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Car-free zones within Civic District mulled by URA

SINGAPORE — Street level connectivity will be improved with the pedestrianisation of some roads, such as Empress Place, within the Civic District. The move is aimed at creating bigger civic open spaces and allowing pedestrians to stroll freely in a car-free environment.

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SINGAPORE — Street level connectivity will be improved with the pedestrianisation of some roads, such as Empress Place, within the Civic District. The move is aimed at creating bigger civic open spaces and allowing pedestrians to stroll freely in a car-free environment.

This was announced by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) this morning (Nov 22) as part of their Draft Master Plan 2013.

First on the list to be pedestrianised is Empress Place, a road that sits between the Asian Civilisation Museum and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. The aim of the move is to integrate the buildings in the vicinity into a seamless park-like setting.

Other roads in the area such as St Andrew’s Road, Connaught Drive, Fullerton Road and Parliament Place, which sit between the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and the Singapore Cricket Club, could soon follow suit.

URA said they would be exploring the options of closing these roads to cars on a temporary basis for activities and events. They will also study the possibility of permitting only tour buses, public buses and pedestrians on these roads in the future.

The agency also said that it would take a “phased approach” to the implementation of the car-free zones and the opinions of local stakeholders and the public will be taken into consideration before the roads are permanently pedestrianised in the long-term.

Parks in the Civic District will also get a make-over to include more public seating, night lighting and better signage to help the public navigate the area.

To allow people to get closer to the waterfront, the bollards along the promenade of Esplanade Park will be removed and replaced with stepped plazas and “an urban beach”.

The enhancement of these parks are expected to be completed by 2015.

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