Singapore’s War For A Car-Lite City


Cars make up the single most common mode of transport for people across the world. With over 1.2 Billion cars being on the world’s roads in 2014, that number poised to increase by 2035. Amongst cities, an opposing trend has been gathering speed, especially amongst smart cities like Singapore.

The small nation has taken on a strong initiative to fight for a car-lite society for years now. Singapore’s land transport authority announced a proverbial state of war agaisnt cars on November 2017. As it stated that annual allowable car growth will be set to zero in February 2018, as the nation promotes alternatives.

Singapore’s ‘Car-lite’ society

What the country is doing is working somewhat, with car sales diminishing annually as public transport use increases. But as this battle continues, architect Jan Gehl sees a completely car-less society being possible in Singapore.

“In my dream, I see Singapore as the first city in the world to be car-free. It’s really stupid to drive cars on an island that is 50 by 25 kilometres, and where people live so densely.”

The nations ‘Car-lite Urban Mobility‘ project offers a glimpse into the prospective future of other cities across the world. As it strives to incentivise alternatives to cars on the small island state while raising awareness of emissions. In its project, the Urban Mobility initiative breaks down its plan into 5 benefits:

1 – Alternative Options

The country’s been pushing for increased transportation options from what is already available. Through the Urban Mobility project, startups and companies receive incentives for developing carless transport methods. Meanwhile, public initiatives such as cycle speedways and safe-riding Programmes are increasing in scale.

2 – Greater Integration of all parties

This integration involves increased collaboration between the public and private sectors of enterprise. Allowing for the rapid development and effective maintenance of car-less transport projects which are undertaken.

3 – Creating a Human Oriented Development

This factor refers to the shift from individual to shared ownership of transportation to passenger experience. Meaning that city street and urban environments will shift to meet demands of a pedestrian-focused landscape.

4 – Mobility Demand Management

Improving demand management will mean more effective transport methods and increased efficiency of software. Effectively, these systems will decrease the overall cost to the individual, while streamlining areas with a deficit in service.

5 – Data-Driven Connected Communities

Real-time updates and location-based service systems allow for the highly efficient management and supply of data. Especially useful as people make the transition from transport ownership to service-based mobility packages.

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