In a noteworthy move towards cultural preservation and community engagement, the Kampong Gelam Alliance (KGA) recently announced its new Place Plan for the historic Kampong Gelam area. The strategy aims to breathe new life into the district while preserving and promoting its rich heritage, thereby enhancing experiences for both locals and visitors alike.
This innovative plan is the culmination of the collective vision of over 1,600 stakeholders and community members from Kampong Gelam. Their valuable feedback and unique ideas have shaped the strategy, resulting in a roadmap that truly echoes the spirit and aspirations of the local community, as stated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Kicking off in September, the Place Plan promises a host of engaging installations set to enliven Kampong Gelam’s public spaces. In collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and URA, these installations will be a part of the upcoming Archifest 2023. Drawing inspiration from the area’s rich heritage and the Place Plan’s visionary ideas, the installations aim to merge traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics and innovative storytelling, thereby encapsulating the vibrant spirit of Kampong Gelam.
One notable highlight is the creation of a three-storey high mural by Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong. This community-partnered artwork, sponsored by a local property owner, will bring to life a detailed map of old Kampong Gelam on a shophouse wall at 92 Arab Street. The painting process is set to begin in July and aims to be completed by September.
Complementing these creative installations is a cultural mapping initiative developed to document and showcase Kampong Gelam’s multifaceted cultural assets. This includes a detailed record of heritage businesses, key institutions, and significant buildings. Encouraging public participation, this initiative invites people to pin their favourite locations and stories on a virtual map.
The Place Plan also paves the way for a creative collaboration with property owners and businesses. The novel “share a shop” concept will foster the co-existence of pop-up businesses within existing ones, encouraging diversity and enhancing the range of products and services on offer.
In the spirit of sustainable development, KGA is spearheading the introduction of community gardens and tree-planting initiatives. These green spaces will offer visitors new spots to connect and relax while immersing themselves in Kampong Gelam’s unique atmosphere.
Moreover, to enhance accessibility, KGA is partnering with relevant agencies to improve directional signage, regulate traffic conditions, and introduce cycling lanes and bike parking areas. The Alliance also aims to enhance visitors’ experiences by launching an online calendar of significant events, facilitating planning, and encouraging stakeholder collaboration.
Saeid Labbafi, the chairman of KGA, expresses his vision for the project, “Through the Place Plan, KGA aims to promote Kampong Gelam’s identity and heritage values, support local businesses, and make optimal use of public spaces. Our goal is to make Kampong Gelam a vibrant, connected, and attractive place for everyone to visit.”
In an invitation to the public, Labbafi added, “Kampong Gelam is a gold mine that you need to discover. We invite more volunteers to join us on this exciting journey of enhancing Kampong Gelam’s future.”
In parallel news, the Singapore Tourism Board has appointed local communications consultancy Distilleri as the sole organizer for the second consecutive year of the Grand Prix Season Singapore (GPSS) precinct parties.
This news is based on Marketing Interactive.