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Greater focus to encourage walking for getting around Singapore

There will be a greater focus on encouraging more people to walk as a means to get around in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint review.

SINGAPORE: There will be a greater focus on encouraging more people to walk as a means to get around in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint review.

The blueprint sets out a framework for the next phase of Singapore's sustainable development and it is due to be completed by the end of the year.

It is part of the government's efforts in sustainable development to reduce reliance on cars and get more people to take public transport.

Some suggestions to encourage more people to walk are sufficient linkways to provide shelter from the weather, and cultivating a gracious mindset so that cyclists and pedestrians can share pathways.

The suggestions arose from a focus group discussion organised by the Ministry of National Development on Saturday (July 12).

Some 40 participants from all walks of life including academics, seniors and representatives from the health and sports sectors attended the session. They gave ideas on improving infrastructure and how to promote walking and harmonious path-sharing.

Their feedback will help the government shape the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.

One participant, Lily Teo, said: "We need better footpaths to encourage them to walk -- of course some greenery, nicer plants as well.

“We can also put up some music, so it should be more user-friendly, to encourage the elderly to walk more."

Marathon runner Yee Kin Kok, 42, said: "There is an inconsistency in terms of the walking and running paths between activity areas.

“For example, if you are in one part of the city, it's almost impossible to run or walk. Once you cross over to another zone, or an area where there are more dwellings, people who live there -- it suddenly becomes better."

Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry, Lee Yi Shyan, said: "We focused on building a city that is convenient, that is efficient for car users, for mass transport, so there's a lot of focus on that.

“But as we develop our city to where we are today, I think it's good to look at things that are less emphasised upon. Walkability is part of this aspect of urban planning that will connect people, empower people to get to where they want to go to on their own."  

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