River by focusing on improving the quality of the physical environment and the programming to make the precinct cleaner, friendlier and more enjoyable. The public can also expect regular events and activities to take place throughout the year and more interesting streetscape through public art in the precinct. SRO will embark on improving the connectivity of the three quays and the surrounding communities along the river. Plans include a new mobile app that will have a search map that will make it easy for visitors to access information about Singapore River.

The SRO is led by a Board comprising 10 directors made up of stakeholders along Singapore River, with Mr Wilson Tan, director of CapitaLand Retail Management Pte Ltd, at the helm as Protem Chairman. Day to day operations of the SRO is being led by Mr Ty Tabing who most recently ran the Chicago Loop Alliance where he received international acclaim for his leadership in creating dynamic events, cultural celebrations and public art installations.

“Our vision is to make Singapore River the premier destination for locals and visitors seeking an authentically Singapore experience in a place that connects the country’s past to the present. This will be achieved by offering a unique waterfront environment that highlights and embraces Singapore River’s history, while celebrating the leisure, recreation and entertainment offerings there today,” says Mr Wilson Tan.

Funding for the SRO

SRO’s five-year business plan is the culmination of 18 months of brainstorming involving the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and stakeholders comprising property owners and business operators. This includes the previous Singapore River Task Group, a voluntary working group established in 2010, who had come together to implement a series of projects such as the “A Better Singapore River Campaign” at Boat Quay to discourage touting and overcharging.

In the initial years, the funding for SRO will come from voluntary contributions by property owners, businesses and residents in the Singapore River precinct together with co-funding from the Government. The URA will provide seed funding for the first three years to allow SRO to roll out initiatives and projects.

Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive of the URA says, “URA’s aim is to help the Singapore River fully realise its potential as a premier mixed-use recreational destination in Singapore. However, this cannot be done top-down, but in close partnership with business operators on the ground. We are happy to be able to support the setting up of the SRO, and look forward to working closely with it to realise our vision for the Singapore River.”

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