Coherence of SDGs with Public Open Spaces: Targets, Actions and Benefits
Public spaces, the heart of urban areas, are the key part of building inclusive, healthy, functional and productive cities. They can act as strong tools in sustainable development by providing environmental, social, economic and health benefits to the city. Public Open Space help achieve safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable cities and have been identified as a specific target under the 11th SDG. The data sheet here represents the potential of public spaces to contribute to several sustainable development goals. The inner most circle in the wheel shows the SDGs related with public spaces. The middle circle represents the specific targets of the respective SDGs that can be achieved through public spaces development. The outermost circle shows the benefits on the basis of three categories of public spaces markets, open spaces and streets. The suggested actions to obtain these results are shown outside the wheel connected with the respective SDGs.
Sustainabledevelopment.un.org. (2019). SDGs .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. [online] Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].
Daniel, K. (2016). Public Spaces: A key tool to achieve the sustainable development goals. HealthBridge.
Urban agriculture as a concept is often employed to address social and environmental sustainability in cities. The activities involve producing, processing and distributing food and other agricultural products complimented by recreational, educational and social values additions. The importance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognized by international organizations like UN-Habitat and FAO. Urban Agriculture helps in:
Greening and cleaning of the city by turning derelict open spaces into green zones.
Productive reuse of urban wastes by turning them into a productive resource.
Contribution to Urban Ecology by improving microclimate and providing habitat to biodiversity.
Reduces the risk of groundwater pollution, while also sequestering carbon in the soil.
Reinventing the human relationship with nature through environmental awareness.
(2) Turning urban challenges into opportunities (Economic Sustainability)
UA is an exceptional public involvement based solution, which works as a complementary strategy to reduce urban poverty.
Create sufficient formal employment opportunities for the poor.
UA contributes to local economic development, poverty alleviation and social inclusion of the urban poor and women in particular.
(3) Functioning as a Platform for social integrity (Social Sustainability)
UA is a multitasking activity, which requires active and passive public participation at different stages for its success.
Contributes to Urban Food security and nutrition. Locally, seasonally grown food is richer in flavor and has more nutrients.
Communities involved in UA manifest higher social integrity as they work towards common good, which eventually bestow them with higher quality of life.
CIDCO’s Policy for lands below Transmission Line
To encourage public participation in land development and management, CIDCO in 1998 came up with a policy for allotment of land falling under Power Corridor (MSEB) and land falling under Service Corridor. Certain parcels of land under Right of Ways (RoW) for power transmission line cannot be termed as developable land as per the provisions of Navi Mumbai Disposal of Land Regulation, 1975 and have been disposed-off for its potential utilization. This innovative policy allows to utilize such underutilized land parcels on Leave and License basis for development of gardens/nurseries/farmlands at a nominal rent of Rs. 100/- per annum. It keeps these lands free from encroachment and develops greenery to create an ambience for recreational activities and relaxation. Moreover, transmission lines passing through the nodes make undevelopable and unaffordable urban land available for neighbourhood to cultivate. Total 168 plots were leased out to different communities/ trusts/societies, where Urban Agriculture and allied activities turned out to be most sustainable utilization.
This article discusses a pre-eminent example of urban agriculture on land below power transmission line in Navi Mumbai. This project works in line with the objectives of CIDCO’s policy and also serves a greater purpose of achieving environmental, economic and social sustainability at community level. The case studies are analysed on three aspects:
CASE STUDY – Agro Garden by CBD Residents’ Agro Society
Plot no. C-13 | Sector- 9 | CBD Belapur
CBD Resident’s Agro Society, a non-profit organization established as Citizen’s Effort for protection and conservation of sensitive eco-system came up with an idea to create a multipurpose public space on the foothills of Valley Park. This park is capable of inculcating community farming and gardening culture along with raising environmental sensitivity amongst the citizen. It also keeps the land clear from encroachment. The park covering nearly 1 Ha (9507 Sq.m.) barren patch of land falling under power transmission RoW is being transformed into a fertile terraced farm and garden.
The Agro Garden is broadly divided into 4 segments: Vegetable garden and Orchard, Butterfly Park and Botanical Garden, Senior Citizen Park and Children’s Playground. Rest of the peripheral area is kept intact with natural vegetation. Each segment serves a critical role in this sustainability model.
Image 1: Satellite image of Agro garden showing of Multi-purpose Segments
Activities like horticulture, agriculture, awareness drives, socio-cultural events and educational tours performed in the Agro garden creates activities and gives a local flavour to this transformed urban space. Through multiple uses of different segments and overall benefits gained through them safeguard the social, economic and environmental sustenance of the community.
Figure 1 – Activities in the four zones of the Agro Park and the economic model
Organic fruits and vegetables are produced in Vegetable Garden and Orchard; nature trails and informative walks are organized for children and nature lovers at Botanical Garden add meaning to spaces. Butterfly Park, Senior Citizen Park and Children’s Playground possesses multipurpose behaviour of space which apart from daily activities are suitable for cultural events too.
The garden balances the social activities and the revenue generation through its financial sustainability model. Moreover, the garden provides employment to the agricultural workers deployed in Agro Garden. The self-sustaining model of the Agro Garden reduces the load of financial contribution on the member residents, this makes it easier for them to voluntarily contribute towards development of the garden. The revenue is generated from educational tours, vegetables and fruits sales, renting spaces for socio-cultural events, entry fees, donations, etc. If the expenses for the year are not recovered, society members contribute the remaining amount for maintenance and development.
Figure 2: Model for recovery of expenditure
The actions to preserve the environmental sustainability works around four parameters, each of them having their own contribution, they are:
Land transformation: Habitat creation and restoration: Combined efforts has transformed this unfertile land into a fertile and productive resource. The botanical garden provides a favourable niche for the survival of rare species of plants. Successful habitat restoration for birds and reptiles has been done there. The botanical garden houses species of host and nectar plants, which provides food and shelter to almost 30 butterfly species. The butterfly park successfully contributes in habitat creation.
Composting: Urban waste management and manure production: Neighbourhood residents convert their household wet waste into compost and reduce load on municipal landfill.
Organic Farming: Reduce food footprint and provide healthier food: Cultivation of seasonal fruits and vegetables with organic farming techniques has been the most popular venture. Community farming in a city helps in reducing food footprint of a neighbourhood. To economize on water, the society has developed independent water source by digging a well and irrigation is done by means of sprinklers and drip irrigation.
Conservation Education: Environmental awareness and conservation, eco-tourism: Students, enthusiasts and researchers visit this garden to observe botanical wealth and butterfly lifecycle. It encourages environmental awareness and eco-tourism.Children, elders and educational trips promotes sensitivity towards conservation of natural heritage.
