“The design solutions suggested are customised for Nashik’s streets—and they’ve come from the city’s youngsters no less!” Mrs. Himgauri Adke, the Chairperson of the Nashik Standing Committee.
Whom does the road belong to? This question formed the foundation of a public exhibition held in Nashik for a week from 13th April. The open-air exhibition explored the need to design streets that cater to all roads users, yet focusing on pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport commuters. Pedestrians and cyclists remain the most vulnerable road users and suffer severe consequences in road accidents since they are unprotected against the speed of vehicles and poor quality of infrastructure.
ITDP, in partnership with students of Nashik District Maratha Vidya Prasarak Samaj’s College of Architecture (also known as NDMVP) and Nashik First Foundation, a local NGO, organised the exhibition. The exhibition was based on a year-long collaboration with the students on designing safer streets for the people of Nashik. Lokmat, a leading local newspaper, was the media partner for the event.
Students of NDMVP explaining their street design proposals to citizens
The response to the exhibition was positive! The introduction of concepts like “more parking induces more traffic” proved to be thought-provoking for passersby. A major highlight of the event was the visit of the Chairperson of the Nashik Standing Committee, Mrs Himgauri Adke, who was enthusiastic about the students’ proposal and showed keen interest in understanding modern street design concepts!
Nashik Standing Committee chairperson, Mrs Adke, and BJP City President Mrs Naidu visited the exhibition on April 18
ITDP collaborated with the students of NDMVP in 2017, over two semesters, to conceptualise and redesign the streets of Nashik, within a particular study area. Each group also suggested a PT-NMT network plan for the study area, based on their vision of mobility in the area.The redesign focused on changing the way people experienced life on streets—a playground for kids, walkers, cyclists and all other users. The proposed designs formed basis for the exhibition, to develop awareness amongst citizens and decision-makers in the city. The proposals of the NDMVP architecture students emphasised on the following, based on the Better Streets, Better Cities Manual by ITDP:
- Allocating road space for pedestrians, bus stops, cycle tracks, street utilities, landscape, parking – in that order;
- Designing safe at-grade crossing opportunities on streets with traffic-calming elements;
- Implementing efficient Mass Rapid Transit solutions like Bus Rapid Transit (also known as BRT) on mobility corridors.
Students discussing their conceptual work prior to the exhibition
Even if rapid motorisation plagues Nashik, the exhibition has shown that innovation and resourcefulness toward sustainable urban transport is not scarce in the city. The spirited preparation of the event and the committed response it has received indicate that Nashik is on its way to truly becoming ‘a city for its people!’
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