Speech by Minister Desmond Lee at the Opening of the Northern Section of Lakeside Garden on 1 Apr 2023 at Skatepark @ Lakeside Garden
Apr 1, 2023
SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Minister Grace Fu
My Parliamentary colleagues, Mr Xie Yao Quan and Mr Shawn Huang,
Ladies and gentlemen
1. A very good morning to everyone, and a warm welcome to Lakeside Garden, here in Jurong Lake Gardens.
2. The Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore’s third national gardens and the first in our heartlands.
3. We started work to rejuvenate and enhance these Gardens more than 10 years ago, back in 2012.
a. We reached out to residents and stakeholders and consulted extensively on the design of the area, gathering close to 32,000 suggestions.
b. We carefully studied these ideas and incorporated a number of them in our plans to create a space that Singaporeans of all ages and abilities can enjoy.
4. The design of the Lakeside Garden, which was opened in 2019, centres around the themes of nature, play and community –
a. We developed this sensitively to retain the area’s quiet serenity, whilst injecting spaces to meet community as well as recreational needs.
5. Since its opening, over 17 million visitors have enjoyed the Gardens –
a. These include the Grasslands, a popular spot for Instagram photos as well as wedding photos, and the largest nature playgarden for children in the heartlands.
b. Lakeside Garden is also home to Singapore’s largest allotment garden, with over 300 gardening plots for those with a green thumb.
c. Today, our gardeners have created a beautiful landscape of herbs, vegetables and ornamental plants across their plots. Do take a look around later! You might just be inspired to take up gardening yourself.
6. The Lakeside Garden is a People’s Garden that is well loved by many, especially residents in Jurong, Boon Lay and the western parts of Singapore.
7. Today, I am happy to join you in celebrating the opening of the northern section of Lakeside Garden, or Lakeside Garden North, which marks the Lakeside Garden’s completion. Let me share what you can look forward to.
Lakeside Garden North
A space for our youths
8. Around us is the new SkatePark @ Lakeside Garden. At nearly 17,000 m2, this is Singapore’s biggest outdoor skate park. It is also the first skate park in Singapore with a parkour park and a bouldering wall.
a. When designing and developing the skate park, we consulted sporting communities, such as the skateboarding, in-line skating, and BMX riding interest groups, as well residents living in the vicinity.
b. One popular suggestion we received was to have a sheltered area for skaters. We have therefore created the sheltered Plaza Pod that we are standing in now.
c. Another suggestion was to create spaces for skaters of different skill levels so that both beginners and advanced skaters can use these facilities, interact, and exchange tips. We have taken this onboard.
d. I would like, on behalf of all my colleagues, to thank everyone for their contribution in jointly creating this recreational space together.
Spaces for families and the community
9. We have also designed Lakeside Garden North with families and the community in mind.
a. Lakeside Green offers panoramic views across the lake, where families and friends can gather for picnics and spend quality time together. It also doubles up as a venue for community events and performances.
b. You can stroll along the new walking trails and the boardwalk which brings you right to the water’s edge, to enjoy the view of the lake, and spot wildlife such as herons and dragonflies.
c. If you need a place to recharge, you can drop by the café at Lakeside House or the themed food and beverage outlet at the Rainforest Pavilion.
10. With the opening of Lakeside Garden North, accessibility to the Jurong Lake Gardens will also be greatly improved, especially for those commuting by train.
a. Located right next to Lakeside MRT station, the new Lakeside Plaza will serve as one of the entrances to Jurong Lake Gardens and a main gateway into Lakeside Garden.
Jurong Lake Gardens as part of a sustainable district
11. Jurong Lake Gardens is one of the key elements that supports the Jurong Lake District’s ambition to be a model district and testbed for urban sustainability.
12. It is the first Gardens in Singapore to implement the Integrated Gardens Management System (IGMS), and this is technology behind the scenes that promotes sustainability.
a. For example, weather information is collected by a weather station within the Gardens and used by a smart irrigation system that allows lawns to be automatically watered during hot or dry periods.
13. Beyond the IGMS, there are also several innovative green solutions on display here.
a. For example, the Rainforest Pavilion was constructed using mass-engineered timber, an engineered wood product that is more sustainable compared to traditional steel and concrete.
b. Using CarbonCure technology, we have also recycled carbon dioxide by converting atmospheric carbon into a nanomineral for our footpaths. This strengthens the concrete, while helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
c. We have built vegetated detention ponds across the Gardens to harvest rainwater that will be used to irrigate the plants here.
d. We will continue to innovate and make use of the Gardens to testbed solutions and technologies that we can potentially use in other parts of Singapore, and help us move towards a more sustainable future.
14. Our work to enhance Jurong Lake Gardens doesn’t stop here. We are currently upgrading the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, and we can all look forward to their reopening, and I am happy to say that we will open it in 2024.
15. I would like to thank all my NParks colleagues and our design and construction partners, who have worked so hard to make this a reality.
16. Let’s continue to work together to transform Singapore into a City in Nature and create a green, liveable and sustainable home for everyone.
17. Thank you very much. Please enjoy the Gardens.