There’s been a lot of BS and angst about the death of Orchard Road as an “in place”.
A lady Viv Won got it right when ashe posted this comment on Facebook
Orchard used to be the IT place for urban displays of modernity and pop culture until the suburban centers and other hubs sprang up. I think it’s the G overrating form over function, Orchard has lost its function: MBS took over high end retail; people can meet their Everyday social, biological and service needs at regional centres; good hotels are spreading out of the Orchard sphere so short term tourists aren’t trapped there; there’s much local flavour and life elsewhere, in different pockets of the city like Ann Siang Hill, Boat Quay or MBFC, Robertson Quay, etc. Orchard Rd malls are like upmarket clones of things you can find everywhere else (except Far East Shopping Centre). People can’t exert their identity in a place that imposes its own overarching identity upon everything else.
It’s the People that make a place hip, not the decor or the planned festivities or whatnot. If they had to learn something from what was Mohd Sultan Rd in the late 90s, it should be that a place gets its culture from the people who gather there, for whatever reason (refurbished go-downs make great clubs). So there’s really not much reason to go to Orchard when there are so many more interesting and authentic places to hang out with people you consider to be cool then there’s always Hong Kong.
Same too like other creative industries like finance and technology.
The PAP just doesn’t get it. Remember its attempt to make S’pore a leading stem cell research centre?
Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor.