Data and Decision Making for Transportation

India’s transport sector is large and diverse, it caters to the transport needs of 1.1 billion people (IIHS, 2015). The absence of a database with scientific management and analysis of urban transport statistics has severely constrained the ability to formulate sound urban transport plans and reliably assess the impact of the different projects carried out in the cities (IIHS, 2015; Ahluwalia, 2011; Agarwal, 2006).

As Indian cities implement information technology services (ITS) to improve transportation planning and operations in urban areas through programmes such as the national Smart City Mission, there is a opportunity to address the following:

  • Establishing standard for data collection and management across various transportation systems
  • Standardised automatic data collection systems across transit systems in conjunction with ITS
  • Coordination and integration of data collected by multiple agencies and in multiple formats
  • Maintenance of regular up to date data for larger policy and planning functions
  • Open data for the research community and to drive innovation in tech solutions
  • Building a legal framework to guide data collection and sharing
  • Protection of transit users’ privacy

Automated Data Collection System is an IT based data collection system that can be used to gather data about transportation services and facilities. Its key components are (Wilson, 2011):

  1. Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVL)
  2. Automatic Passenger Counting Systems (APC)
  3. Automatic Fare Collection System (AFC)

ADCS are important for collecting big data, as the use of technology enables data collection at a high speed and large volume. Such data can be used for (TfL,2014):

  • Asset Maintenance
  • Road Traffic Management
  • Informing users’ decisions
  • Management of public transport services

Cities across the world already implement the system at different scales and in different operations to make the system more efficient. Notably, Transport for London (TfL) uses big data from ADCS to manage its road traffic and parking management.

Parking and Data
Data collected through for parking through the use of IT tools helps with the following (Gowd, 2015)

Efficiency Management

  • Big data can help predict capacity patterns, enabling deployment of appropriate resources.
  • Data on capacity patterns allow the city to adjust rate structures and maximum time stays which benefits both motorists and retailers/businesses

Revenue Management

  • Using revenue trends and variations in revenue cycles to program variables like maximum parking time, rates, and enforcement hour
  • Occupancy trend versus paid parking spaces to help the city increase its revenue

Parking Metre Management

  • Real-time metre status and faults, in combination with data on past trends can help metre maintenance personnel mitigate device failure risks, thus reducing impact to capacity and revenue
  • Collecting and analysing user key strokes can help a city to understand metre user interface navigation patterns while power consumption data based on location can reduce failures.

Smart Parking for London Underground – TfL

In order to better  understand the parking use of London Underground’s 61 car parks (with about 10,000 spaces), TfL introduced smart parking technology to provide real-time information accessible through smartphones and satnav devices, allowing commuters to better plan their journeys and make informed choices about how, where and when they travel (Smart Parking Ltd).

  • This involved use of SmartEye – a vehicle detection sensor connected to SmartRep – a parking management software using SmartLink data transmitters across 28 of the car parks.
  • TfL then shares the occupancy data collected through the sensors through a dynamic feed, informing the public about the availability of parking spaces.
  • Smart Parking data is available free of charge at http://tfl.gov.uk/developers and is used by nearly 500 third party apps, helping visitors to plan their travel (Smart Parking Ltd).

Traffic Management and Data

Traffic management is the planning, monitoring and control or influencing of traffic. It aims to:

  • maximise the effectiveness of the use of existing infrastructure;
  • ensure reliable and safe operation of transport;
  • address environmental goals; and
  • ensure fair allocation of infrastructure space (road space, rail slots, etc.) among competing users

The solutions for managing traffic can include:

  • Traffic Signal Monitoring and Management System: for real time measurement, analysis and adjustment of the signal to improve traffic flow
  • Fixed Sensors such as CCTV/Traffic Cameras to monitor traffic, particularly to track congestion and traffic. They include loop detectors (detecting vehicles passing a certain point – such as a traffic signal)
  • Mobile Sensors such as GPS/Mobile phone/Dashboard Camera to collect Floating Vehicle Data(FVD), which can be used to determine speed, location and direction of travel. Crowd sourced data from social networking sites is also useful, particularly in case of accidents or other emergencies.
  • Freeway electronic message signs for information dissemination to the users (for speed management, ramp metering and tactical management of traffic)

Urban Traffic Management in UK

The Highways Agency (HA) uses road sensors to collect data on traffic flows and GPS data to estimate journey time. It has been using techniques such as self-regulating co-ordinated traffic lights, traffic cameras and variable-message signs to reduce traffic delay and congestion for decades. Now, it has begun to use big data in order to gain insights into traffic patterns. Its National Traffic Information Service collects data and provides real-time traffic information through media channels and through the data.gov.uk website. Private companies, such as Inrix and TomTom, also use the data collected through vehicle fleets to gather information on traffic flows and delays.

