A critique of the car-free days
Goh, Jarrell Jin Qiang
Date of Issue2017-05-15
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The role of cars as a mode of transportation has become so substantial such that what is meant to progress the society has now become a hindrance to the recovery of the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases and particulate matter from cars has been proven to be one of the major contributors. This has prompted a closer look into the usage of vehicle and hence, the introduction of Car-Free day. This critique would only be focused on Singapore’s Car-Free Sundays, and to determine if the campaign had been successful with its aim of reclaiming public spaces and educating the public on car-lite lifestyle. The measure of success of the Car-Free Sunday campaign would be the objectives as stated by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) planner during interview, Bart Baeten’s five conditions of successful car-free day, and public sentiment and feedback which have been collected by means of on-site surveys. It was found that the car-lite message have been integrated into the public daily life, however the public has yet to fully grasp the rationale behind car-lite, making the government remaining as the prime mover of initiative. Besides the expansion to Telok Ayer, the car-free zone remained the same since its inception, which caused it to lose its novelty. Ironically, the Car-free event generated more personal car trips to the event. Participants who cycle, skate or ride Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) are unable to participate in all of the activities due to inadequate safekeeping facilities. Cycling and skating have been perceived as the main event, which overshadows the intended message of cycling, commuting, to events or work. Subsequent studies should also look into the sentiment of nearby businesses, issues on sponsorship for the event as well as possible impact on a Car-Free Sunday carried out in residential areas.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University