Image 2: Vegetable farming on stepped terrain
Image 3: Organic vegetables purchase by nearby residents
Environmental Awareness Programmes like Basant Utsav are organised by the Agro Society. These programs spread environmental awareness amongst citizens of Navi Mumbai through various workshops on topics like, eco-friendly domestic waste management, sheet mulching, vermi composting, bonsai, kitchen garden, snake protection and awareness, plant and flower show, nature trails, etc.
Public participation plays a vital role in Agro Park’s social sustainability initiatives. The public participation takes place on two levels explained here:
Passive Public Participationby contributing towards judicial use of the public space and enabling multipurpose use by bringing diverse population together: Events organized in Agro Garden attract people from different parts of the city, they come together mostly for learning and recreation. Community gatherings and social events serve dual purpose of revenue generation and social integrity. Within the garden, there is also a dedicated space for senior citizens.
Active Public Participation by:
Encouraging Functional Participation in groups to meet predetermined objectives related to a project after major decisions have been made.
Encouraging Interactive Participation in joint analysis, development of action plans, and formation or strengthening of local institutions.
Mobilizing Participation by taking initiatives independent of external institutions to change systems. They develop contacts with external institutions for resources and the technical advice they need, but retain control over how resources are used.
Image 4: Botany expert Dr. Bhagwat participating in one of the nature trails
The participation of public in decision-making and maintenance creates a sense of unity and responsibility towards community development and nurtures social integrity. Combining the multiple initiatives and citizens’ contribution together works forward in upgrading citizens’ quality of life.
Case-studies like these apprehend that urban agriculture is beyond growing the food; it also creates recreational, educational and employment opportunities to the urban population. It also contributes by using under-utilised lands below transmission lines. Urban agriculture solves dual purpose of environmental sustainability and enhancing quality of life of residents under Smart Cities initiative, it also addresses Smart City feature of preserving and developing open spaces in sustainable way. Surprisingly, some of the activities and features proposed in Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project report are already being practiced at Agro Garden and KKVP Nursery cum Information Centre by virtue of public interest.
For urban agriculture to flourish, public action groups seek encouragement and support from the local government. City’s municipal corporation and the planning authority can support citizen action groups through functional reforms such as assuring long-term tenure, performance based assessment and incentives, promotion of events and awareness programmes organized in such projects citywide. Encouragement can be sought by making more land resources available to the communities in neighbourhood with simplified procedure for lease application and renewal. Leasing the plots to citizen in adjacent neighbourhoods is beneficial as the accountability for maintenance and benefits enjoyed remains with the community.
Urban decision makers, often consider adaptive reuse of abandoned or formerly contaminated lands, such as former military bases, brownfields and landfills, while looking for more parkland for social, environmental or economic activities. These land uses provide the required land acreage in close proximity to urban settlements and play a role in establishing the identity of a sustainable city (Vogt, 2015). Around the world, landfill sites have been the focus of urban redevelopment projects as seen in Millennium Park in Boston, Slushing Meadows-Corona Park and Freshkills Park in New York City and World Cup Park in South Korea.
In Indian context, the Nisarg Udyan (Nature Park) in Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai is one of the better examples of urban space transformation project improving the quality of life of the residents. The park serves as a recreational space for the citizens as well as a safe niche for the bio-diversity. Spread over an area of 17 Ha, this park was a landfill until 1999. After 19 years, it has transformed into an appealing recreational space. This article further discusses the case study of Nisarg Udyan and its transformation process.
Figure 1: Layout of Nisarg Udyan at Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai
The transformation process
The transformation of this area initiated in order to address the grievances of the residential population near Koparkhairane landfill area. This initiative was in accordance to the instructions given by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and directives of the High Court (Ljiljana & Sanjay, 2012).
Scientific closure of this dumping ground containing 20 lakhs M.T garbage was completed by NMMC in 2008. A network of wells was laid to collect trapped landfill gas (LFG) and a flaring unit was installed at the site to burn the LFG. A leachate collection tank was also constructed to collect the leachate and treat it before disposal. Treated sewage water from the sewerage treatment plant is now being used for watering the lawn through a sprinkler system.
The development of the park happened in three phases:
Phase 1 – In the process of converting the open dump yard into a garden, grass layer of 22000 sq. mt. area was laid during 2013-2014.
Phase 2 – A jogging track was set up for the citizens residing in the nearby localities.
Phase 3 – Infrastructure like public convenience, pergolas, dedicated sitting areas and open gym were constructed.
Image 1: Before and after transformation of Nisarg Udyan. Source: NMMC Solid Waste Dept.
Value addition under TERI’s Eco-City Project
Navi Mumbai Eco-City Project was launched with a vision to develop Navi Mumbai as India’s first Eco City. It worked on the principles of sustainable development through implementing low carbon consumption strategies and appropriate utilization and conservation of natural resources. TERI WRC has signed MoU with NMMC in 2012 to set up projects under Eco-City Programme with focus on biodiversity conservation, green buildings, urban farming, energy and water conservation.
To create environmental awareness, 15 lecterns and 4 large boards were installed in Nisarg Udyan, having information about biodiversity in the locality such as birds, butterflies, sparrows and mangroves.
Image 2: Informative lecterns at Nisarg Udyan. Sources: Completion report of installation of Biodiversity panels and Lecterns at Nisarg Udyan, Koparkhairne, Navi Mumbai, TERI
What does the space offer?
The park offers scope for many activities and opportunities for ecological conservation, some of them are mentioned below:
Active and Passive Recreation
The park has ample spaces for active and passive recreation. The active spaces include uninterrupted pathways, long spread lawns, open air gymnasium, indoor recreation arena, etc. People regardless of their age or gender use the space for jogging, morning/evening walks, yoga, sports, etc. Passive spaces like covered (Pergolas) and non-covered sit outs are popular amongst elders. Emphasis on providing infrastructure like clean public toilet, storm water drainage and providing adequate lighting is taken.
Image 3, 4, 5 & 6: Different cases of Citizens engaged in different activities
Niche for Biodiversity
Natural vegetation (mangroves and mangrove associates) around landscaped area houses several resident and migratory bird species such as Egrets, Yellow Wagtail, Brown Shrike, Black Drongo, Red Munia, Prinias, etc. The park provides grassland, woody and wetland habitat for other species like Jackals as well.