JamCams

Transport for London (TfL) also uses a “JamCam” system to provide nearly live video clips from all existing cameras. The videos give a better indication of the actual traffic flow compared to static images. Each clip is five seconds long, and encoded using H.264 at the same resolution as the static JamCam images.

Both the examples illustrate use of the data for:

  • Immediate information sharing for the users of the system such availability of parking
  • Efficient processes and ease of accessibility, for example online payment of parking fees, reservation of parking space online, etc.
  •  Long term planning and decision making for the administrators based on analysis of trends, for example prediction of parking requirements based on use trends

Initiatives @ CIDCO

CIDCO is also implementing Traffic Management System and Smart Parking as part of CIDCO Smart City (South). The Traffic Management System includes – Area Traffic Control, which will include real time traffic monitoring, traffic surveillance, synchronised signalling and loop detection. Smart Parking will be implemented at 17 locations. It will include sensor based occupancy detection and real time information dissemination about parking availability through website and mobile based applications. Parking payment will also be managed through these medium.

Read More

Reimagining the approach to TOD

NIUA studied various projects proposed by cities in their Smart City Plans with the help of MoUD’S TOD Guidance Document. This was part of a research on TOD in Indian Smart Cities conducted with the support of Prosperity Fund, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government of UK. It purpose is to support cities in Round 2 and Round 3 of the Indian Smart Cities Mission who have proposed or plan to propose Transit Oriented Development in their Area Based Development. It provides a decision making framework for these cities. MoUD’s Guidance Document for TOD presents 21 Principles for planning and implementing a Transit Oriented Development. To simplify the discussion, the study proposed use of 5 constructs of Design, Density, Diversity, Mobility and Housing. They are a modified version of the 3Ds of Design, Density and Diversity. These five constructs were then mapped against the 12 guiding principles from MoUD’s Guidance Document. This exercise resulted in a baseline or ‘ideal’ weights for each f the constructs. The mapping is based on the Components enumerated by MoUD under each of the Principle. Next, the framework is used to understand a city’s approach to implementation of a TOD in three parts:

1. Compatibility of projects and policies: Listing and mapping all the projects proposed by the city against the 21 principles. This is similar to the process of mapping the principles against the constructs. It allows us to identify the constructs prioritized by the city based on the resultant weights. The process is shown in the illustration:


2. Urban Transformation: Estimating the change in the built form of the area selected for ABD. It estimates the additional built up area required to accommodate the additional population that will make the proposed infrastructure investment financially sustainable. Taking city’s current population, growth rate and slum population, the framework estimates if additional interventions are required to stimulate population growth to achieve the desired population. The framework is also used to estimate the expected increase in real estate prices in the ABD using market prices of the land in the area.

3. City’s Finances: The approach for assessing the financial sustainability comprised the following:Analyse the past trends in terms of various components of revenue and capital income and expenditure. It is assumed that business as

  • Analyse the past trends in terms of various components of revenue and capital income and expenditure. It is assumed that business as usual situation would follow similar trends.
  • On a single entry basis, closing balance indicates the net of all cash flows. The investments proposed for TOD projects are superimposed on the existing financials and compared in relation to the prevailing composition of municipal finances. This involves comparing quantum of investment in relation to those generated in the past.

The study looked at four cities in detail, mapping each of its projects against the 21 principles to obtain the resultant weights and thus, the construct prioritized by each city. The exercise illustrates how a city can leverage TOD to address its specific issues. It also helps identify areas that a city can focus on, as it moves forward with the implementation of the TOD.

This framework provides a platform for city managers and policy makers to have a quick understanding of how their projects compare against TOD principles in the Indian context. While the application of these principles has been demonstrated for two cities, this framework has potential to be developed as a tool to provide insights to city managers and policy makers to delve deep into granular elements of the process.

