Making nights at the park a bright idea

Move to put up lights at Botanic Gardens, West Coast Park a bid to promote night visits
Straits Times 4 Dec 11;

Minister of National Development Khaw Boon Wan (in patterned shirt) getting a tour of the Trees of the World event at the Botanic Gardens yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
By Yen Feng

New lights will be put up at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and West Coast Park by next year in a pilot project to promote park use at night.

The project, costing $200,000, is part of the National Parks Board's (NParks) long-term vision to optimise urban spaces for greenery and recreational activities.

NParks chief executive Poon Hong Yuen disclosed the plans for new night lighting yesterday evening at the launch of Trees of the World, a month-long display of lit trees at the Botanic Gardens.

Mr Poon said he got the idea after a public consultation exercise began in August. The consultation is part of NParks' strategy to realise its vision to turn Singapore into a City in a Garden - an idea mooted since the 1990s, but taken up again by the Government in August.

One of the more popular ideas that resulted from the consultation, said Mr Poon, was to increase the night-time usage of parks.

'Given Singapore is cooler, more comfortable and safe at night, we think this idea makes a lot of sense,' he said.

A central theme this year has been to bring greenery 'skywards', said NParks in a media statement.

Other projects may include transforming unused spaces below MRT tracks and under viaducts into 'green spaces', and more park connectors - though, to these, the NParks chief declined to give details, only saying that more will be revealed in the coming months.

The current lighting project will be completed by the end of next year, and evaluated to see if it can be replicated in other parks.

For now, the two parks under the project will be lit only in specific areas.

In Botanic Gardens, lights will be put up at the Casa Verde cafe area, and the new Foliage Garden, located close to the Botanic Gardens MRT station on Bukit Timah Road.

In West Coast Park, a playground area will have lights that will 'double up as whimsical play equipment', NParks said.

Every year, the Botanic Gardens receives about three million visitors; about a tenth of them visit the park at night.

NParks hopes more people will use the park at night when the better lighting goes up by next year.

New night lights for Botanic Gardens, West Coast Park
Qiuyi Tan Channel NewsAsia 3 Dec 11;

SINGAPORE: Plans are in store to make the Botanic Gardens and West Coast Park better for night time visits, with both parks getting new night lights by the end of next year.

The plans were announced at a Christmas light-up at the Botanic Gardens.

About 10 per cent of the Botanic Gardens' three million visitors a year come at night.

Poon Hong Yuen, CEO of the National Parks Board (NParks), said: "Making parks attractive night destinations is not just about lighting. It's also about programming, about thinking through what are the usage patterns of park users.

"These are the things that are not that simple. We need to really study, do pilots, try out, see what works."

The idea to make Singapore parks friendlier for night time visits came from the public. In August, NParks started a public consultation to get Singaporeans' views on how to realise the vision of Singapore as a city in a garden.

When the lights are ready next year, the glowing night gardens may well contribute to the Singapore dream of a city in a garden.