Image 7: congregation of Little Egrets in Nature Park
To tackle the challenge of maintaining such a large area, reuse of treated water is implemented assuring environmental sustainability. As per NMMC, 205 MLD sewage undergoes treatment every day and discharges 202 MLD treated water into the sea. Around 2 MLD treated water from the adjacent STP is used for irrigation in Nisarg Udayan (The Indian Express, 2018).
The impact analysis of Nisarg Udyan was done on similar lines of Day’s Sequential Model of Decision Making (1992). The model (also known as AIDA: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) is often used in marketing to describe the steps a customer takes in the process of purchasing a product. According to the four steps of AIDA:
A person first acquires information about the place
He/She develops interest
The person develops a desire to visit and
Finally takes an action, i.e. visiting the park.
Similar to the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1985), AIDA model provides framework for understanding phases of cognitive process that simulates behavioural reactions. A similar study was also done by Vogt, et al. (2015) to assess the success of Freshkills Park, New York. They examined the impacts of proximity and experience with the local history.
Figure 2: Sequential Model of Decision Making. Source – AIDA
On similar lines, responses of residents to the transformation of Nisarg Udyan were assessed. It was found that responses about the space before the transformation were only negative, owing to the foul smell, pollution and the unhygienic surroundings. Only after 2008, when the residents realized (attention) that the transformation process has been completed, they developed an interest to witness the difference. Influenced by the quality of transformed space and its benefits, they developed a desire to visit again. After being familiar, they indulged in healthy actions at the park as a part of their daily routine.
This park is a good example of creating a productive land use out of underutilized land. Proximity plays an important role here, since the group of people who once complained about the waste dump-yard gained maximum benefits after the transformation. As this is the largest park within Koparkhairane and Ghansoli nodes, people within 2-3 km proximity tend to visit Nisarg Udyan frequently for recreation. This project also highlights the importance of complimenting land uses towards alleviating the lifestyle of the residents in a city.
Sustainability and quality of public spaces depend on the financing model used for their creation, management and maintenance. As public spaces have direct effects on attractiveness of cities and increase of property values, many theories consider local governments as the principal stakeholders investing in public place projects (UCLG, 2016). However, responsibility of management of public spaces should not be vested with the local government alone.
Public space entities rely on one or more revenue sources such as economic development organisations, merchant’s associations, universities, non-profit informal volunteer groups, daily visitors, commuters, etc. (Trudeau, 2017). As public funding for building and maintaining public spaces is inadequate in many communities (Nagel, 2017), cities strive to approach with innovative funding sources to supplement the local budget (UCLG, 2016; Action Canada, 2015). Each public space has its own model for funding and management specific to their needs and vision. This article concentrates on public markets and will discuss the case study of Pike Place Market in Seattle.
Models of funding and management of public spaces
Models of funding can be generally grouped under three categories (Stavel, 2017):
Institution based – where institution(s) and/or city is responsible,
Public Private Partnership – where corporate partners or a group of stakeholders are responsible and
Grassroots Partnership – where volunteer led community groups are responsible.
Figure 1: Categories of models of funding. Source: Greenest City Scholars
The eight models of funding identified by CABE space, London are (CABE Space, 2006):
Traditional local authority funding – by the local authority from its general revenue budget.
Multi-agency public sector funding – by two or more government departments or agencies (health, crime, education, etc.) to meet cross-cutting targets.
Taxation initiatives – from levies on properties or tax credits.
Planning and development opportunities – funding ensured by planning agreements for new commercial and residential developments.
Bonds and commercial finance – from loans repaid by local businesses or residents.
Income generating opportunities – from revenue income such as licensing and franchising, sponsorship, entry fees and fines, etc.
Endowments – long-term funding from the interest gained on investments in assets such as property or the stock market.
Voluntary and community sector involvement – funds raised by non-profit organisations.
In addition to the above, models such as event based, self-governing special assessment districts, etc. are also identified as innovative mechanisms. It is possible for two or more financing models to co-exist in a single project (San Francisco Planning, 2016). Therefore, it is important to understand how the economics of a public space is managed, where multiple sources of funding and multiple financing models generally co-exist.
The Economic Value of a Public Space
A high-quality public space has significant impact on the economic life of urban centres (CABE Space, n.d.). The direct economic benefits of public spaces are (CABE Space, n.d.; Bennete, 2016):
Property value adjacent to a park or green space increases,
Businesses prefer locations adjacent to public spaces,
Footfall in local retail increases
and indirect benefits are:
Positive impact on general, physical and mental health reduces the public health care cost
Energy saving through natural ventilation, etc.
Public markets as public spaces
Public markets, generally owned and operated by public or non-profit entities, are intentional and diverse combination of shops/ stalls serving a community’s daily shopping needs and showcasing its culture. They typically sell locally grown or produced commodities (Zaretsky, 2017).
Public markets are always relevant to planners seeking a multipurpose tool for social, economic and community development. For example, the Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market is a municipal policy tool established to address unemployment, enhance food security and incorporate new immigrants (Morales, 2009). Similarly, the Portland Public Market House, Maine set in two levels of a mixed use building provides a neighbourhood meeting place, serves local cuisine prepared in a community kitchen and thereby benefitting the local economy (Barron, 2016).
Public markets help in improving the quality of life of a community (Pps.org, 2010). They provide benefits to urban land markets, community health, ecology, environment, expansion of businesses and promote income-earning opportunities (Morales, 2009; IPM, n.d.)
Figure 2: Benefits of public markets. Source: Project for Public Spaces
Dilli Haat, New Delhi is an example of urban transformation of a leftover urban space to an active public space. Managed by Delhi Tourism and Delhi Municipal Corporation, it sells artefacts, local food and serves as space for cultural activities (Raheja, Borgmann and Pillai, 2015).
Generally, the funding and management of public markets is based on multi-agency public sector or non-profit organisation models. The case study explained here is a long term success story of the Pike Place Market in Seattle which has an innovative funding and stewardship model to follow.
Case study of Pike Place Market, Seattle
The Pike Place Market is located in the Belltown neighbourhood of Seattle, Washington, USA opened in 1907. It won the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence in 1987 (Langdon, 1990). The market (CNT, 2010):
acts as small business incubator (occupies over 300 small businesses)
improves economic development
connects local farmers to consumers (130 stalls for local producers)
provides social services like medical clinic, preschool, etc.
provides affordable housing
improves community cohesion
preserves historic buildings
acts as tourist spot
Funding and management
The Pike Place Market is run by ‘Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority’ (PDA) since 1973 (CNT, 2010). PDA is a non-profit, public corporation chartered by the City of Seattle in 1973 to manage 80% of the properties in the nine-acre Market Historical District. PDA acts as a public steward to the market whose council members are appointed by the Mayor, making it more accountable and transparent (Turnbull, 2016).