Read More

Women’s Safety Audits

Fear of possible violence shapes women’s ability to use public spaces, defines their comfort levels, and compromises their sense of freedom and inclusion in the city (Viswanath & Basu, 2015). Recent global prevalence figures indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime (WHO, 2016). Sexual violence and harassment happens on streets, in and around public transportation, schools and workplaces, water distribution sites, public toilets, and parks in urban, rural, and conflict/ post-conflict settings (UN Women, 2016). Addressing these factors is not about implementing criminal laws but about establishing adequate measures to improve the safety of women (Bhattacharya, 2016). A fundamental step in this process is to accurately identify the prevalence and nature of the problem (Blumenthal, 2014), to identify the factors that affect the ‘feeling of safety’. Measuring this ‘feeling of safety’ to make public spaces inclusive and safe for marginalized groups is key to the issue. Women’s safety audits are used to do this assessment through active public participation in data collection and decision making. It can been defined as ‘a process which brings individuals together to walk through a physical environment, evaluate how safe it feels to them, identify ways to make the space safer and organize to bring about these changes’ (Whitzman, Shaw, Travers, & Kathryn, 2009; WACAV, 1993).

Women’s safety audits were first developed in Canada in the late 20th century by Toronto’s Metro Action Committee on Public Violence Against Women and Children in order to mitigate violence against women in the city with the support of local community. The method has since been adapted and used across the globe, leveraging local ‘expertise’ to make neighbourhoods safer. Women’s safety audit is a dynamic participatory concept that exists in a constant state of modification and improvement (Women in Cities International, 2008). It’s strength lies in the participatory nature. It supports and legitimizes the use of women’s first hand accounts and knowledge in municipal decision-making. To conduct a safety audit, a group of women users of a particular urban or community space walk around that space and using a checklist, they note the factors that make them feel unsafe or safe in that space. The original women’s safety audit checklist included 15 categories, including lighting, sightlines (seeing what is ahead and around), entrapment spots, signage and maintenance. Next, recommendations are formulated, organized and prioritized to bring about the improvements to the neighbourhood, notabl by entering into a dialogue process with the local government and other key actors (for example, local development agency private land owners, police) (Whitzman, Shaw, Travers, & Kathryn, 2009; METRAC, 1989). Cities across the world use Women’s Safety Audits as a tool of improving neighbourhoods and as a means of empowering local communities. Cities have conducted safety audits under UN Women’s Flagship initiative Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces. In India, Jagori in New Delhi and PUKAR in Mumbai have been conducting safety audits. Jagori launched the Safe Delhi Campaign in 2005 to bring into public focus the issue of women’s safety. In 2010, it published a handbook on conducting women’s safety audits, outlining every step and the stakeholders involved at different levels. Unfortunately, so far success of gender based safety audits in India has been limited and they are often turned into a publicity tools by local governments, failing to result in positive change on ground. In these cases, the audit recommendations are quickly forgott about once the initial act has occurred and public attention has waned. (Women in Cities International, 2009) (Jagori, 2008) (Wekerle, 2005).

With greater access to internet and mobiles, there is an opportunity for widening the scope of engagement with women from different walks of life. Safety audits have now been built into mobile based applications that can be used by anyone with a smart phone or a tablet, recording their experience and crowd-sourcing information about status of infrastructure. Safetipin is one such mobile based app. It collects data about the situation of public places in the city on a set of nine parameters – lighting, openness, visibility, security and other factors. This data is available in multiple forms including maps, reports, csv files which can support urban stakeholders to take important urban planning and monitoring decisions, including deployment of limited resources for lighting, security, CCTVs, public transport at night (Safetipin). In Delhi Safetipin’s data is being used by Delhi police and PWD to improve lighting in public spaces. It is also being used to assess bus stops and metro stations in the city. Globally, there are several similar applications in place. They include Streetscore, Harassmap, Safetipin and Crowdspot.

Read More

Gender Mainstreaming in Housing

Summary of ‘Does the Domestic Space belong to Women’ published in TRIA International Journal of Urban Planning (Vol. 9, no. 1), Written by Rewa Marathe and Suzana Jacob

Households in the cultural context of a patriarchal society such as India, are primarily headed by men. The reason why a female heads a household is not a result of improving the social and economic status of women—it is unlikely that a woman will be considered the head of the household in the presence of her husband. It is mostly because there is no alternative (Masoodi, 2015). And while they are not considered the natural heads of the household, the house remains at the heart of women’s lives. It is where they spend most of their time, look after their family and children and even run businesses. In such a conflicting scenario of ownership and belonging to the house, it is essential to question our housing policies, building, and property ownership regulations for their adequacy of providing safety and security to the women.

