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How to make it easier for people to walk and cycle around Singapore?

To make Singapore more walkable and easier to cycle around, make the focus of cities people-first, rather than motorist-oriented, a study recommends.

SINGAPORE: Make the focus of cities people-first, rather than motorist-oriented - that's one of the top recommendations of the Active Mobility research study. It was conducted jointly by the Urban Land Institute and the Centre for Liveable Cities along with Danish architect and urban designer Jan Gehl.

The aim of the study is to examine cycling and pedestrian issues in Singapore and to make the city more walkable, as well as easier to cycle around.

Initial findings from the study were shared today at the World Cities Summit. Some of the recommendations:

  • Redesign junctions to make them more conducive for cyclists.
  • Make it easier for cyclists to transit from biking to taking public transport.
  • Encourage developers and building owners to have shower facilities as well as drop-and-go laundries in offices.

The full report of the Active Mobility study will be released later this year.

Said Dr Limin Hee, Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities: "Cities like Singapore are quite into Sunday cycling, on our wonderful park connectors. Now, the challenge is how to bring Sunday cycling onto Monday cycling, where it could be a viable alternative to taking motorised transport."

In some towns like Tampines, residents are already biking around the neighbourhood.

That is a good start point to make Singapore a bikeable city, said Professor Jan Gehl, founding partner of Gehl Architects and lead researcher for the Active Mobility Study.

He said: "We are talking about small trips of about 1 or 2 kilometres to the station and to the shop, and to the doctors, to the library, to the schools.

"I can see the state of Singapore as being the best place in the world for public transportation, combined with bicycling.

"That means we shall have room in trains for bicycles. So you bicycle for 1km, take your bike in the train, go 20km, and bike for 1km to where you want to go. Then you have a system."

Professor Jan said this is something that can happen in the next two decades.

And things can only get better.

Professor Jan said: "When many people bicycle, it becomes safer and safer because we're more used to it.

"In New York, five years after they started the campaign, it's really taken off. I can see the same thing happening here if they are willing to put in the infrastructure."

The Active Mobility study was conducted in March this year, and it involved an outdoor workshop where participants rode their bicycles around Ang Mo Kio to get a better feel of how it's like to cycle in Singapore and to come up with better suggestions to improve the experience.

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