Gazetted Car-Lite Areas In Singapore: Springleaf
STORY: Nicholas Yong
09 January 2023
Springleaf is best known for its crispy prata, but it is also one of 16 places in Singapore to be designated a “car-lite” area – that is, a zone designed to promote more sustainable modes of transportation, such as walking, cycling, and using public transportation.
We explore Springleaf on foot and discover what other treasures this peaceful enclave holds.
Where is Springleaf?
Springfield is located smack between Upper Thomson and Mandai, and is really close to Upper and Lower Seletar Reservoir – so expect lots of greenery surrounding this serene neighbourhood.
How to get to Springleaf?
The new Thomson-East Coast Line takes you right outside the popular makan stretch in the area, and it is only a couple of stops away from Woodlands MRT. There is also ample parking for bicycles next to the MRT.
What to see?
Besides the ever-popular Springleaf Prata, the row of shophouses also boasts a variety of great makan. Unicuz Chinese Cuisine serves Sichuan food (the beef hor fun at Mongkok Dim Sum is a must-try), and, at the very end of the stretch of shophouses, you can find cheap old-school ytf at 928 Ngee Fou (Hakka) Ampang Yong Tau Foo.
After you've had your fill, keep walking ahead past the Shell petrol station, and you should reach Springleaf Nature Park. It might not have a huge “wow” factor, but this is probably one of the most peaceful and tranquil parks on our Little Red Dot.
Fun fact: Henry Nicholas Ridley, the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, gathered the first collections of native plant species from this park.
After you’re all worn out from the walk, recharge at The Lowe'f Shack located at the entrance of the park. Nice and cosy, plus the cuppa and bakes here are really good!
Staying late for dinner? Head back to the shophouses for German grub at Wilder Mann. Or chope a seat at Thai Hao Chi Mookata - they still use a charcoal grill, which is quite rare in Singapore nowadays.
Verdict: Very walkable, plenty of makan choices, can paktor, with bae here in the afternoon/evening.
Singapore car-lite areas
HDB and LTA have designated several areas in Singapore as "car-lite" zones, which are designed to be more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, and have fewer cars on the road.
This is part of the Government’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable transportation system. For example, these “car-lite” areas will have fewer parking lots, freeing up space for more public facilities and greenery. Parking will be prioritised for residents instead.
Btw, "car-lite" does not mean “car-free” - the idea is to transform the infrastructure to become people-first rather than be car- and road-centric.
Existing places to be developed into "car-lite" areas:
- Marina South
- Jurong Lake District
- Woodlands Central
- Pearl’s Hill
- Tanjong Rhu
"Car-lite" areas in development:
- Jurong Innovation District
- Punggol Digital District
- Kampong Bugis
- Woodlands North
- Ulu Pandan
- Mount Pleasant
- Keppel Club