Journey of Possibilities for the Rail Corridor

02 April 2012

(Front row from right) Dean of NUS SDE Prof Heng Chye Kiang, Head of Department of Architecture Assoc Prof Wong Yunn Chii and Dr Tan (front row fourth from left), with the winning undergraduate students

The first prize winning team with their poster on "The Singapore Trail"

Minister Tan (left) listening to the presentation of NUS student Eunice Chuah on her team's concept of "Singapore's ECO-experience Trail", which secured a second prize

NUS School of Design and Environment (SDE) students and staff have garnered impressive wins in the "Journey of Possibilities" Ideas Competition for the Rail Corridor organised by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Department of Architecture student teams clinched five top prizes out of the 18 awards and received five honorable mentions in the contest launched last November. A submission by SDE staff secured a third prize.

The Ideas Competition aimed to attract innovative and fresh ideas from the public in addressing some of the key challenges and issues in planning for the future use of the Rail Corridor, the approximately 26km former railway land returned to Singapore. More than 200 submissions were received from local and overseas, including countries such as Australia, Denmark, UK, US and The Netherlands.

The Open Category was open to all interested participants including tertiary institutions and professionals, while the Youth Challenge targeted at secondary school students. The Youth Challenge drew 45 submissions, with the rest of the entries going to the Open section. The jury panels comprised members from the Rail Corridor Consultation Group and representatives from the public and private sectors.

Under the Open Category, five key issues were addressed: Bio-diversity and sensitive development; community ownership, pride and sense of well-being; heritage; extraordinary and innovative ideas for a great public space; and inclusiveness, accessibility and resolving conflicts. For the last concept, NUS students and staff made a clean sweep of all the top three awards, with first prize going to the Master of Landscape Architecture students supervised by Assoc Prof Joerg Rekittke. The other winning student teams were under the mentorship of Dr Tan Beng Kiang.

Muhammad Yazid Ninsalam, a member of the team who secured the first prize, said that their submission "The Singapore Trail" hopes to inspire and realise the role of the former railway line as a National Park, contributing to the identity of Singapore as a City in a Garden.

At the official launch of the "Journey of Possibilities" exhibition and award ceremony on 30 March, Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin praised the quality of the innovative ideas and creativity of the participants, with special mention of the winning entry by NUS undergraduates Low Ai Ci, Alexandra Yang Xin and Eunice Chuah. The "Singapore Green Corridor Festival" scheme proposes that the entire railway corridor can be turned into an event space for the arts, such that residents near the area have the opportunity to enjoy the arts and nature simultaneously.

Minister Tan said that the contest entries provided useful feedback and ideas from which URA will distil the design principles and parameters that could form part of the brief for the Rail Corridor in future.

See information on the competition and winners.