Cities are increasingly finding it important to make themselves friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. Cities should be safe and convenient for walking and cycling. Walking and cycling are referred to as “active mobility” and are promoted because they are healthy, non-pollutive and fun!
Our Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) and the US-based Urban Land Institute (ULI) have jointly studied this subject in their research project ‘Creating Healthy Places through Active Mobility’. They published their research findings in a book which was launched today in Singapore and New York.
Their conclusion is that when more people walk and cycle, there are substantial benefits to the individual, society, environment and the economy.
Singapore’s planning has always embraced active mobility.
Our Park Connector Network is wonderful. It has brought greenery and recreation closer to our homes, letting us walk, jog or cycle safely, under shady trees. Amidst our dense city and busy streets, the network lets us enjoy a sense of spaciousness, relaxation and freedom.
Our city is quite walkable, with good pavements along most roads, pedestrian priority at traffic junctions, and sheltered walkways to protect us from the sun and rain.
But we are not perfect. In fact, some cities, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, have raised active mobility to a higher level. Walking and cycling as modes of transport have been honed to be the normal way of life. In these cities, they make up more than half of the modes of transport.
We must now go beyond cycling for recreation. We want it to be a viable transport option for short trips to the supermarket, coffee shop, hawker centre or the nearest MRT station. To do so, we must make such trips safe and pleasant.
Our National Cycling Plan envisions a cycling network of 700km by 2030, including intra town and inter town networks. Next year, we will have developed 100 km of intra-town cycling paths in Yishun, Punggol and Bedok. Eventually, all 26 HDB towns will have similar networks to connect homes to neighbourhood centres and MRT stations.
Meanwhile, we are exploring bike sharing schemes, and increasing safety education programmes, such as the Safe Cycling Programme for Youth for students from secondary schools.
There are many more such ideas and practical measures in the book ‘Creating Healthy Places through Active Mobility’. Read it at this website.
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