It wasn’t a typical Sunday morning in Singapore’s Civic District. Freed of cars and the normal motorised traffic, claim to the streets was laid instead by hundreds of cyclists, joggers, walkers and roller-bladers for what was Singapore’s first Car-free Sunday.
The first of six car-free Sundays planned for the last Sunday of each month from February, the initiative aims to promote a car-lite culture in Singapore. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in partnership with the National Parks Board (NParks), National Arts Council (NAC), Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Sport Singapore (SportSG), the event also saw a buzz come to some of the Civic District’s public spaces.
One public space that came alive was the newly completed Empress Lawn at Empress Place. The lawn, part of a Civic District public space enhancement drive initiated by the URA, was a venue for temporary food stalls and mass exercise sessions – the food stalls perhaps a reminder of days when good and affordable food – now missing from much of the Civic District, had been one of the draws of the Empress Place area.