In order to attract more people and activities to the area, Mr Lau said that one way could be to have more food kiosks.

"Another low-hanging fruit in making an area more attractive is changing the streetscape. This means upgrading the material of the floors and improving the lighting and signage," he said.

The full pedestrian route, said Surbana Urban Planning Group managing director Jeffrey Ho, will have trees for shade, and nodes of interests peppered throughout the district.

"It should be safe, friendly and tastefully designed with picturesque settings for photo opportunities and orientation. On the whole, it should carry flavours of our culture and a tremendous sense of affinity with island living," he said.

Real estate veteran Pua Seck Guan agrees that there is a need to make the walking routes interesting. This includes coming up with better materials to showcase the area's history and more comprehensive walking tours.

The executive chairman of Perennial Real Estate, which is redeveloping the old Capitol site, said: "Tourists want to see what they can't back home. For too long, we've undersold our history and culture. It's time to make it more attractive."

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