HOW FAR WILL CAR-FREE SUNDAYS TAKE US ON THE ROAD TO BEING ‘CAR-LITE’?
This weekend marks the second Car-Free Sunday of the year. Launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), most parts of the civic and central business district (CBD) roads will be closed from 7.30am to 10am, an extension of half an hour since the first Car-Free Sunday last month (February).
For two and half hours or more, pedestrians can explore the CBD streets, free from its usual clamour of horns blowing and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Instead, pedestrians can relish a peaceful morning of yoga at the Esplanade Park or perhaps try their hand at a game of mini-tennis along Connaught Drive. With a line-up of robust programmes, pretty much members of all ages are set for a day of fun.
Along with its aim to “promote active lifestyles and enhance livability in the city”, the six-month-long Car-Free Sunday is part of a much bigger G agenda to discourage car use.
In all its manifestations, this “car-lite” philosophy has in fact made several appearances in the past.
Such as in the 1960s, when the G first started levying higher taxes on cars. Then came the area licensing scheme in 1975, which restricted car usage in the city. In 1998, this was replaced by Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). After that came the vehicle quota system, introduced in 1990… and so on.
How far will Car-Free Sunday take Singapore on the road to being car-lite?
The first Car-Free Sunday was off to an encouraging start with up to a few thousand joggers, cyclists and walkers taking part in the event, Channel NewsAsia reported. Speaking of the public’s response to the event, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that the initiative could be expanded and become a permanent fixture if the response from the public “gets even better”.
But to reach the goal of becoming a “car-lite” nation, an event like Car-Free Sunday is probably not going to cut it. Why not? Because we need the infrastructure to support this, too. This means providing alternatives to driving that the public will adopt as part of their commute.
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Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is a public entrepreneur specializing in the field of sustainability and social justice. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions -- and in the process, find practical solutions to urgent climate, mobility, life quality and job creation issues. More at: http://wp.me/PsKUY-2p7
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W/S Archives: Car Free Days
2016 IS THE 22nd ANNIVERSARY OF WORLD CAR FREE DAYS
” Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the road, and think about it.” This was the theme of the first announcement by Eric Britton of a World Car Free Days collaborative project that took place in Toledo Spain in October 1994 and was within months on-street reality in the first three cities launching Car Free Days of their own. World Streets continues to participate actively in planning, celebrating and analyzing the results of these Days in cities around the world.
* START HERE – – – > Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities
* NEXT – – – > Car Free Days: Origins, Timeline, Progress
* BOGOTA – – – > Bogotá 2000 Car Free Day in Brief
* TAIPEI – – – > Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City (Next Steps)
* FACEBOOK – – – > World Car Free Cafe