In a city renowned for its green cover and public spaces, the opening of a new park may seem as exciting as bringing sand to the beach; yet the new Lakeside Garden, a 53-hectare public park deep in the country’s heartlands, is a big deal. It is the first iteration of Jurong Lake Gardens, a network of green spaces surrounding Jurong Lake that joins the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay as Singapore’s third national garden.
In addition to Lakeside Garden, Jurong Lake Gardens will eventually include the renovated Japanese and Chinese Gardens, along with a future Garden Promenade to the east, and is cast as the people’s garden, your friendly neighbourhood park in the ‘burbs. Yet as Singaporeans know all too well, no district is safe from the city’s perpetual reinvention—not even the suburbs. As part of Singapore’s plans to decentralise development and relieve pressure on the city centre, the Jurong Lake District is designated as a future regional business district (and potential transit hub: if the proposed Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail project is revived, it will terminate in Jurong). When this plan is realised, Jurong Lake Gardens will be at the centre of the action.