Over 60% of revenues for the functioning of the market are derived from the tenants through rent, utilities, and other property management activities (CNT, 2010). The remaining 40% is from investments and bonds. About 75% of budgeted expenses is for the tenant services such as maintenance and security to insurance, utilities, and property management. Another 14% is for PDA management and administration and 10% for marketing and other programmatic expenses (Turnbull, 2016).
Figure 2: Sources of Revenues and Expenses of PDA. Source: What Pike Place teaches us about place governance, 2016
The PDA has now started utilising bonds for the construction of new ‘Market front Expansion’. A part of the Funding is allocated for the affordable housing construction. In 2017, the market generated total revenue of $18,821,615 and a 4% increase in commercial retail sales compared to the previous year (PDA, 2017).
Impacts of a transformative public market
In due course of time, Belltown neighbourhood changed from a low rent, semi-industrial arts district to a place hosting trendy restaurants, boutiques, night clubs, residential towers, warehouses and art galleries (CNT, 2010). The market itself has expanded to more levels and now also occupies antique shops, comic book sellers, etc. The public market district has become a strong neighbourhood community providing homes for nearly 500 low-income seniors. It also provides services like medical clinic mostly serving poor, HIV positive, elderly or differently abled patients. Friends of Market, Historical Commission, Pike Place Merchants’ Association, Market Foundation, etc. are a few of the community partnerships/ collaborations existing in the market (CNT, 2010). It has formed a new public plaza as part of the market front expansion adding up to socially active public spaces in the city.
Image 1: Pike Place Market in 1920s
Image 2: Front view of Pike Place Market in 2017. Source (image 1 & 2): pikeplacemarket.org
Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Detroit, a public market for local produce, food and crafts, is owned by the City of Ann Arbor and run by the Parks and Recreation Department. 1/3rd of the market’s operating cost is from City’s General Fund and 2/3rd from vendors’ fees making it a good institution based funding model. Eastern Market in Detroit has 70 % of its funding covered by vendors’ fee and rest by the city. It utilises private funding from companies like W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The market is run by a board of directors from private, public and non-profit sectors (CNT, 2010).
The case study of Pike Place Market shows that public markets benefits in many ways:
by connecting local farmers with the consumers directly,
creating jobs, and
providing active public spaces.
They provide economic development, community cohesion and overall social development. PDA Council utilised the revenue from rental sources for meeting the expenses in operation and maintenance of the market. In addition, using revenue surplus and bonds for new developments, makes it a sustainable model.
Similarly, Ann Arbor Farmers Market and Eastern Market are run by institutions of public-private partnerships and uses vendors’ fee to generate revenue. It is evident from the three cases that non-profit institution based stewardship model can be adopted for the management of urban public markets. If India’s traditional public market culture is augmented with similar management concepts, it can have positive impact on the city’s economy. Such new and innovative funding and stewardship solutions are necessary to sustain any public space in cities around the world.
As cities grow and densify, access to well-designed pleasant public spaces has not only become an important asset but a challenge for the poor, minorities and vulnerable groups. These groups include urban residents lacking quality and comfort in their housing, and therefore in need of decent infrastructure and communal spaces for health, recreation and socialization (Garau, 2015). Socially excluded category often include, poor, migrants, refugees, transgenders, elders, etc. In this context, social equity refers to provision of generous and good quality public spaces in order to make it accessible to people of all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of their class, age, gender, race or ethnic differences. Public spaces act as promoters of equity and social inclusion by making space for people from all social classes to interact and thereby reducing the economic and social segregation prevalent in a society (UCLG, 2016). Informal economy nurture in these places and should be dealt carefully to provide space for entrepreneurship (UNESCO, 2017).
While planning for inclusive cities, adequate housing, well-connected public transport and accessible public spaces should be integrated. It is essential to focus on (UCLG, 2016):
Rebuilding districts in an integrated way
Providing disadvantaged urban areas with quality public spaces
Promoting mixed use land use
Encouraging social mixing in housing
Removing architectural barriers that isolate certain areas
In this article, we look into role of libraries and cultural festivals in promoting equity and social inclusion in public spaces through a few case examples.
Libraries as inclusive public spaces
Public libraries are traditionally regarded as information and resources centres. Since information is widely accessible online today, the traditional role of libraries has now changed to play an important role as community spaces (Tan, 2017). They are meant as a pivot for information, learning and cultural discourse (Civica, 2016). As show in the following figure, users perceive libraries as the heart of the community and a place to connect with people (Civica, 2016).
Figure 1: Role of public libraries in users’ perception. Source: ‘The value of libraries as public spaces’ – Civica
Having a vast amount of users, libraries act as socially inclusive public spaces by engaging all excluded groups to the community. Importance of provision of public libraries is identified by many local governments as an inclusive planning strategy to revitalise and transform communities (Hin Man, 2007).
Case 1: Biblioteca Espana, Medellın, Colombia
Medellin, the capital of Antioquia province, Columbia, is often described as a violent city owing to the series of political and drug related events happened over the last two decades. It is home to many Columbians internally displaced by political violence who are socially excluded in terms of access to basic civic amenities and public spaces (Holmes and Pineres, 2013). Despite the city’s history of conflicts, Medellin also has been recognised for its proactive efforts to use public spaces as a tool for quality of life improvement (Sertich, 2010).
Image 1: View of Biblioteca Espana with the settlements in background. Source: architizer.com
Image 2: Front view of Biblioteca Espana. Source: architizer.com
Biblioteca Espana (Spain Library Park) was a part of the mayor’s social inclusion program that targeted two of the poorest and most isolated neighbourhoods of the city – ‘Popular’ and ‘Santa Cruz’. Both the neighbourhoods are densely populated with low standard of living. Statistics shows that (Municipio de Medellín 2010; Municipio de Medellín 2010a),
Quality of housing: 99.8 % of Popular and 99.9% of Santa Cruz are classified as low/ very low/ slum
Education: 61.1 % of Popular and 56.6% of Santa Cruz have primary or lower level of education attainment
Unemployment rate is 40% and average monthly income is 147,000 pesos (US$70) in both the neighbourhoods,
Bogotá architect Giancarlo Mazzanti designed the Biblioteca España complex with three goals in mind (Holmes and Pineres, 2013),
promote the creation of employment and economic prosperity
promote social integration and the revitalization of depressed urban areas
protect and improve the urban environment
The complex provides broader infrastructure improvements, such as a community center, an auditorium, art galleries, play areas, computer labs, and outside space. All are designed to improve the economic prospects of nearby residents, increase their integration to the city at large, and promote social capital. Residents gather in this oasis for readings, screenings, concerts and discussions (Tan, 2017). As per a survey conducted in 2011, the project had greater impacts on residents’ satisfaction on quality of life (figure 2) (Holmes and Pineres, 2013).
