Maharashtra cities dominate Smart Cities Mission #Streets4People Challenge

Part of 11 cities nationwide showcasing on-ground transformation and citizen collaboration

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | January 19, 2022 | Mumbai


#Maharashtra   #Smart City   #Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs   #urban governance technology  
(Image: Ashish Asthana)
(Image: Ashish Asthana)

In a competition organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur and Aurangabad from Maharashtra are among the 11 cities selected for scaling up their pilot projects and creating permanent public infrastructure.

#Streets4People Challenge was organised by MoHUA under the Smart Cities Mission to make public places more people-friendly. The competition requires cities to redesign their streets as public spaces through low-cost innovative measures making them safe for citizens more particularly senior citizens and children.   

The competition was open to 113 smart cities. As many as 38 cities piloted the re-imagination of an important street, each by prioritizing them for pedestrians and creating permanent public infrastructure.

Of the 38 cities that submitted their proposal, 11 cities (Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kochi, Kohima, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, Udaipur, Ujjain, Vijayawada) were selected as pioneers for showcasing creative on ground transformation and extensive collaboration with citizens.

Pune won the accolades for reclaiming space along several roads to create safe and exciting ‘experience zones’ for all citizens. The city activated these edges by painting the spaces, conducting laughter yoga sessions, music sessions, introducing children’s play areas etc. Going forward, the city plans to build wider footpaths and install street furniture at different locations.

Pimpri-Chinchwad was hailed as the walking and cycling champion for reclaiming space from carriageways for segregated cycle lanes and footpaths.  The city worked closely with their Street Design Consultants to further their city-wide Harit Setu Masterplan, connecting green spaces across the city.

Aurangabad leveraged its success of the ‘Open Street Campaign’ by reclaiming carriageway space with vibrant paints and billboards. They also added low-cost seating that allowed citizens to spend time and enjoy the newly created space. The Aurangabad Smart City Development Corporation and the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation plan to transform the stretch from Kranti Chowk to the Cannought area in a sustainable way giving it a modern look.

Working closely with technical experts and key stakeholders, Nagpur strategically reorganised the street section along the very busy Sitabuldi market and Sakkadara to allocate more walking space for people. The city used innovative methods like colourful paints, old car tyres as planters and seating made with scrap materials to demarcate the new walkways.  Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Ltd will further facilitate bicycle rental, e-rickshaw projects as part of its green city initiative.

Other noteworthy people-friendly initiatives that won accolades from the centre included Gurugram for making school zones and market areas pedestrian-only zones, Ujjain for making heritage precincts a car-free zone, Udaipur for reorganizing traffic flow at local bus station to promote people safety, Karnal for enlivening dead corridors and spaces under flyover with colourful street art murals and Kohima for promoting street museum through art display.
 
The 11 cities that have won Stage I of the Streets4People Challenge will receive a cash award of Rs 50 lakh. In Stage 2, these cities will use their learnings and continue to work towards a vision for ‘Healthy Street’ by integrating walking, cycling, and public transport to make streets safe and convenient for all.

Over 600 civil society organizations and more than 2,000 design professionals across the country signed up to help their cities. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) provided guidance through preparation of resource material and facilitated online peer-learning workshops.

The centre also announced Season 2 of the #Streets4People challenge.  Any smart city, capital city or a city with a population over 5 lakhs other than the 11  cities already selected  can take part in the competition.

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