Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Underground network at Marina Bay Area.

Covered walkways will spoil Raffles Place

Mon, Nov 24, 2008
my paper

I REFER to the letter, "No shelter in Raffles Place" (my paper, Nov 21).

The park above Raffles Place MRT Station is a key public space within the financial district, and provides a green lung amid the surrounding buildings.

The construction of covered linkways across this open space to the two ground-level MRT station entrances is not encouraged as this will negatively impact the sense of space and openness in the area, thus affecting the public's enjoyment.

Convenient and seamless pedestrian connectivity is an important consideration in the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) city-planning and urban- design efforts.

URA has guided the implementation of a series of direct basement-level connections from the concourse of Raffles Place MRT Station to a number of buildings around the area.

For example, the station is directly connected underground to adjacent buildings such as Republic Plaza, OUB Centre and Chevron House.

The series of underground network connections also enables pedestrians to connect all the way to One Raffles Quay and One Marina Boulevard at one end, and Six Battery Road at the other.

These underground connections are supplemented by an extensive network of covered walkways at ground level between all the buildings in the area, including The Arcade, Clifford Centre and the buildings along Collyer Quay.

Together, the above- and underground network of walkways ensures that there is an all-weather sheltered pedestrian route provided from most of the buildings in Raffles Place to the MRT station.

URA has also planned for a comprehensive underground pedestrian network leading from Raffles Place MRT Station to Marina Bay.

When all the developments in Marina Bay are completed, pedestrians will be able to enjoy a seamless 1.9km walk underground from Raffles Place MRT Station to the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort via One Raffles Quay, The Sail, and the upcoming Marina Bay Financial Centre.

This extensive network is part of URA's plans to make the city centre more pedestrian- friendly, so that visitors can enjoy all-weather comfort through a network of pedestrian connections linking developments around MRT stations and in between buildings.

Where applicable, the authority has guided developments to incorporate knock-out panels to facilitate future expansion of the underground network.

I hope that this addresses the writer's concerns regarding pedestrian connectivity in the Raffles Place area.

Mr Andrew David Fassam
Deputy Director (Urban Planning & Design)
Urban Redevelopment Authority