Over a third of India’s population, roughly 471 million people, live in cities today. This accounts for approximately one-tenth of the world’s urban population. With a complete lockdown of cities and a massive disruption in urban mobility, the current COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially increased the challenges for the sustainable growth of this vibrant population and endangered the future of India’s urban spaces.
With a gradual reopening of Indian cities after multiple nationwide and local lockdowns, the need for sustainable, equitable, and inclusive recovery is paramount. Such a green recovery must prioritise active, sustainable, efficient, and inclusive modes of transport. The national government has taken steps to ensure a focus on sustainable transport. The Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched two national programmes—the India Cycles4Change Challenge and the Streets for People Challenge—to improve cycling and walking across the country.
The ITDP India Programme is the knowledge partner of the Smart Cities Mission to assist the Mission in conducting the challenges and guiding cities in developing and implementing their proposals. These challenges will create an ambitious vision for a sustainable transport future and guide cities to a green recovery from COVID-19.