Need for Gender Sensitive Planning

According to the 2011 Census, about 27 million households in India (11% of total households in the country), are headed by women. Still, the socio-cultural system places women as an outsider in their own family – the one who will marry and leave her parents’ house for her husband – and as the outsider in their husband’s house who came into the family through marriage. House is a workplace for the caregiver. In the current Indian context, this is primarily women. Safe and affordable housing for women is a key to combating urban poverty (Khosla). Women’s participation in housing usually begins where the housing project ends – in the maintenance of housing stock
(Fernando, 1985). Women and men differ in their roles, needs, and perceptions regarding housing and conscious efforts to address both their views lead to better project design and performance. Gender sensitive planning is therefore of great value.

Gender & Housing in India

The paper looks at policy, legislation, finance and design & construction processes within the housing sector in India to put together a broad understanding of the gaps in identifying and addressing issues critical to the subject. It recognises the following challenges:

  • Need of attention to the language used in describing gender
  • Little recognition of household management as ‘work’
  • Lack of attention to the needs of home-based businesses
  • Existing gaps & social stigma about female-headed households
  • Need for higher property ownership among women
  • Need for attention towards victims of domestic abuse and the limitations resulting from congruent lack of property ownership
  • Gaps in access to finance & homeownership – legal and social
  • Little attention to non-conventional familial structures/ units
  • Necessity of greater focus on women within the structure of housing schemes for poor
  • Dependence on women for bridging service delivery gaps
  • Need for larger participation of women in the design and planning process (which are both male-dominated professions)

The paper also highlights critical progress that has been made in the recent years

  • Government of India has developed a Draft National Policy for Women which articulates a vision for women empowerment. The policy looks at enabling environments such as housing and shelter, drinking water and sanitation, social security and infrastructure among others.
  • The recent Pradhan Manthri Avas Yojana (PMAY) supports the construction of affordable houses for the homeless with basic civic infrastructure and mandates its registration in the name of a woman in the family. Further, allocation of houses to beneficiaries is through a transparent process using an online portal.
  • Under the new urban agenda, issues of displacement during slum rehabilitation programmes are addressed by making in-situ redevelopment a condition for national programme funds (in PMAY).

These policies and programmes will help create an environment that will empower and enable women to access housing. But its success will depend on the large-scale engagement of women, deliberate and sincere efforts from public agencies, and collaboration and shared vision of various stakeholders including public, private and civil society organisations, that is supported by a strategic theme of gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming can begin with the simplest of interventions, as is seen in the case of the City of Montreal, where METRAC developed the system of gender-based safety audits and the City of Vienna, which adopted gender mainstreaming as a cross-cutting strategy for the whole municipality by establishing an Office of Gender Mainstreaming. While individual women have and will continue to make incredible strides, women as a class will not fully achieve social, economic, and political equality until responsibility for the care of society’s dependents becomes consistent with participation in public life (Silbaugh, 2007). Adopting Gender Mainstreaming in India’s housing policies will provide equal opportunities for everyone. It will enable equitable distribution of resources, developing a system which is more sensitive to the needs of the society and leads to greater transparency due to a wider engagement with the members of the society at different stages of the planning processes.

Read More

LinkNYC Free Wi Fi Kiosks in New York

LinkNYC is a first-of-its-kind communications network that will replace over 7,500 pay phones across the New York City with new structures called Links. LinkNYC is completely free because it’s funded through advertising. It is expected to generate more than a half billion dollars in revenue for New York City. 

