Our Jubilee Walk
The Jubilee Walk took off at the tail end of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee year. The 8-km-long trail leads participants to iconic sites and historic monuments based in the Civic District and Marina Bay precinct. It was paired with the launch of the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk on 29 November 2015 morning, which saw some 25,000 walkers covering a shortened 5-km route.
Jubilee Walk is an inter-agency collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, National Heritage Board, National Parks Board and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It commemorates our 50th anniversary of independence and revisits historical milestones of our nation-building. A positive upshot is that it encourages a spontaneous walk to soak in often overlooked sights and sounds in the city centre – many of them took root decades or even a century ago.
The establishment-led Jubilee Walk should be lauded for encouraging citizens to explore their living environment. This sense of journeying and spatial awareness should be adopted and applied in our respective neighbourhoods and housing estates, from the bird-singing corners, void decks to the wet markets and playgrounds, to name a few. For the less initiated, there are handy community or ground-level initiatives led by societies and individuals that help us explore and appreciate our living environment.
On the establishment front, the National Heritage Board and Urban Redevelopment Authority have championed heritage trails and published comprehensive thematic and neighbourhood trail booklets. Their booklets for the likes of Ang Mo Kio, Chinatown and Yishun are downloadable and mobile-friendly.
Societies and individuals have also pulled their weight in urging public appreciation of our living environment. Singapore Heritage Society is a vital heritage advocate. Civic group My Community has created informative trails of Queenstown and neighbouring estates complete with monthly tours led by volunteer guides. The Tiong Bahru Heritage Volunteers have also steadfastly conducted weekly tours of Tiong Bahru.
Geylang Adventures challenges place and enclave stereotypes with their tours and community initiatives while Jalan Medha infiltrates the smaller neighbourhoods with cosy yet informative tours. There are even mobile applications like JalanJalan.sg, which enable mobile users to discover historical landmarks in proximity to their current location using GPS technology. There truly is something for everyone.
If skyscrapers, conserved monuments and tourist destinations are indicators of our nationhood journey, then the neighbourhoods and estates are the heart and soul of our nation. They are where we live and play. Establishments can begin the dialogue on the arts and culture, but we should bring this conversation home to our family, friends and neighbours. Be it Bedok, Jurong or Toa Payoh, we can do the Jubilee Walk anywhere, anytime.
How do we go forward from 2015? We keep walking of course.