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Thursday
Jul022015

World Responsible Tourism Day 2015 To Tackle Climate Change

World Travel Market’s World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD) 2015 will tackle the issue of climate change weeks before it is discussed by the United Nations to achieve the first legally binding agreement in 20 years.

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Sunday
Apr262015

Singapore Park Connectors : building on 25 years of cyclepaths

Singapore might not spring to mind as a cycling mecca, but National Parks cycle advocates have made significant progress over the last 25 years - and are still adding to the facilities. By Jeremy Torr.

Singapore, April 2015 – "There's this tradition in Singapore that says everybody has to complain about what local officials and organisations are doing," says Tai Woon, driving force and chief organiser behind the local LoveCyclingSG movement. "But the National Parks people are doing a great job with our Park Connector Network (PCN). The tide is turning now and people are realising how easy it is to cycle in most parts of Singapore."

The pre-ride briefing went through all the important aspects of the new section as well as key points of interestNEW CONNECTIONS

 Tai Woon was talking to a group at the recent opening ride, organised by National Parks, to celebrate the completion of the PCN link between existing cycle paths at East Coast Park and Gardens by the Bay. And in the process, celebrate 25 years since the opening of the first Park Connector along the Pelton Canal. Some 150 cyclists from all walks of life had turned up at 8am on a bright Saturday morning (25 April) to inaugurate the new section of PCN. All seemed happy that they could now (if they are fit enough) ride from Changi Village right through to Clementi, without using any sections of major roads, and passing some delightful parts of Singapore on the way.

 

The new section leaves the East Coast park and crosses Fort Road over a special cycleway bridge, then meanders past the ECP right up to the Kallang River. It then passes underneath the Benjamin Speares Bridge and then connects up with existing PCN pathways at Gardens by the Bay that lead to the Marina Barrage.

The latest section of PCN links existing sections at East Coast to Gardens by the Bay"It's a long job making all the cyclepaths and connecting them up, but we are definitely making progress," says Yee Chung Yao, Deputy Director of Parks at the National Parks Board.

Yee says that the PCN now offers a total of 300km of cycle paths and connectors across the island, allowing all riders from serious fitness freaks to family parties and picnickers to travel to most parts of Singapore without the need for road riding. In fact this is one of Yee's key messages - that the PCN strategy is to make routes and rides that are accessible and easy to use by the whole family - not just the lycra-clad 'serious cyclist' brigades.

 

Plenty of families seemed keen to try out the new section of PCN, and NatParks were ready to help

 

ONGOING ATTRACTIONS

The National Parks is also celebrating the SG50 anniversary (50 years since Singapore was founded) by putting on a series of events and attractions that dovetail into the PCN. These include familiarisation rides and picnics, suitable for the whole family and led by National Parks and LoveCyclingSG guides; Cycle-In movie sessions at a selection of the major parks that are linked by the PCN; and Adventure Rides that focus on exploring less well-known routes and connectors. Updated details are on the National Parks website, or if you subscribe to their online newsletter.

"What we are finding now is that more and more people are seeing bicycles as a real alternative form of transport," says LoveCyclingSG's Tai Woon. He says that the numbers of people now using the PCN and bicycles for riding to work, shopping and commuting to see family is getting bigger all the time. "And we have to say the PCN is a big help in this. Riding in traffic in Singapore still has a way to go, and many motorists still need more education in how to ride with cyclists," he says.

Nonetheless, in a city like Singapore, with good, flat cycleways, warm weather and little wind, more and more people are using bikes as their basic form of transport.

"The only thing that is holding many people back is the lack of showers at work," smiles Tai Woon. "There is no doubt that you get a bit sweaty riding a bike, and that isn't always ideal for when you get to work."

 

MORE TO COME

Yee Chung Yao and Tai Woon were both at the East Coast to christen the new section of ConnectorYet in 25 years, considerable progress has been made. 300 km of dedicated cyclepath on an island that only measures some 40km wide by 25km top to bottom, and boasts a mere 165km of expressways is a pretty solid achievement. Yee admits the work of developing cyclepaths for the PCN is ongoing, and sometimes throws up difficult challenges posed by new buildings, new roads and the restriction of existing paths.

"But the LTA's new future plan and direction is encouraging," he says. "With us both [LTA and National Parks] working together we will have plenty more good cycling facilities to look forward to."

With the final links in many separate sections of the PCN now coming together - like the East Coast/Gardens by the Bay section the riders christened last weekend - it looks like those challenges are being risen to.

 

  • For more about the Park Connector Network, go to : https://www.nparks.gov.sg/activities/fitness-sport-and-wellness/cycling
  • For more about LoveCyclingSG, go to : http://lovecycling.net/
  • For more about Parks Concerts, go to :https://www.nparks.gov.sg/activities/sg50
Friday
Jun202014

Environmental Impact Studies - A Growing Need in Singapore

While environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been enacted and practised widely in various working definitions around the world, it has only recently gained prominence in Singapore.

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Wednesday
Jun182014

Cross Island Line Impacts on Biodiversity in Central Catchment Nature Reserve

In a previous article, the potential negative impacts on avian biodiversity if plans for the construction of Cross Island Line (CRL) were to follow through were highlighted. In this update, Tan Hui Zhen and Shermaine Wong turn their focus to other biodiversity that reside in the MacRitchie forests - the non-avian fauna and often overlooked flora of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR).

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Sunday
Apr202014

Singapore Cross Island MRT Line To Undergo Environmental Impact Assessment

Civic society and NGOs managed to convince the Singapore government to hold off its plans to run a new MRT line through a biodiverse nature reserve until a comprehensive assessment on environmental impacts has been made. Tan Hui Zhen and Shermaine Wong report.

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Tuesday
Jul192011

Singapore's Electric Vehicle Test-bed Launched

The inter-agency Electric Vehicle (EV) Taskforce, led by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA), announced the launch of the electric vehicle test-bed in Singapore on 25 June 2011. It was also revealed for the first time that Daimler South East Asia (SEA) Pte. Ltd has joined the test-bed, and will bring in 20 smart fortwo (ed) vehicles available for lease under the EV test-bed from July 2011.

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Monday
Jul182011

Bicycle Hire Service in Hangzhou, China - World's Biggest

With over 50,000 bikes available to rent, Hangzhou in China is aiming to reduce pollution, cut congestion, and keep its people healthy – all while making a profit!

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Monday
Jan032011

Formula One Rules Set to Make Race Cars Greener  

New rules for smaller engines and improved energy-recovery systems mean that Formula One racing cars will get much more fuel efficient, and quieter, within the next two seasons.

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Tuesday
Nov232010

Energy Efficiency of Fossil-fuel and Electricity-powered Cars

Andrew Porter takes a closer look at how energy travels from the grid to the road, and argues that electric cars are not necessarily more energy efficient compared to fossil-fuel powered cars. Electricity generation needs to be re-examined to gain greater energy efficiencies.

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Friday
Jan222010

Power from Rail to Road – The Future of Electric Cars  

How soon will we see people driving sustainable motorcars that reduce the impact on fossil fuels and reduce pollution? While many people assume, and hope, that the next generation motorcar will be powered either from a rechargeable battery, or an internal combustion engine using bio-fuels, there are problems associated with these methods. Andrew Porter looks into the sustainability issue of bio-fuels to power internal combustion engines, and presents the bright prospect of fully-optimised electric cars inspired by the old diesel electric railway locomotive.

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