LinkNYC launched in January 2016 and is currently in its beta phase, giving New Yorkers an early opportunity to try out Link’s features and provide feedback. Additional apps and services will be rolled out on an ongoing basis over the next several years.
Currently it provides:

1. LinkNYC’s super fast, free Wi-Fi to connect personal devices
2. Access to city services, maps and directions
3. Free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S. with the Vonage calling app on the tablet or the tactile keypad, microphone and headphone jack
4. Dedicated red 911 button in the event of an emergency
5. USB port to charge devices
6. ADA-compliant (universally accessible) design with low ground coverage, leaving space on the sidewalk as compared to a conventional phone booth
7. Public service announcements and advertising on two 55” HD displays

In 2014 the de Blasio Administration issued a competitive RFP to repurpose payphone infrastructure with free Wi-Fi, phone calls and advertising. The CityBridge proposal for LinkNYC was chosen for its innovative and community-first approach and was
awarded the 12-year franchise. CityBridge is a consortium of experts in technology, media, user experience and connectivity that includes Intersection, Qualcomm and CIVIQ Smartscapes. The kiosk was designed by Antenna Design.

The initiative will deploy a total of 7,500 Links throughout the city over the next eight years. At no cost to the city or taxpayers, CityBridge, the consortium behind the project, is investing $200 million in building the LinkNYC network (Kleiman, 2016).

Through advertising, LinkNYC comes at zero cost to taxpayers. LinkNYC will generate at least $500 million in revenue for the City over the next 12 years and CityBridge will use revenues to maintain and improve the service; the city and CityBridge will split revenues 50/50 (Kleiman, 2016).

Issues with the deployment of the kiosks:
• User data theft by cyber criminals
• People who linger next to it for hours, monopolising it and blocking the sidewalk
• Use of kiosk for other criminal activities and communication

In order to address the issue, in September 2016, the internet browsing facility was disabled on the kiosk screens, with the exception of websites that provide government services, Wi-Fi phone calls and the city’s 311 complaint centre and 911. As of October 2016, LinkNYC Kiosks can also be used for registering to vote. Hi-Speed Wi-Fi for use on personal devices is still in place.

Technology
The Kiosks use Ruckus Wireless’ Wi-Fi technology. It is enabled by Qualcomm’s Vive 802.11 AC Wave 4×4 Chipsets. They use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and the Adreno 320 Graphic Processing unit. Qualcomm will provide maintenance for the rest of the service lives of the Kiosks and upgrade to the software is expected in 2022 (Shah, 2016). Qualcomm has provided some of the technologies for the Links, which are designed so the networking equipment, processor, tablet and other components can be regularly swapped out and upgraded (Shah, 2016).

“LinkNYC is our response to some of the most pressing challenges facing New York City—and cities around the world—today. How can we provide greater access and connectivity without costing taxpayers a dime? How can we address the digital divide, where more than 25 percent of New Yorkers lack broadband access at home? The single largest opportunity when it comes to this project is its sheer scale and ability to benefit millions of people every day. In addition to more than 8.5 million New Yorkers, we’re also serving 56 million visitors from around the world. Our objective is to ensure LinkNYC creates real value for these diverse populations. LinkNYC is about reimagining the public-private partnership model to bring the incredible innovation of the digital world into our physical streetscape, providing value to New York City with a state-of-the-art new communications network.” – Dave Etherington of CityBridge (Kleiman, 2016)

Read More

Training Policy for CIDCO

CIDCO was formed under the mandate to develop the new city of Navi Mumbai to decongest Mumbai. Having achieved the mandate, CIDCO is now entrusted to drive growth investments into the region. This role necessitates CIDCO’s planners, engineers, architects, economists, development specialists, land specialists to learn about, to apply and to evolve the emerging concepts in urban planning; concepts that extend beyond basic infrastructure provision. The existing problem of shortage of human resources of adequate skills in urban planning and management in Indian cities makes it doubly necessary for existing staff to assimilate new subjects into their existing knowledge domains and co-create solutions.

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India draws attention to the need for capacity building by making it an integral part of the missions initiated by the Government of India. Various Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country are improving their institutional capacities under the ambit of these missions. Development agencies such as CIDCO by the very nature of their work and for reasons of self-sufficiency do not qualify for direct funding of capacity building under these missions.

CIDCO has therefore undertaken independent measures towards capacity building. Under the CIDCO Smart City Plan, ‘Smart Organisation’ is one vertical that deals with building capacities of the organisation and its employees. The NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab was formed to develop capacity building and knowledge documentation programs on Smart Cities. An exercise conducted by the team to highlight issues that acted as barriers to knowledge production and sharing revealed that 60% of the top 5 and 70% of the top 10 issues related to training, career and talent management and lack of exposure to global practices.

