Lonely Planet Writer

Lighting the way for walkers: Singapore tests innovative glow-in-the-dark pathway

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore is experimenting with the appearance of a Rail Corridor running through the city. One of the ideas currently being brought to life is a glow-in-the-dark surface that illuminates the way for walkers.

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“Feedback in our public consultations for the Rail Corridor is to make it a more inclusive and accessible community space, while retaining its rustic character,” said the URA. “We’re considering suitable surface materials to improve the trail and make it safer and more resilient, so that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy what it has to offer.”

Last month, a 400m-long test track was opened along the Rail Corridor at Bukit Panjang, a neighbourhood in the western region of Singapore. The plan, say the URA, is “to test suitable surface materials that are robust, easy to use and maintain, and consistent with the character of the Rail Corridor. The test track is made up of four different trail surfaces: grass and gravel, fine gravel; earth-coloured porous concrete, and finally, porous concrete with a glow-in-the-dark application.”

“This trial also allows us to explore new ideas. For example, we are experimenting with a glow-in-the-dark application that has not been used before in Singapore, which could add an element of fun and discovery at very selected locations along the Rail Corridor in future.”

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So far, the path is proving popular with Singapore residents. “Based on our observations so far, people are excited, and welcome it. But we will need time to evaluate the materials’ durability and suitability, such as their resistance to weather and use, and if their ‘look and feel’ complement the character of the Rail Corridor. The feedback and findings from this exercise will contribute towards our assessment on the types of trails that can be implemented along the Rail Corridor in future.”