After Madam Irene Chua went for her first Car-Free Sunday SG on May 28, she told her kids that they were going to keep coming back for more.
"It was great to see so many families just walking through the roads like it was their grandfathers' road and participating in the different activities. And then there were shops and stalls selling food against the backdrop of City Hall," says the 42 year-old mother of two.
Held in partnership with Families for Life Council, the May edition of Car-Free Sunday SG saw closures of key roads within the Civic District, with the area being transformed into a visual kaleidoscope of families from all walks of life enjoying a fine Sunday out at the city centre.
“My kids had a blast. So we are definitely coming back for more.”
Whether it was having a quiet picnic brunch under the shade of Angsana trees by Esplanade Park, encouraging each other to persevere on whilst cycling or simply taking time to browse through the food and beverage and artisanal craft pop-up booths, the vibrant festival-like atmosphere at the Padang was buzzing with activities involving people of all ages.
For those who missed out on the fun, here is a peek at how life could be without cars.
No cars doesn’t mean no wheels. Many took the opportunity to get on their bikes to ride along some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks.
Non-profit organisation Cycling Without Age was on hand to provide free custom-built trishaws for the elderly where they could get a family member or a volunteer to ride them around the car-free circuits. This was complemented by a fleet of six trishaws sponsored funded by Mr Han Jok Kwang, a cycling activist who has been supporting the Car-Free Sunday SG initiative since its inception in February 2016.
One such senior who was basking in the trishaw experience was 86-year old Madam Kamalam Govindasamy who attended the event with her son-in- law and four grandchildren. Driven around by her 16-year old grandson who took up trishaw duties for the day, Madam Govindasamy took in the sights and sounds of the Civic District.
Families were a big part of the May edition of Car-Free Sunday SG. Babies, toddlers, children, their parents and their grandparents all showed up early on Sunday morning to soak in the fun.
Kids tried out traditional board game carom with their feet.
The May edition of Car-Free Sunday SG was extended to include Bencoolen Street to allow participants to experience first-hand the new car-lite and cycling-friendly features that make the street and public spaces more people-friendly.
Nicholas Li, a member of the planning committee behind Car-Free Sunday SG and an executive architect with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, said the experience is aimed at changing the mindsets of car-owners towards the use of cars — the most crucial part in the push to transform Singapore into a car-lite nation.
“The whole event celebrates active mobility because people can take part in a variety of activities like cycling, trying personal mobility devices and learning about cycling etiquette when using shared cycling and walking spaces. It’s possible to bring your own bicycle or personal mobility device, meet like-minded people and just enjoy the activities with your family and friends. Closing the roads for people to experience a car-free environment for themselves is important in getting the community onto the movement,” he said.
With something for everyone in the family, the May edition of Car-Free Sunday SG was the perfect melting pot for families of all age, sizes and backgrounds to come together and bask in the many possibilities of embracing a car-lite way of life.
For those who missed out on the fun, no need to fret. Car-Free Sunday SG is coming back on 30 July and 29 October. Check out the Car-Free Sunday SG Facebook page to stay up to date and get more information on the next event!