Figure 2: Medellín Cómo Vamos QOL survey results for Popular/ Santa Cruz. Source: Medellín’s Biblioteca España: Progress in Unlikely Places
Case 2: The Idea Store, Tower Hamlets Borough, London, UK
Tower Hamlets is one of London’s most diverse boroughs with more than 37% of the population being British Bengalis facing high levels of unemployment and social exclusion. The library system in the city had potential to provide its residents with learning opportunities to improve work and career outlooks, a meeting place to encourage social cohesion and connection, and support for families and young people (Aitani, 2017). Acknowledging this fact, Tower Hamlets Council’s Arts, Leisure and Sports Committee undertook renovation on the existing library system after an extensive public consultation in 2002 (Citiesofmigration.ca, 2015). As a result, the ‘Idea Store’ was conceptualised as a new form of public library to incorporate the needs of customers and making it an attractive, accessible public space. Idea Stores provide core services of a library and functions as (Citiesofmigration.ca, 2015),
Clubs for homework, jobs, and books
Skill development centre
Children’s Centres which offer programs and support for families
Centre for cultural events and performances
Community meeting spaces
Image 3: The Idea Store, London. Source: adjaye.com
By 2009, the Tower Hamlets library system was ranked 3rd in London and 4th in England for percentage of residents using library services, based on the participation data for National Indicator 9 (Aitani, 2017The 2006/07 Public Library User Survey (PLUS) of users over the age of 16 demonstrated that Tower Hamlets Idea Store attracted users of all ages from different background. 54.8% of the total users were from ethnic minorities and 32.9% from the age group of 20 to 24 (Tower Hamlets Council, 2009).
Social inclusion through cultural festivals in public spaces
Cultural festivals are public celebrations which demonstrate community values, strengthen community pride and sense of place (Jepson, Wiltshier and Clarke, 2012). They act as a medium of combining groups of people and communities together to produce meaningful insights, foster peace and create safer and friendlier neighbourhoods (Stern and Seifert, 2010). When public spaces such as streets, plazas, convention centers, open grounds, etc. are used for festivals, it promotes equity and social inclusion in the city (Clover, 2006).
Case 1: Festivals in South Bank Parklands and Neighbourhood parks of Brisbane, Queensland
The indigenous Australians known as Aboriginals and Torres Strait islanders account for 2.4% of the population of Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. Refugees or asylum seekers from the Middle East and parts of Asia also contribute to a portion of Brisbane’s population (ABS, 2016). In a homogeneous demography, these two groups are constantly facing a threat of social exclusion. However, several initiatives have been taken by NGOs and local volunteers to establish their participation in public life through various programs and cultural festivals (Roitman and Johnson, 2014).
Image 4: The public park in the South Bank Parklands. Source: queensland.com
Image 5: A performance by tribal community in the Clancestry festival. Source: sibw.com
Image 6: A procession from the Luminous festival. Source: theweekendedition.com
South Bank Parklands, a 17 hectare riverfront public space with artificial beach and parks, is used as the venue for two important festivals namely Clancestry and Luminous festival. These festivals by the indigenous and the refugee communities are an attempt to establish their right to the city and its spaces. They enable them to interact with non-aboriginals through cultural and artistic expression in a shared public space (Roitman and Johnson, 2014).
The suburban neighbourhood parks of Brisbane also hold several cultural events and festivals such as,
Vietnamese moon festival
Chinese New Year
World Refugee football tournament
Rohingya youth day, etc.,
thereby promoting equity and social inclusion in the public spaces of the city (Roitman and Johnson, 2014).
Case 2: Slum festival in Kampala, Uganda
Slums are typically characterised by overcrowding, high levels of unemployment or underemployment, deficient urban services (water, sanitation, education, and health) and widespread insecurity (UN-Habitat, 2003). Kampala, Uganda’s capital city has half of its population living in slums and socially excluded from the society. The Slum festival is conducted in 2014 with an aim to activate public space in the Kampala slum through artistic interventions, construction of stages, the use of performance and new media, and audience participation. Artists, audiences, residents, local initiatives and organisations are mobilized to participate in the shaping of their public space and to make it a reflection of their identity. This initiative enable slum dwellers for better public interaction and social engagement as well as empowering the economically disadvantaged to develop within the creative economy (Lubega et al., 2014).
Image 7: A performance from the Slum Festival in 2015. Source: streetangelsuganda.com
The case of Spain Library Park in Medellin shows that libraries can be a place of revival for socially excluded low income groups in a society. In London’s Idea Stores, a library system served a multitude of opportunities for the public such as meeting place, space for cultural expression, etc. and increased participation of people from multiple ethnic background and age groups. Similarly, cultural festivals in the public spaces of Brisbane and Kampala helped integrate migrants, indigenous people or slum dwellers to the public realm, thereby promoting social inclusion.
Since public spaces are particularly important for marginalised groups, planning for quality public spaces to foster integration between different socio-economic groups becomes relevant. Investments in streets and public space infrastructure improve urban productivity, livelihoods and allow better access to markets, jobs and public services, especially in developing countries where a large proportion of the urban workforce is informal. Public spaces can thus be a powerful tool to improve equity, promote inclusion and combat discrimination. However, engaging the community in design, management and maintenance of public spaces is also relevant to attain an inclusive city.
 Survey results from the research conducted by Civica group ltd. and University of Technology, Sydney, on the value of libraries as public spaces
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a prosperous and sustainable world (United Nations, 2018). UN Women defines gender equality as equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women and men (UN WOMEN, 2018). Providing equal access to education, public spaces, health care, decent work, and representation in decision-making processes ensures sustainable development (United Nations, 2018).
Gender-based violence in urban areas can be attributed to factors such as poverty, discrimination, exclusion and lack of gender mainstreaming in urban development leading to public spaces and structures not catering to all genders equally (Jagori, 2015).
Perceptions of gender equality differ between men and women, societies and countries of different developmental status. Globally, many countries have achieved important milestones towards gender parity, however developing countries like India still face women safety as the basic issue in gender equality. We have previously looked into gender mainstreaming in housing sector and women safety audits in India. This article talks about the importance of gender equality in planning and design of public spaces. The article focuses on case studies from Vienna describing the implementation of gender sensitive practises in their public spaces.
