Better streets, better lives, better Pune.

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Submission Summary
“Walking is the first and foremost type of transportation, but it also provides an informal and uncomplicated possibility for being present in the public environment,'' quotes Jan Gehl in Life between Buildings. Studies also have proved that walking and cycling directly connect to better immunity to fight off diseases. With the prevalent crisis, the importance of social distancing has never been so highlighted and looks like it would remain so even after the lockdowns are lifted. The need for wider footpaths, short neighborhood blocks, dedicated cycling tracks have come to the fore. In India, two-thirds of all urban trips are by foot, cycle, and public transport. Women, children and their caregivers particularly depend on non motorized transport and buses. Most public transport trips also start and end on foot. Yet, the pandemic has grimly revealed how little space we actually have for people because of all the space we’ve dedicated to cars. This car centric approach has resulted in an increasingly unsafe environment especially for the vulnerable users like pedestrians and cyclists. Pune, realizing the importance of need for sustainable transportation in 2012, approved the Comprehensive Mobility Plan with an ambitious goal to increase the modal share of non-motorised transport and public transport trips to 90% from the then 50% by 2031. Pune was selected as one of 20 “Lighthouse Cities” under the Smart Cities Mission program. Since then Pune has been a pioneer in the country in taking initiatives like adopting progressive Pedestrian Policy and also being the first city in the country to have dedicated guidelines for Urban street design focusing on equitable allocation of road space with the support from NGOs like Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). In 2016, Pune initiated the 'Pune Streets Program' (PSP) taking on a holistic approach to redesign the streets with the principles of safety, livability, universal accessibility and environmental sustainability. The program along with the Smart Cities Mission initiative has developed over 100km of such ‘Complete’ streets across the city. It also became the first Indian city to develop a Comprehensive Cycling Plan that proposes 400km of cycle-friendly streets with city-wide Public Bicycle share systems. These achievements of the PSP would not have been possible without the strong leadership, integrated planning and financial backing of the urban local body. Since 2016, Pune Municipal Corporation’s budget has witnessed a paradigm shift in its transportation expenditure by consistently allocating more than 50% of total transport budget for improving walk, bus and cycle infrastructure. Backing this are the institutional reforms and capacity development initiatives that helped enhance the capacity of the decision makers. PMC has formed specific task forces for overseeing planning and implementation of various transportation projects like Street design cell, Bicycle Department, Parking Management Cell to name a few. Efforts were also made to hire best national urban designers and planners. From reclaiming spaces for pedestrian activities, to choosing environmentally sustainable techniques and materials, the city is always coming up with innovative solutions. Pune also recently adopted the Urban95 program which makes the streets inclusive for toddlers and caregivers. The city has invested in public participatory approach through involvement of the citizens at the planning, designing, trial runs and implementation stages. There has been increasing demand from the people for creation of such public realms. Surveys show that the local business around the redesigned streets have increased. The pedestrian footfall has seen a tremendous increase with people now spending more time socializing on streets. Having won many national and global accolades for the on-ground work, Pune has inspired many cities to create people-friendly streets.
Submission ID :
Submission Type
Submission Track
6: Creating Healthy and Inclusive Urban Environment
Senior Associate
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, India Programme
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