Inspiring Indian cities to implement quick cycling-friendly interventions in the wake of COVID-19.
The India Cycles4Change Challenge is an initiative of the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to support Indian cities to implement cycling-friendly initiatives.
As COVID-19 brought our cities to a halt, citizens across India took to walking and cycling to access essentials and services, and even exercise. Leveraging this opportunity, the India Cycles4Change Challenge was launched to inspire Indian cities to work with their citizens and experts to implement permanent cycling-friendly infrastructure, embed institutional reforms, and build momentum for cycling. In Stage-01 of the Challenge, the cities will test pop-up lanes, traffic-calmed streets, safe intersections, and other low-cost and quick interventions. Through Stage-02, cities shall convert these temporary interventions into permanent infrastructure, and scale up across the city.
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) India is the Challenge co-host and coordinator.
Who can apply?
5 lakh+ population
Capital cities of states/UTs
Cities under the Smart Cities Mission
Why should cities apply ?
Through this Challenge, cities will be able to implement quick cycling interventions, with support from experts and citizens.
They will also receive guidance on how to create permanent interventions to encourage cycling in their cities.
The need for personalised forms of transport is expected to increase as a response to COVID-19. A recent survey by the ITDP India Programme shows that cycling would increase by 50-65 percent as cities come out of lockdown. This is corroborated by the actual response on the ground with a sudden spike in the use of cycles.
Cities around the world are leveraging this opportunity to expand their cycling networks and public bicycle-sharing systems. Paris is creating 650km of pop-up cycleways. Bogota and New York have expanded their cycle sharing systems and have offered subsidies to frontline workers. Bicycle-sharing systems in Beijing alone saw users rise by roughly 150%.
It is time for Indian cities to start creating a cycling-friendly environment to encourage people to use this clean and healthy mode of transport and ensure that people can access jobs, education, and essential services safely. Now, more than ever, cities must prioritise urban resilience through sustainable and equitable transport to overcome this current crisis and to be better poised to face the future.
ITDP India will provide ongoing remote assistance to cities to strategize campaigns, design and implement pilot interventions, and develop scale-up plans. The support includes:
- Hosting a series of online workshops with national and international experts for guiding cities through the Challenge milestones
- Connecting cities with local CSOs and design experts for assistance in design & implementation
- Facilitating peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing between cities
- Preparing and sharing relevant guides, templates, and knowledge materials
- Assisting cities with communication and outreach