#GlobalCitiesMakers / Interview of Alan CHAN, Chairman, Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore
Exclusive interview. Alan CHAN, Chairman of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore, takes part to the Global Cities Makers Forum organised by Greater Paris Investment Agency on February 14 & 15 at Paris Ile-de-France regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Greater Paris Investment Agency :
Could you introduce your organisation, the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, and its missions?
Alan CHAN, Chairman, Land Transport Authority in Singapore :
The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) plans, designs, constructs and maintains Singapore’s land transport infrastructure and systems. Our mission is Connecting people and places, enhancing travel experience. Our vision is to create a people-centred land transport system that meets the diverse needs of our growing population and expanding economy. We aim to bring about a greener and more inclusive public transport system, complemented by convenient options to walk and cycle, to better connect people to the places that they want to go. We leverage technology to strengthen our rail and bus infrastructure, and provide options for future land transport.
What are the most pressing issues Singapore is facing regarding its urban development?
We are in an era of rapid technological change and our cities have to adapt quickly. Singapore’s aspirations to become a city of tomorrow is not without challenges. We are a small, densely populated, land-scarce island-state. We have a land area of 721km2, about 6% that of the Ile-de-France (12,012km2), whereas our population of 5.6m is slightly less than half the population of Greater Paris (12.1m). There are increasing land and manpower constraints to meet the diverse needs and rising expectations of the population.
How do makers in Singapore and in particular the LTA respond to these issues? What kind of solutions do you design and implement for urban and transport planning?
Singapore has to be innovative in how we plan and use our land. One of our key strategies is to plan boldly for growth with city rejuvenation. To enhance the liveability of our city, we have to plan for ample green spaces and a sustainable environment where public transport, walking and cycling are the preferred modes of transit.
For example, we are in the midst of crafting our Land Transport Master Plan 2040 to chart the future of Singapore’s land transport system to the year 2040 and beyond. We held a nation-wide conversation with members of the public, transport industry players and other stakeholders to take in their views and ideas. We took a fresh look at our land transport vision, policies and targets to ensure they are relevant for the future. The main themes of our LTMP are (a) how to make public transport and active mobility the preferred way to travel, (b) how to make public transport easier and more inclusive for all, and (c) how to improve our quality of life through our land transport system.
We are also working on an underground master plan to reserve layers of the subterranean for different uses. During the planning of our new districts, we place functional needs underground such as utilities and transportation. This expands our land resources and frees up valuable surface land for offices, housing and parks. We also plan for underground pedestrian links to connect people to our Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) systems, creating a seamless and comfortable commute, regardless of weather conditions.
Alan CHAN, Chairman, Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore:
“We are in the midst of crafting our Land Transport Master Plan 2040 to chart the future of Singapore’s land transport system to the year 2040 and beyond.”
“We are also working on an underground master plan to reserve layers of the subterranean for different uses.”
How is Singapore’s initiative in Smart Urban Mobility guiding your operations and Singapore’s transport-oriented development?
We are exploring the application of self-driving technology to support the development of Smart Urban Mobility, which has the potential to radically transform our transport system and improve our living environment, and thereby help to address our land and manpower constraints. Smart systems enabled by the Internet of Things allow the collection and dissemination of anonymised, accurate and reliable data from multiple data sources. With this information, we can enhance capabilities in planning (commuter demand analysis) and operations (real-time monitoring of commuter travel patterns), and enhance commuting experience (early incident notifications for journey planning). Smart systems will also facilitate the automation of vehicles, such as the deployment of on-demand dynamically routed bus services, to enhance the mobility of commuters, in particular the elderly and the disabled. Autonomous vehicles (AV), combined with data analytics, can also optimize our traffic flows, which allows us to reclaim road and parking spaces for walking, cycling, and other community uses. We are therefore working with industry partners to establish long-term public and private partnerships to develop innovations in AV and in on-demand technology. For example, LTA has been conducting AV trials on public roads since 2015. In 2016, we launched the Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs – NTU (CETRAN) to spearhead the development of testing requirements for AVs, as well as a Test Circuit for local and international players to test and certify their AVs. Some of the French companies that are involved in AV trials in Singapore include NAVYA and the Institute of Research and Technology SystemX.
Why is it important for you and the LTA to attend the Global Cities Makers Forum in 2019?
Forums like this support the exchange of knowledge for cities on their urban development challenges. We are delighted to attend, to share ideas and exchange notes with delegates from around the world.
Global Cities Makers Forum / February 14-15 2019
27, avenue de Friedland – Paris 8
Check out the programme and register : www.globalcitiesmakers.com