Car-Free Sunday to continue in 2018 with more community-driven activities

Families and friends playing a roller blade game on Amoy Street during Car-Free Sunday on March 26, 2017.
Families and friends playing a roller blade game on Amoy Street during Car-Free Sunday on March 26, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The empty roads in the city you see on some Sundays are going to continue to be a familiar sight next year.

In a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 23), Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said: "I am pleased to announce that Car-Free Sunday SG will continue in 2018!"

He said the thousands who participated in each edition so far has been encouraging.

As the initiative extends into 2018, the community will play a more active role in helping Singapore move towards a car-lite society, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a press release on Monday.

The support from the community has grown stronger over time, with more community partners and sponsors coming forward to get involved in the initiative.

"From Cycling Without Age and Yoga Seeds who have been with the event from early days, to Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan conducting tours at the Thian Hock Keng temple, and more recent entrants such as the bike-sharing companies, the initiative has brought on board people from all walks of life to enjoy Car-Free Sunday SG, and helped raise stronger awareness amongst the public on the benefits of a city with less cars," URA said.

Car-Free Sunday was first introduced in February last year.

The next edition of it will take place this coming Sunday (Oct 29).

People of all ages can attend the National Arts Council's Got to Move Spotlight interactive dance carnival.

Car-Free Sunday has drawn a wide range of participants, including  joggers, cyclists, personal mobility device users, families and heritage enthusiasts. It takes place in areas such as the Civic District, the Central Business District and Telok Ayer.

Dr Christie Napa Scollon, Associate Professor of psychology at Singapore Management University's School of Social Sciences, said the initiative boosts one's "well-being".

"First, it encourages physical activity which is excellent for physical and mental health. Also, Car-Free Sunday provides a space for people to have fun together, and really happiness is all about being with others," says Dr Scollon, who is a regular participant.

"At a broader level, the initiative can also improve the health of the wider community by increasing civic engagement, reducing car emissions, and encouraging long-term interest in physical activity."

More information on Car-Free Sunday SG can be found at http://ura.sg/carfreesundaysg and https://www.facebook.com/carfreesundaysg/.