ITDP brings you news from around the world about sustainable transport and urban development. The past year was interesting, specially in India. Chennai’s NMT transformation, to Delhi’s odd-even car-restriction scheme, to Burdwan’s car-free days, change was in the air!
The Conference of Parties summit – popularly called COP21- held in Paris last December, saw the nations committing to maintain an increase in the world’s temperature at less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, ‘If we don’t hang together, assuredly, we shall hang separately”.
Transport accounts for a staggering 23 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions. There is NO WAY we can redress the situation without changing the way we travel. A large-scale, planned movement towards non-motorised, and public, transportation seems the only practicable way out. Let us see what Indian cities have been trying out, lately :
Chennai’s NMT transformation wins 2015 Sustainia Award
What does it take to change the way we travel? Chennai is asking, AND ANSWERING, this question! The city has adopted a progressive non-motorised transport (NMT) policy which in turn has led to redesigning of many city streets with safe, wide, and continuous footpaths. Add to this mix the city has initiated a technical training programme for the Corporation municipal engineers, introduced car-free Sundays, and the slogan, ‘Namma Chennai Namakke’ (Our Chennai is Ours), has already gone beyond empty rhetoric to something wonderful. These efforts won the City Corporation the global Sustainia 2015 award. Chennai is changing, and The Guardian reports,how.
Experts hail Delhi’s odd-even car restriction scheme
The Delhi Chief Minister’s introduction of the odd/even car-usage days has had a mixed response. Transport experts think this scheme has many benefits. While no one expects pollution to drop dramatically in just a few days, many think this is a good start. More discussions are possible, and should, hopefully, lead to something better. The Economic Times reports.
Burdwan’s car-free day clears 80 percent private vehicles from roads
So, the big cities, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, did it. Not to be left behind, Burdwan, a non-metro town in West Bengal, had a Tuesday which was car-free! The authorities, happy with the response, now want it to be a monthly event. The Indian Express reports.