ULI and Centre for Liveable Cities Recommend Strategies for Improving Walkability, Bikeability in Singapore

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New Report Shows Multiple Benefits of Promoting Active Mobility in Tropical Cities

For more information, contact: Trish Riggs at 202-624-7086

SINGAPORE (June 2, 2014) — Strategies for improving the walkability and bikeability of Singapore are presented in a new report, Active Mobility for Creating Healthy Places, prepared by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC). Findings from the report were provided today at the World Cities Summit by representatives from ULI, the CLC, and renowned Danish architect and urban designer Jan Gehl, who contributed to the preparatory research forming the basis for the publication.

Active Mobility points out that an emphasis on walking and cycling helps improve the liveability of urban areas by orienting design and development toward people, rather than automobiles. According to the report, making active transportation a priority has multiple benefits, including: effective and convenient mobility, an enriched urban experience, economic and environmental dividends, and improved cohesiveness and connectivity between neighbourhoods.

The presentation of the report at the World Cities Summit included a discussion by a response panel featuring Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Melbourne, Australia; former ULI Chairman Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean and Paley Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; H.E. Ridwan Kamil, Mayor of Bandung, Indonesia; Scott Dunn, Vice President, AECOM, Singapore and a leading ULI Singapore member; and Dr. Limin Hee, Director, Centre for Liveable Cities.

The study is the result of extensive research conducted in March 2014 that involved engaging the community through two workshops in which participants from the private sector, government and civic groups discussed perceptions, issues, and ideas on active mobility in Singapore and sought to identify potential improvements. It also included a “Bikeshop” cycling study tour led by Gehl, who, with 55 participants, observed and discussed challenges and strategies for bicycling at Ang Mo Kio Town in Singapore.

“The release of the “Active Mobility” research study is the result of bringing together a diverse group of people to discuss land development issues within high-density cities,” said Dunn, who worked with CLC representatives to prepare the report. “I am excited about the research, which offers guidance on how to make our urban environment conducive for active mobility. Our hope is that the report will be used as a reference point for decision makers in other tropical cities as well as other cities facing similar challenges.”

“The research on creating healthy places through active mobility will not only make people healthier, but make cities more liveable as well. Like Jan Gehl has observed, 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. Cities will be better for it, as walking and cycling takes up so much less precious space,” added Dr Limin Hee, Director at the CLC.

The results of the study indicate that although tropical climates present some challenges for active mobility, this should not discourage tropical cities such as Singapore from promoting active mobility. It addresses key challenges that can impede walkability and bikeability, such as institutional frameworks and development policies; infrastructure development and design; and culture, behaviour and perceptions.

The report offers ten ideas to make cities more walkable, bikeable and people-friendly:

  • Make walking and cycling convenient and efficient, integrating them into public transit systems
  • Provide dedicated space for all forms of transportation
  • Ensure high visibility at junctions to improve safety
  • Maintain continuity of movement
  • Keep motorised traffic slow in high pedestrian areas
  • Make level, at-grade crossings a priority
  • Ensure consistency in design standards throughout the city
  • Make walking and cycling paths comfortable and attractive (shade trees in Singapore help shield heat, sun and rain)
  • Mix up the land uses adjacent to the routes (mixed-use developments are conducive to walking and cycling as an easy way to get from one place to another)
  • Close the loop with end-of-trip amenities such as shower facilities, lockers and bicycle parking

Active Mobility was prepared as part of ULI’s Building Healthy Places initiative, which focuses on highlighting the role of land use in creating healthy living environments. The report was funded by an urban innovation grant from the ULI Foundation, which supports ULI’s research and programs.

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About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a global non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 30,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

About the Centre for Liveable Cities
The Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) was set up in 2008 by the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, based on a strategic blueprint developed by Singapore’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development. Guided by its mission to distil, create and share knowledge on liveable and sustainable cities, the Centre’s work spans three main areas – Research, Capability Development, and Promotions. (www.clc.gov.sg)