Looking to Copenhagen on liveability

Many cities seek to emulate Singapore, a global financial hub known for its visionary approach to urban planning. So which city does high-tech, disciplined Singapore aspire to be like?

The answer: Copenhagen.

Vaidehi Shah writes in Eco-Business.com that despite Singapore’s many accomplishments, it lags on some liveability indexes because it tends to favour skyscrapers and roads over ‘human-centric’ amenities such as bike lanes and walking trails.

Monocle magazine’s “Most Liveable Cities Index” ranked Copenhagen number one ahead of Melbourne earlier this year. Town planners, urban designers, and even some transport planners look to Copenhagen as an international exemplar for ‘getting it right’. 

But is anyone looking to Melbourne? After all, Melbourne consistently ranks as one of the top three most liveable cities. So why aren’t our Asian neighbours looking to us?

The streets of Melbourne
Image source: Phoenix Group – Melbourne for everyone website http://melbourneforeveryone.com.au/

Singapore. Image source: http://better-holiday.com/
Speaking on “People Oriented Strategies for City Planning” at the NTUC Auditorium recently, Prof Jan Gehl explained there is a new paradigm on safe and sustainable cities rooted in people’s access to mobility and social interaction. He said the key to achieve this is by reorienting urban spaces away from the modern aesthetic of skyscrapers and wide roads, to a more human-centric approach that promotes cycling and walking.

Is Melbourne’s love of wide roadways and tall buildings holding us back?


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