Gender equality in public spaces
Public spaces enable women, girls, elderly and other marginalised groups (transgenders, migrants, etc.) to participate in public life (UCLG, 2016). Though they are meant for everyone to use regardless of their gender or age, women use public parks and streets lesser than men (Harth, 2018). In India it is noticed that women tend to limit their participation in public sphere to day time in markets or parks in urban areas (Shukla, 2017). Reported cases of physical and psychological harassment in parks, streets and public transports have raised the levels of fear or vulnerability among them (Phadke, 2012). Studies show that women prefer active public spaces with characteristics of safer perimeter, cleanliness and safety (Gholamhosseini et al., 2018). They perceive lack of proper lighting, deserted roads, absence of street vendors and stores as unsafe situations. Public spaces that ensures comfort, accessibility and safety through features like clean toilets, proper lighting, etc. are preferred by women, elders and children (PUKAR, 2011).
Gender equality in public spaces can be achieved by accommodating features that improve women’s safety (UNIFEM, 2010). Planning and designing should put special focus on (UCLG, 2016; UNIFEM, 2010):
Motorized and Pedestrian traffic
Proximity to other public spaces and emergency services
Access to public transportation
Women’s participation in decision making
Case study – Gender Equality in Public Spaces of Vienna
Vienna, the capital city of Austria functions as its economic, cultural and political centre. It has been focusing on gender mainstreaming while designing its public spaces, housing, mobility and infrastructure since 1990. The gender mainstreaming concept is being incorporated mainly in the design of streetscapes, public squares and public parks (Damyanovic, Reinwald and Weikmann, 2013).
Gender-sensitive public parks design: re-design of Einsiedler Park and St. Johann Park
A need to redesign Einsiedler Park and St. Johann Park was perceived by the City of Vienna when girls aged between 10 and 12 were found using parks lesser. By focusing on their interests, gender sensitive solutions were implemented to make them feel safer and better in these spaces (UCLG, 2016). The main objectives of the project were to (Policytransfer.metropolis.org, 2018):
motivate girls and young women to use the parks more often
improve safety perception in the parks
improve elements to attract elderly and parents with little children, and
have intense professional exchange of ideas during the planning phase.
The city of Vienna selected the design proposals of Tilia planning office and Koselika planning office for Einsiedler Park and St. Johann Park respectively through a design challenge. By 2001, detailed planning for re-structuring and re-designing the parks was done and renovation works were completed (Policytransfer.metropolis.org, 2018).
Image 1: Paved path, clear visibility and seating in Einsiedler Park. Source: wien.gv.at
Image 2: Platforms to sit and chat in St. Johann Park, Source: wien.gv.at
Gender-sensitive planning measures
The participating consultancies conducted meetings and workshops with residents, mothers, representatives of schools and kindergartens in the district, etc. to identify joint goals for the project. They paid attention to girls’ interests specifically to develop strategies for encouraging their involvement in public activities (Policytransfer.metropolis.org, 2018). Several gender–sensitive design elements were introduced in these parks, such as (Harth, 2018):
Football cages were converted for activities that accommodates both genders; in this case, badminton and volleyball courts
Hollows in the meadowland were converted to be used as arenas, for ball-games, gymnastics and sitting together
Multifunctional play areas
Efficient lighting was provided on the main paths
Park keepers ensured that the rules are followed
Good visibility and clear-cut organisation of footpaths
Well-maintained public toilets
Image 3: Hammocks, quick attraction elements at Einsiedler Park, Source: WPS Prague.com
Image 4: Platform at Einsiedler Park, Source: WPS Prague.com
The projects witnessed considerable physical and social impacts over time. Physical transformations such as open common areas, gender-neutral activity field, places for group chatting, etc. motivated women and girls to spend more time in the park. Features like visibility in main avenues and proper lighting improved the safety aspects also (Policytransfer.metropolis.org, 2018). Noticeable presence of women of all age groups was found in St. Johann’s park (Harth, 2018).
Looking at the response, City of Vienna implemented pilot projects of gender sensitive re-design in other parks of the city. On similar concepts, gender sensitive design elements such as structured footpath network, efficient illumination, multifunctional plazas, multifunctional lawns, etc. were incorporated in Rudolph-Bednar Park (Damyanovic, Reinwald and Weikmann, 2013).
Gender-sensitive public square design: redesign of Christian Broda Platz
Public squares are another focus area for gender mainstreaming in the planning of public spaces in Vienna (Chalaby, 2017). On submitting the winning entry for a gender-sensitive architectural competition, architects Beitl and Wallmann redesigned the Christian-Broda-Platz in the 6th district of Vienna. The team designed the square by paying attention to direct walking routes, playing equipment, barrier free toilets, drinking fountains, etc. The pilot project resulted in a generous use of the public square by all genders among youth, children and senior citizens (Damyanovic, Reinwald and Weikmann, 2013). Similar measures were adopted in Liesinger Platz of the 23rd district also to achieve a gender-sensitive design.
Image 5: Seating arrangements in Chrisian Broda Platz, Source: wien.gv.at
In addition to these projects, gender mainstreaming is also incorporated in designing walkways. A survey conducted by City of Vienna in 1992 identified that females use public transit and pedestrian paths more than males. As a result, city planners adopted steps to improve pedestrian mobility and access to public transit (Foran, 2013). This includes 26 street lighting projects, widening of sidewalks and barrier free designs by the City of Vienna Women’s Office (Chalaby, 2017).
Over the years, re-designing several parks and public squares in Vienna has resulted in an inclusive city planning model. Certain design elements such as multifunctional play areas, raised platforms to sit and chat, etc. are easily transferable and can be installed in other places. Assuring safety through efficient lighting and multiple activities in any public space is an important factor in gender-sensitive planning. From the cases of gender mainstreaming in public spaces explained here, it is evident that through effective planning measures, public spaces can have equal utility and benefits for everyone.
In India’s diverse social setting, women’s safety and factors for comfort are often neglected while designing public spaces like parks, streets, markets, public transit, institutions, etc. However, several positive initiatives to improve the safety of public spaces are being taken by many Indian cities. Apps such as SafetiPin are useful for women safety audits. The data acquired is used by the police and PWD to augment facilities such as lighting in public spaces. Government missions like JNNURM seeks to promote planned urban development and equitable cities as an opportunity to build gender-fair and inclusive cities (Khosla, 2009). In patriarchal economies like India where women’s interests are conventionally under-represented, there is still a lot to achieve.
