Clarke Quay, Singapore.

Ralph de Zilva

Cedar Creek, Australia

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Nikon D700 & Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens
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Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore, located within the Singapore River Planning Area. The quay is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay.

The Singapore River has been the centre of trade since modern Singapore was founded in 1819. During the colonial era, Boat Quay was the commercial centre where barge lighters would transport goods upstream to warehouses at Clarke Quay.

At the height of its prosperity, dozens of bumboats jostled for mooring space beside Clarke Quay. This continued well into the later half of the twentieth century. By this time, the Singapore River had also become very polluted. The government decided to relocate cargo services to a new modern facility in Pasir Panjang. The bumboats and lorries departed to their new home and Clarke Quay fell silent.

The government then cleaned up the Singapore River and its environment from 1977 to 1987. Plans were made to revamp the area and turn it into a flourishing commercial, residential and entertainment precinct. These plans took into serious consideration the historical value of Clarke Quay, making it mandatory that new buildings complement the historical character of the area and that certain old buildings be restored.

Clarke Quay Festival Village, the biggest conservation project for the Singapore River, was developed and officially opened on 10 December 1993. In later years, Clarke Quay was managed and owned by CapitaLand.

Ten years later, works were commenced to revamp the Clarke Quay area in order to give the place a better tenant mix. The development also saw major changes to the exterior and riverside areas. The Satay Club and a number of establishments vacated Clarke Quay to make way for new tenants. The upgraded Clarke Quay features the Zirca, The Clinic, Forbidden City by the Indochine Group and the whole development was completed in October 2006.

The Clarke Quay area at present is drastically different from the preservation/conservation effort from 1993.

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