Dec 122014

Singapore is Singapore, one might say. But a look into their Land Transport Master Plan 2013 will make us wish we had a semblance of this in our country, especially in the metropolis. After all, we tout ourselves as having surpassed other countries in the region in economic growth recently.

Singapore’s population growth was higher than expected, so the city-state has embarked on a comprehensive land transport plan for its inhabitants to move around.

By 2030 the city-state’s planners envision four out of five households living within a 10-minute walk from a train station.

Eighty-five percent of public transport journeys less than 20 kilometers will be completed within 60 minutes.

Seventy-five percent of all journeys in peak hours will be undertaken on public transport.

Singaporeans have increased expectations of a better quality of life and, correspondingly, an improved travel experience.

Increased demand

This increased demand for transport is driven by a larger economy and a bigger population.

Aware of their country’s much smaller land size, the citizens of Singapore express their views and opinions, especially those who use public transport systems every day. The government’s engagement with the people through the website “Our Singapore Conversations,” where feedback is analyzed and reviewed, results in the people’s views being incorporated into the Land Transport Authority’s policy formulation.

The rail will remain the backbone of the public transport system, with more connections to the MRT network and new hubs. They will develop new bus, walkways and cycle routes. The numerous routes from the rail to the bus, through sheltered walkways in the walk2ride program, have been planned for the people by the government. Connectivity will be improved and passenger experience, too, with easier transfers between transport modes.

A 20-percent increase in total bus fleet will also help Singapore reduce dependence on private transport.

Anne Hidalgo, the lady mayor of the city of Paris, says the smart and sustainable city is participatory above all.

She has focused her mandate on “diplomacy of cities,” with cities even outside of France to transcend their rivalries and cooperate to develop common strategies and partnerships.

She calls this the century of cities and therefore she would like to respond to global challenges, especially that of the environment, with empowerment given to the consumers and the residents of the city.

Paris tries to attract young people who are entrepreneurs with start-ups, those who are creative and have strong initiatives. Housing for the middle class and of lower-income households, therefore for the young people also, is given a high priority.

Paris, the magical city at night, defends night life but also respects the peace and quiet of its residents when the city goes to sleep at night.

US cities

Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Houston have banded together to tackle building efficiency.

Conscious that buildings cause up to three-fourths greenhouse gas emissions, these states target the largest buildings that account for up to half of square footage and energy consumption.

They pioneered a benchmarking program mandating annual energy and water use reporting by nonresidential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet floor area. Data collected show that the least efficient buildings use three to four times more energy than their most efficient counterparts.

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