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Singapore

Steps and the City: The rise of walking culture in Singapore

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Walking in Singapore is gaining popularity due to its health, environmental, and social benefits.
  • Initiatives like Friendly Streets and the Park Connector Network are enhancing the city’s walkability.
  • Investing in walkable infrastructure offers significant economic returns and fosters community spirit.

Walking is more than just a mode of transport in Singapore; it’s a burgeoning trend that’s reshaping the city’s landscape and lifestyle. As urban wellness becomes a priority, the walking culture in Singapore is gaining momentum, driven by health benefits, environmental consciousness, and social initiatives.

In recent years, walking has emerged as a popular activity among Singaporeans. This trend is not just about fitness; it’s about integrating physical activity into daily life. The city’s extensive Park Connector Network (PCN), which spans over 300 km, links urban attractions like Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay, making it easier for residents and visitors to explore the city on foot.

Health and Environmental Benefits

Walking offers numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and mental well-being. According to Dr. Kristian Steele from Arup, walkable cities like Singapore can enhance population health and reduce noise and air pollution. The government’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for walking is evident in initiatives like the Wellness Festival Singapore, which promotes holistic well-being across various pillars of fitness and lifestyle.

Urban Planning and Initiatives

Singapore’s urban planning has been pivotal in promoting walkability. The Land Transport Authority’s Friendly Streets initiative aims to make walking and cycling safer and more convenient. Features like wider footpaths, dedicated cycling paths, and traffic-calming measures are being piloted in neighborhoods such as Ang Mo Kio and Tampines, with plans to expand city-wide by 2030.

Economic and Social Impact

Investing in walkable infrastructure has significant economic benefits. Arup’s report highlights that cycling and walking can provide up to $11.80 for every $1 invested, offering a competitive return compared to other transport projects. Socially, walking groups are fostering community spirit and providing solace and camaraderie, especially among seniors.

Popular Walking Trails

Singapore boasts several scenic walking trails that cater to different preferences. The Simpang Kiri Park Connector is a favorite among birdwatchers, while the Changi Bay Park Connector offers stunning waterfront views. These trails not only promote physical activity but also encourage residents to connect with nature.

Future Prospects

The future of walking in Singapore looks promising. With ongoing efforts to enhance walkability and the growing awareness of its benefits, walking is set to become an integral part of urban life. As Dr. Steele suggests, Singapore’s scale makes it an ideal environment for continued development and innovation in walkable infrastructure.

Walking is making significant strides in Singapore, transforming the city into a more liveable, healthy, and sustainable urban space. With continued investment in pedestrian-friendly initiatives and a strong community spirit, the walking trend is poised to thrive, benefiting both residents and visitors alike.

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