Inspiring Indian cities to create walking-friendly streets through quick measures, in response to COVID-19

About

The Streets for People Challenge is an initiative of the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, to inspire cities to create walking-friendly streets through quick measures, in response to COVID-19. The Challenge will support cities across the country to develop a unified vision of Streets for People in consultation with stakeholders and citizens.

The Challenge aims to create flagship walking initiatives in cities, which focus on placemaking and liveability. Cities will be required to reimagine their streets as public spaces through the lens of economic regeneration, safety, and child-friendly interventions initiatives, in order to ensure a green recovery from COVID-19.

The India Programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) will be the knowledge partner, providing guidance through the preparation of resource material and facilitating online peer to peer learning workshops.

Who can apply?

Cities with 5 lakh+ population

Capital cities of states/UTs

Cities under the Smart Cities Mission

Why should cities apply ?

Through this challenge the cities will be able to create walking-friendly streets through quick measures with support from citizens and experts.

They will also receive guidance on how to create permanent interventions to reimagine streets as public places to make them safe and people-friendly.

Background

COVID-19 has presented the need for physical distancing while moving through the city and accessing essential services. Cities around the world, such as Bogota, Berlin, and Milan have responded by transforming streets for walking and cycling, to ensure safe mobility during COVID-19.

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of open public urban spaces for recreation, mental health, and to enhance the liveability of a city. By placing health and economic recovery at the core of their interventions, cities have reallocated streets for pedestrians, while also allowing local businesses to reopen safely. In New York, the Open Streets: Restaurants program has saved 80,000 jobs by allowing establishments to expand into sidewalks. A Transport for London report shows that improving streets for walking and cycling can increase retail sales by up to a staggering 30%.

The Streets for People Challenge builds on the advisory issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to all states/ cities/ municipal corporations that recommended holistic planning for pedestrian-friendly market spaces.

What can cities do ?

Support

The ITDP India Programme will provide ongoing remote assistance to the cities to strategize and implement pilots, develop and implement their scale-up plans. The support will include:

  • A series of online workshops with national and international experts to assist cities in developing and implementing their proposals
  • Connect cities with local CSOs and design experts for assistance in implementation
  • Facilitate brainstorming and peer-to-peer learning between cities
  • Share case studies of how such initiatives have been planned and implemented in Indian and global cities
  • Share other relevant knowledge materials to the cities
  • Assist cities with communication and outreach

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