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Jalan Singapura: 700 Years of Movement in Singapore

Published: May 2019 

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish 

Pages: 336

A history of a city-state can cover its political leaders or military past.
Historian Eisen Teo is fascinated by something else:
Its land transport networks, and urban and traffic patterns.
He dubs it the History of Movement - an intimate history driven by human nature, the age-old need to move from Point A to Point B for the everyday conduct of life.

Credit: Pinterest

Jalan Singapura is his attempt to shed a new light on Singapore history
through 700 years of Movement. From horse carriages to subway trains, dirt tracks to billion-dollar expressways, ancient attap villages to glass-and-steel waterfronts, the movement of a people has shaped Singapore’s present – and illuminates its future.
As the world urbanises, the History of Movement will only grow in relevance.
You will never look at a traffic jam or train ride in the same way again.

Credit: Muggershell 

“This is a political history without being political. It is an economic history without being economic. And it is a cultural history without being cultural. Eisen’s personal insights add value, and his ability to analyse the unfolding plural experiences of Singaporeans and their transportation stories enriches the study. He has presented one of the most original studies of Singapore history that I have read.”

—Professor Brian P. Farrell, National University of Singapore

Eisen with his book in Singapore's Kinokuniya (Orchard).

NUS library.jpeg

Jalan Singapura in the Central Library of the National University of Singapore, Eisen's alma mater.

Get the book!

In Singapore:

Popular Bookstores

Times Bookstores

Marshall Cavendish

Battlebox Visitor Centre (Fort Canning)

Haw Par Villa Visitor Centre

Outside Singapore:

Book Depository

Amazon (paperback)


Malaysia - Kinokuniya (Kuala Lumpur)

Thailand - Kinokuniya

Australia - Booktopia

Place an order with Marshall Cavendish; they will email a quote for DHL shipping fees, which vary according to parcel weight and destination


Amazon (for Kindle)

Talking about Jalan Singapura

22 June 2019 - National Library Board Read! Fest (National Library Building)
A discussion panel called "Reading the City",
hosted by Director and Founder of Shophouse & Co., Adib Jalal.

I shared about how my historical research
- which includes Jalan Singapura - "reads" multiple layers of the city.

June talk.jpeg

27 July 2019 - Book Launch (Haw Par Villa)

I gave a talk, "Transport Networks in Singapore's Urban Landscape: A Brief History".
The talk was inspired by, and lifted material from, Jalan Singapura.

Book launch.jpeg


7 August 2019 - Radio interview with CNA938 (Mediacorp Headquarters)

A live interview by Melanie Oliveiro.

I shared about Jalan Singapura, what inspired me to work on the book,
interesting trivia in the book, even the story behind its cover.

Afterwards, I autographed her copy of Jalan Singapura,
and a second copy to be auctioned off for charity.

CNA interview.jpeg

23 November 2019 - Day Out at Tanjong Pagar (Bukit Pasoh Road)

A full-day carnival organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority Conservation Department.

I gave a talk, "Transport Networks in Singapore's Urban Landscape: A Brief History".

It took place in the Chin Kang Huay Kuan Building along Bukit Pasoh Road.
The talk was similar to the one I did at my Book Launch,
although I updated some parts to reflect current issues.
I also wove in the local history of Bukit Pasoh and Tanjong Pagar,
as the full-day carnival centred around Bukit Pasoh and its heritage.

URA talk.jpeg
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