Ang Mo Kio #OurNeighbourhood
📷: Ang Mo Kio New Town in the 1980s (Photo credit: Housing and Development Board)
Ang Mo Kio was largely uninhibited swamps and river tributaries until Chinese immigrants arrived in the early 20th century and started to grow gambier and rubber.
There are many explanations for its name. On a 1849 map of Singapore produced by John Turnbull Johnson, Governor Surveyor of the Straits Settlements, Ang Mo Kio was then known as “Amokiah”. Another saying was that farmers used the earlier name “kow tiao kio” to refer to the nine bridges that connected the area.
In the 1970s, Ang Mo Kio was initially to be re-developed to house small motor workshops relocated from the city centre. But the plan evolved – Ang Mo Kio was to become Singapore’s seventh satellite town and a model for future housing estates. In 1981, Singapore’s first and only circular HDB point block was built in Ang Mo Kio. In 1986, Singapore’s first three town councils were established, and later implemented in other housing estates. In 2016, Singapore’s first Three-Generation flats were built here to support multi-generation families. In the same year, the first phase of transforming Ang Mo Kio into Singapore’s first walking and cycling town was completed – residents could enjoy a seamless 4km cycling route that connects to the Ang Mo Kio MRT station and AMK Hub.
Today, some of Ang Mo Kio’s landmarks include the Ang Mo Kio Public Library, Ang Mo Kio Hub, and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (which is located along the boundary and serve the residents of both towns). Others like the former Oriental Emporium which was popular for its imported goods from China, and the fountain in the town centre have made way for amenities that better suit today’s needs.
Going forward, there are plans to rejuvenate Ang Mo Kio. The town centre will be enhanced to provide improved accessibility by end of 2024. A new heritage square will have features recording the town’s developmental milestones. The new Cross Island Line Phase 1 is in the works and expected to be completed by 2030. Footpaths and cycling lanes will be widened to improve walking and cycling experience. A new 8-ha park will be developed at Lentor Hills Estate which will connect the Central Catchment Nature Reserve to Khatib Nature Corridor, and combine the existing hillock with a new garden and nature play-garden. A new 1km-long park connector at Lentor Canal will also be developed, that will link residents to a larger network of greenery including the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Ang Mo Kio has been and will continue to be a place of development, where ideas are tested out for prosperity and posterity.
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