A shift towards public transportation is pivotal in dealing with issues such as traffic congestion and poor air quality. Although, one of the reasons for commuters to not shift to public transit is due to the highly competitive marketplace alongside private automobile companies. Private automobile companies invest billions of dollars every year to (Carrigan, Arpi & Weber, 2011):
Maintain their image,
Cultivate customer’s mind-set,
and, push their products into the market by creating demand
In the year 2009 alone, major automobile companies spent over US$ 21 billion globally on advertisements (Advertising Age Group, 2010). Such intensive marketing from the private sector highlights the need for public bus corporations to engage in cost-effective marketing campaigns to increase their ridership.
Public bus corporations can use various marketing strategies to (EMBARQ India, 2014):
Attract new riders
Retain existing riders
Improve public and political support
Educate and inform users about the facilities, and
Manage the public narrative through communication
When combined with a good service, branding and marketing encourages people to use the public bus network and thereby reduces the reliance on private vehicles. In this article, the case study of the Orange Line in Los Angeles Metro focuses on their branding, marketing campaigns and user education activities. Few other examples highlight similar aspects of marketing the public transit.
Metro’s Orange Line BRTS in Los Angeles, California
The Orange Line, a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) started its service in 2005 in the San Fernando Valley area, as a part of the Los Angeles Metro. It is 29 kilometres long, has dedicated bus lanes and exclusive right-of-way. Metro (also the name of the operating agency) took many public outreach and engagement initiatives to disseminate the benefits of the public transportation and encouraged the commuters to make a shift. Following are some of the strategies:
The brand of the Orange Line is incorporated into the system in numerous ways. The Orange Line is designed to be a part of the Metro’s vast rail network and provides equivalent quality of service. Similarly, it is marketed as part of the Metro and not as a separate entity. This idea is conveyed by keeping the Orange Line brand consistent with the familiar Metro’s colour code instead of typical numbers for bus routes (Figure 1). The colour scheme is carried over and incorporated into multiple components of the service, such as vehicles, bus stations, signs, maps, seating, etc. (Carrigan, Arpi & Weber, 2011).
Figure 1: BRTS as a part of the Los Angeles Metro map (Source: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
During the construction of Orange Line, the management regularly posted construction updates and other information through regional newspapers, the acoustic barriers of their construction site, town hall meetings, fliers, etc. In a pre-launch survey, it was found that people were confused if the Orange line was a bus or a train service. Through “It’s…” promotional campaign, the management answered the questions raised by the people and highlighted the various advantages of the new line (Carrigan, Arpi & Weber, 2011).
Image 3: Metro Orange Line “It’s…” campaign (Source: Flynn, Thole, Perk, Samus & Van Nostrand, 2011)
In 2008, to increase sales tax by half-cent to fund transit projects, the Measure-R bill was up for a public ballot vote. The LA Metro ran the “Opposites” campaign just before the bill to:
Dissuade people from using private vehicles
Promote the use of the Metro, and
Increase awareness about the Metro services
Figure 4: LA Metro’s Opposites Campaign (Source: SEGD)
Comparing the contrasting ideas for public and private transportation, this campaign communicated that Metro was the solution to LA’s problems such as traffic congestion, air pollution and fuel usage (Lejeune, 2013).
The campaign, passed through public approval, helped in securing funding of over $40 billion over 30 years for major transit and highway projects. The discretionary ridership of those who have a car but still use the public transit, also increased from 24% to 36%. Metro’s “unfavorable” ratings dropped from 27 percent to 12 percent and “strongly favorable” ratings increased by 17 percent. Public awareness of the Metro is now at 95 percent (Lejeune, 2013).
User education is an essential aspect of launching and promoting the public transit. Free rides, study tours and safety instructions are some ways to engage the community and acclimatize them to the transit system. During the launch of the Orange Line, the Metro provided free rides on the opening weekend of operations to familiarize the public with the BRTS service and eliminate any uncertainties that existed before. Also, the BRTS vehicles were showcased in 2005 RideFest to promote the use of public transits and congestion management practices. As part of their safety program, Metro made an interactive presentation to about 30,000 residents living nearby and about 100 schools within a 1.5-mile radius of the Orange Line busway (Flynn, Thole, Perk, Samus & Van Nostrand, 2011).
Apart from communicating with the public through press releases, user information systems and marketing campaigns, LA Metro has provisions for bi-lateral communication to hear from the customers. They are very responsive to user feedback systems. The Metro Customer Centre was made more welcoming and cheerful to encourage the use of the facility (Carrigan, Arpi & Weber, 2011).
Metrobus, Mexico City
In Mexico City, Collectivo drivers often behaved and dressed unprofessionally. The new Metrobus BRTS gave importance to the appearance of its drivers, as they are a reflection of the brand and the image of the whole transit system. Metrobus continues to trains its employees to create a welcoming and passenger-friendly service (Carrigan, Arpi & Weber, 2011).
Image 5: Left: LA Metro Orange Line bus driver as an ambassador
Image 6: Right: Collectivo drivers versus Metrobus drivers in Mexico City
Source: Carrigan, Arpi and Weber, 2011
In Ahmedabad, to acclimatise the public with BRTS, the agency built a prototype of the BRTS station one year before Janmarg became operational. The prototype showcased the station designs and educated people on how to use the facilities. This user education policy also provided an opportunity to gather feedback from the public and make necessary design changes before starting the operations. Janmarg also offered free rides to the public for the first 100 days of operations (Carrigan, Arpi & Weber, 2011).
From the Los Angeles case study, through many interventions LA Metro built a strong brand image. Building up a strong brand image is important to communicate the core values of an organisation, inform the people about the services and encourage them to use it often. Marketing strategies can help transit organizations reach their organizational target of increased public awareness, increased use of services and other specific goals. They can be cost-effectively utilized by the public transit organization. However, marketing campaigns should only promote services that already exist, and the transit corporations must be prepared to handle the generated demand.
Transportation planning has always focused on urban mobility, reducing traffic congestion in cities and providing access to major locations (Manaugh, 2014). However, often ignored is the social equity in access to public transportation. With route planning focused on demand forecasting, low-income neighbourhoods and other vulnerable population are often neglected due to budget constraints (Transport for America, 2018). These vulnerable communities rely mostly on public transportation.
In the realm of transportation, social equity refers to providing affordable and equitable access to public transport. The vulnerable population here includes children, students, elderly, handicapped and low-income individuals. Social equity refers to an equitable distribution of impacts; both benefits and cost (Litman, 2018). Equity is more than about providing subsidies and discount tickets. It should encompass the ease of use, connectivity, and accessibility. For example, the use of monthly discount passes is effective only when the bus stops are easier to access.