Over the two years 2015-2016, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab have identified training programs, workshops and institutes, both global and national that will help enhance the knowledge levels for technical personnel in CIDCO. Concurrently, YASHADA has delivered training sessions to Class III and Class IV employees. Additional training has been provided for Project Affected Persons (PAPs) for low skilled employment. But, the results have been marginal in terms of sheer number of trainings identified and the actual number of employees sent for trainings, especially in the higher cadre (Class I and Class II) employees. Moreover, no tracking mechanism currently exists for evaluation of these trainings. To institutionalise and provide a systematic strategy, the NIUA- CIDCO Smart City Lab prepared a draft training policy in consultation with CIDCO, which is now being revised before adoption. The draft policy is structured into three modules- recipients of training, mechanisms and delivery institutions, and supporting ecosystem. Key highlights of the draft policy within these modules are as under.

Recipients of training

  • Training becomes a mandatory part of employee policy for CIDCO.
  • The minimum duration of training for every employee is  5 days every two years and maximum of 15 days every three years (excluding e-learning).
  • Employees will be eligible for various types of trainings depending on the skills and the nature of tasks assigned to the employee and not on the rank/seniority of the employees.
  • Submitting feedback and knowledge sharing after having attended training is mandatory.

Mechanisms and Delivery institutions

  • Mechanisms for training will include on-site training (at CIDCO), off-site training and e-learning.
  • Various types of training will include technical, managerial, behavioral and induction
  • The CIDCO Smart City Lab will identify delivery institutions and develop relationships with them continually through Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • Off-site training and on-site training will be delivered by technical and policy training institutes such as Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS), Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Indian Institute of Technology’s (IITs), Indian School of Business (ISB), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) etc.
  • Course providers such as Coursera (www.coursera.org), Edx (www.edx.org), World Bank (www.einstitute.worldbank.org), United Nations (www.unitar.org/event/elearning e- learning), Asian Development Bank (www.myelearn.org) etc. are identified initially for e-learning.

Supporting ecosystem

  • A training cell set up at CIDCO will coordinate all capacity buildings initiatives including identification of training, participation in training and gathering feedback.
  • An online training portal will be developed that will host all activities regarding training including training calendar and employee training profiles. Employees will be able to apply for trainings on this portal.
  • A dedicated annual budget will be allotted capacity building.

This draft policy deals with the capacity building within CIDCO and excludes the efforts needed to develop capacities within the communities that CIDCO works with. It is but hoped that the augmentation of global knowledge within CIDCO staff will translate directly into more effective working within and outside the organisation.

 

 

Read More

Research on Transit Oriented Development in Indian Smart Cities (https://tod.niua.org)

Rapid economic development in globalised India has led to an immense pressure on the urban infrastructure of the country. With an ever growing population, the country needs to manage its growth through a strategic approach and sustainable practices that encourage efficiency in land use and transportation. Given the large scale of investments underway across hundreds of Indian cities under a variety of national urban development schemes and missions, there is an opportunity to enhance and redirect the planning practices at the city level in India, leading to an integration between land use and transportation.

The Smart Cities Mission attempts to do so by encouraging the cities to adopt a strategic approach to planning and by advocating for implementation of Transit Oriented Developments. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) can be used effectively to create high density, compact neighbourhoods supported by public transit, to reduce the dependence on private vehicles and the resulting pollution and congestion. So far, 60 cities have already been selected under the Smart Cities Mission and their Smart City Plans are currently being implemented. Out of these 60 cities, 41 illustrate transit oriented development or land-use-transportation integration. To support this nation-wide effort in the implementation of TODs, the Ministry of Urban Development recently published a Guidance Document for planning and implementing a TOD in an Indian city. Its purpose is to assist various government organisations, public authorities and development professionals in India, in the process of integrating sustainable transport planning principles in diverse urban contexts. The document outlines 12 guiding principles and 9 supportive principles essential for the successful implementation of a TOD. It is meant to be used to evaluate the implementation of projects under the Smart City Mission. However, there are several limitations to this:

  • One year long gap between preparation of the Smart City Mission Guidelines and publication of the Guidance Document.
  • The Guidance Document presents a technical approach to planning and implementing TOD according to the needs of each city; whereas the Guidelines for the SmartCities Mission recommends a broader city level strategic approach, where TOD is one of the possible solutions. This limits the use of MoUD’s Guidance Document in assessing the SCPs.
  • The Guidance Document recommends identification of scale and site of a TOD based on the availability of resources and enabling environment. Site selection and selection of TOD as an approach in the Smart City Mission depends on the availability of suitable land and expert opinion and citizen engagement.

