Re-imagining Singapore Cycling

If you live in Singapore, forget whatever you thought you knew about cycling. Soon, it will not just be a guy thing. It won’t just be a poor thing. It won’t be that slow thing done on really cheap bikes bought from toy stores. It will not be risky. It will not even be a hot or sweaty thing, if you allow an extra five minutes to your destination. It will be the fastest most convenient form transport you know: Tampinese to Orchard in 35 minutes, or Clementi to Hougang in 40.

Cycling will also soon be the smartest way of arriving to work for politicians and bankers. People will fit breakfast dates between home and work, and add shopping trips with their friends on the end of each school day. You not find love on the dance floor, it will be waiting for you on the bike path.

Air conditioned bike parking facilities, like the cycle tree in Japan, will be waiting to store your bike on display when you arrive at Orchard Road to go shopping. Your ride will be shaded and breezy following waterways, and when you’re not beside water, you will ride in tubes that are air conditioned.

The scheme I am preparing to show to your government, is like the parkway connector network you know, insofar as it steers away from roadways and fumes. However both schemes have design parameters that are nothing alike. I’m working on a scheme that will see you all using electric assist bikes, or sports bikes, to greatly increase your mobility and access, compared to driving or transit.

That’s just a teaser. Look out for these images in the next edition of Singapore Architect, along with an interview I did with Felicia Toh. And thank you to Kelvin and Jia Xin from the University of Tasmania for working with me on maps and drawings.

 

About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
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