To overcome these limitations and to use MoUD’s Guidance Document in the assessment of the SCPs, it is important to first identify where the TOD planning and implementation process recommended under each of these two approaches aligns. In February 2017, NIUA released the publication titled “A Smart(er) TOD” in an attempt to do so.

The document was produced as a deliverable for the TOD in Indian Smart Cities project, conducted with the aid of the Prosperity Fund, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government of UK. It is one of four documents published over the course of the research. The other three other publications from the study are:

  • Transit Oriented Development in Indian Smart Cities – a Global Review of Best Practices: outlines the five constructs of a TOD – Density, Diversity, Design, Mobility and Affordable Housing
  • Game Changers in TOD: Discusses Value Capture Finance and Form Based Codes
  • Assessing TOD: Presents a list of indicators and values for assessing a TOD

A Smart(er) TOD proposes a method for assessing individual TOD projects incorporated in SCPs of various cities, using the recommendations of MoUD’s TOD Guidance Document.

  • It begins with a description of the proposed method for this and the various documents required.
  • Next, it maps the relationship between the five constructs of TOD presented in the Best Practices document and the Principles outlined by MoUD’s Guidance Document.
  • Finally, it illustrates the application of the proposed method through analysis of SCPs from 21 cities. It also presents a list of TOD projects from these 21 cities, along with their project budget.

The publication was produced with the purpose of providing support to Indian cities, within or outside the Smart City Mission. It particularly aims to help:

  • Cities which have proposed TOD/land-use-transportation integration in the Light House, Fast Track or Round 2: to support the preparation of their Detailed Project Report (DPR) for proposed projects in their Smart City Plans. For example, if a city has proposed a project for building Non Motorised Transport
    (NMT) infrastructure within the TOD, this study will help identify the various interventions that should be a part of the project beyond the creation of segregated cycle tracks, such as designing intersections and reducing the spacing streets or ize of block to reduce trip lengths. Inclusion of such details in the DPR will increase chance of success and improve in the quality of life for the citizens.
  • Cities which have not proposed TOD in the Light House, Fast Track or Round 2: it is observed that cities have without TOD still have a significant number of their projects are geared towards enhancement of transportation and housing. The results of this study will provide them with an overview of interventions that  should be a part of such projects.
  • Cities which are participating in the next round: to support the preparation of their Smart City Proposals and selection of projects if they identify TOD as a relevant strategy.

The publication is available to view on tod.niua.org, along with the other deliverables from the project.

Mapping MoUD Principles to TOD Constructs

 

Read More

Smart London Plan

London’s technology market worth GBP 19 billion is the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It has over 40,000 digital businesses and 200,000 employees. The Smart London Plan was published in 2013 to leverage this market to improve the experience of London for everyone. Set within the overarching framework of the Mayor’s 2020 vision, the Smart London Plan looked forward to new approaches that digital technology can bring to support London’s future growth. The Plan was prepared by Smart London Board formed in 2013 under the Mayor of London. The Plan focused on actions that were to be undertaken between 2013 and the end of the Mayoral term in 2016.

The Smart London Plan leverages on London’s innovation lead to drive change with further investment in technology and data to offer Londoners better services; create efficient savings; and lead improvements in enterprise, skills and training, infrastructure and environment, health and well being and transport in London. The term ‘smart city’ means different things to different people. Smart London is about how London as a whole functions as a result of the interplay between its ‘systems’ – from local labour markets to financial markets, from local government to education, healthcare, transportation and utilities. The objective of the Plan was to create an ecosystem where the linkages between these different systems are better understood, where digital technology is used to better integrate these different systems, and London as a whole works more efficiently. The Smart London Venn diagram illustrates the starting approach of the Plan that put Londoners at the core – driven by the principles of openness, collaboration, innovation and engagement.

The Smart London Plan identified three opportunity areas for using innovations and advancements in digital technology.

  • To engage citizens- by focussing on inclusive digital engagement and improving digital skills for all.
  • To enable good growth- by building resilient digital infrastructure, making more data available and investing in innovation.
  • To work with businesses- by breaking down boundaries, supporting common standards and smarter regulations, and scaling-up innovation.

Seven aims in of the Smart London Plan targeted these opportunity areas.

  1. The Plan placed Londoner’s at the core by seeking citizen opinion of what a “Smart London” should look like, and deliver. Using digital and offline tools, the plan strategised citizen engagement that is inclusive.
  2. The Plan promoted open data, such that relevant data on demand, consumption, services and operations is made available for public. The plan encouraged public and private organisations to open their data and aggregate data sets and sensors networks across London into developer friendly platform.
  3. The Plan encouraged the energy and talent in London to solve the city’s challenges by hosting Innovation challenges, showcasing investment opportunities for global finance, and providing the necessary ecosystem for start-ups in the city to grow.
  4. The Plan brought together the innovation ecosystem created by various organisations including university led activities, corporate led activity, not for profit, public bodies and others in the city for a strategic collaboration to create real efficiencies across London to scale up successful projects.
  5. The Plan supported the use of data to identify and plan ‘opportunity areas’- localities and sectors for development. It supported digital solutions across city utilities such as water metering, solid waste management, traffic management, etc.
  6. The Plan identified the need for the city authorities to work in an integrated manner by sharing data and analytics and identifying strategic opportunities for applying data and technology for efficiency.
  7. The Plan harnessed digital technology to enhance the experience of London for all by investing in wireless networks and digital solutions such as journey planning, digital money etc.

The aims of the Plan was further enhanced with a set of milestones/ indicators to measure success. Some of these milestones/ indicators were measured at the end of the Mayoral term in 2016 and others, which will take longer to affect, measured later. The Smart London Plan was followed up with an update report – The Future of Smart in 2016, which provided the status of implementation of the strategies/ activities within the seven aims of the Smart London Plan. This report shared the supporting data and statistics for the progress till 2016 in each of the activities within the seven aims of the 2013 Smart London Plan. The Smart London Plan positions itself in synergy with the Mayors vision 2020 and provides inputs to Mayors Infrastructure Plan 2050. Mayor’s technology programmes in London are guided by the Smart London Plan. The plan hence functions as a digital overlay to the ongoing and proposed interventions/projects in the city.

Read More

CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 4 & Vol 3, issue 1) of its newsletter

CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 4 & Vol 3, issue 1) of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between October 2016 and March 2017. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart’ gives an insight into the work done by the CIDCO Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.

The combined issue showcases two objective areas- Inclusive Planning and Environmental Sustainability, and two projects of high impact- Urban Renewal Schemes and Passenger Water Transport Terminal, from the Smart City Plan of CIDCO in CIDCO Navi Mumbai (South). In the section on inclusive planning, a summary of a paper on Gender mainstreaming in housing submitted by members of CIDCO Smart City Lab team and an article on Women’s safety audit is discussed. The newsletter also presents initiatives at NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab which include research on transit-oriented development in Indian smart cities.

The section Smart City Corner features Smart London Plan, a conversation about Data and its role in transportation, and the emerging idea of Free public wi-fi with the case example of LinkNYC free wifi kiosks in New York.

The latest progress of the National Smart City Mission is also discussed in this issue.

The issue is available for download here- NL_LO

Read More

CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 2 & 3) of its newsletter

CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 2 & 3) of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between April 2016 and September 2016. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart’ gives an insight into the work done by the CIDCO Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.

The combined issue showcases two objective areas- Transit Oriented Development and Quality of Life and two projects of high impact- Urban Transport Terminals and Khandeshwar Railway Station Precinct, from the Smart City Plan of CIDCO in CIDCO Navi Mumbai (South). In the section on inclusive planning, the Child Friendly Smart Cities (CFSC) initiative at NIUA  is discussed. The newsletter also presents initiatives at NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab which include Value Capture methods for infrastructure financing.

The section Smart City Corner features Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in Curitiba, smart conversations about optimized urban density and enablers for TOD, bicycling in India and innovations by MIT Urban Risk Lab- a tool for improving housing diversity, and Valet EZ- a mobile based application that helps to find secure parking spots in your city.

The latest progress of the National Smart City Mission is also discussed in this issue.

The issue is available for download here

Read More