Low-income and other vulnerable communities should not bear the negative impacts and costs of transportation facilities disproportionately. Rather, public transportation should provide access to jobs and opportunities to these disadvantaged communities (Transport for America, 2018). By providing access to opportunities, transportation investments can be used as a driving force to promote social and economic equity.
To address transportation equity, the vulnerable community should be involved in the planning process and projects prioritised based on their needs. It is equally important to collect the relevant data and measure progress to ensure program effectiveness in reaching beneficiaries and achieving the target goals. This article looks into the case study of JARC to understand the steps taken by FTA to implement social equity through transportation planning.
Case Study: Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC), USA
The main aim of Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program, administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) (1998 – 2012), was to assist low-income individuals in accessing employment, job training and childcare services. Low-income individuals living in the inner urban cities had difficulty accessing many new entry-level jobs located in the suburban areas. Under JARC, FTA provided grants to transit agencies and other service agencies to fill gaps in transportation services for welfare recipients and other low-income individuals (FTA, 2016). Made available for three years, it administered project funding on a cost-sharing basis. Federal funds covered up to 80 percent of the capital and planning activity and up to 50 percent of operating costs.
Some of the programs implemented under JARC funding were about expanding fixed-route public transit routes, late-night and weekend service, shuttle service, guaranteed ride home service, ridesharing and carpooling and so on (FTA, 2007). The policy incentive while designing the transportation policy encouraged the local, regional and state agencies to collaborate with each other (Sandouvel et al, 2009). Apart from organizing trips, JARC also utilized its funds for information-based and capital investment programs (Figure 1).
Figure 1: JARC Services by Type, 2006 – 2009 (Source: An Evaluation of Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program Services Provided in 2009)
For example: Camden, New Jersey provides shuttle service that operates three times a day matching the three work shifts at the industrial park. Phoenix, Arizona runs service through western suburb connecting community college with residential area and retails stores. Sanford, Maine provides demand-based van service for getting to work from early morning until late night.
The five major goals identified under JARC programs are as follows (FTA, 2016):
Expanding geographic coverage
Extending service hours or days
Improving system capacity
Improving customer knowledge
The two performance measures used by FTA to evaluate JARC-funded projects are:
Number of jobs accessed
Number of rides provided (one-way trips)
Response to the Program
For the financial year 2009, 910 projects were funded under the JARC program. Out of these, 44% served in large urban areas, 31% in non-urbanized or rural communities and 25% in small-urbanized areas. JARC supported programs provided 27.3 million one-way trips, made 51.8 million jobs accessible, which included 25.3 million low-wage jobs and 7.7 million jobs were likely reached (Commonwealth Environmental Systems, Inc, 2011).[KI1]
Figure 2: Usage pattern of JARC services (Source: Thakuriah, 2011)
Another survey conducted by researchers at University of Illinois (2009) focused on the mobility and employment outcomes of 573 respondents using any of the surveyed 26 JARC funded transportation service. Compared to non-JARC users, JARC users were less educated and had lower income brackets. About 42% of respondents reported personal incomes of less than $10,000 (~ INR 5,10,000 in 2011), and one in five had not completed high school (Thakuriah, 2011). This indicates that the JARC services effectively served low-income vulnerable communities.
The survey results show that 93.5% of the respondents rated the service as “important or very important” for keeping their job and 34% reported that they wouldn’t be able to commute to and from work if the service was not available. Over one-third users found that transportation services were more affordable with JARC (Thakuriah, 2011).
Figure 2 shows, out of the 23% unemployed, 25% of individuals used the services to access job trainings, about 8% for job seeking and 21% travelled to school (Thakuriah, 2011).
Figure 3: FTA JARC Services and Funding, 2005 – 2009 (Source: An Evaluation of Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program Services Provided in 2009)
Regarding economic impacts, the study reports a median reduction in generalized travel cost that is estimated to be $3.15 per trip. The median of hourly wages at the primary job also increased by about 14%. At the time of the survey, the median weekly earnings was estimated to have gone up by 15% (Thakuriah, 2011). The graphs and data highlight the fact that JARC programs helped people to access jobs and supported their financial stability. Increased wages could be due to shifting to a higher paying job or increased hours at work. Subsequently, FTA also increased the investment and the coverage of services under JARC over the years (Figure 3).
These results show the potential positive impact of JARC programs on the mobility, employment and economic outcome of its low-income users. However, since the survey does not have an experimental setup for evaluation, the lasting impact of JARC funding is not entirely clear (Sandouvel, Peterson and Hunt, 2009). JARC is one of the multiple possible and creative solutions that agencies can implement to support disadvantaged communities and promote equity in public transportation.
As of 2012, consolidating JARC with the existing Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program enabled JARC programs to apply for funding through the urban and rural transit program (GAO, 2017). This was mainly due to changes in JARC’s formula program status wherein separate funding was not available anymore. However, when GAO interviewed few JARC services, two-thirds of them reported to continue providing some form of service.
“Every project’s stance on equity should be assessed by asking the following questions:
Does it meet an important need identified by a disadvantaged community?
Are the benefits associated with the significant, rather than incidental?
Are benefits targeting the low-income residents?
Does it avoid substantial harms to the community?”
(Marcantonio and Karner, 2016)
The services under JARC were in response to critical issues highlighted and put forth by the community. Upon implementation, there were positive and significant effects on the mobility, employment and economic outcome of the low-income users. A majority of the beneficiaries were less educated and low-income groups. Thus, the benefits of the program was reaching the disadvantaged positively.
Key policy implication of JARC program is to improve public transportation in order to address the social needs. Economic outcomes of the low-income population is positively impacted through accessible and affordable public transportation. During its run, JARC focused on operating rides, in improving the information access and infrastructure capacity of the service region. This combination of capacity building helped many of these JARC funded programs to sustain by themselves, even after the end of its tenure in 2012. However, depending on the intensity of institutional and grassroots support, different cities responded to JARC in different ways (Sandoval, Peterson and Hunt, 2009). While in some cases, the regions came up with many innovative ideas, whereas some strategies were traditional (Cervero and Tsai, 2003; Sandoval, Peterson and Hunt, 2009). This is also because transportation models are highly relevant to the context of the cities.
Looking at the Indian scenario, high land prices in the core of the city forces economically disadvantaged communities to the fringes of urban development. Therefore, Indian cities are continually experiencing informal settlements in developing or peri-urban areas that lacks infrastructure. This makes opportunities inaccessible, lengthens commutes to their workplaces and degrades the quality of their commute. Being mindful of social equity and incorporating these concepts into the early stages of transportation planning ensures the vulnerable communities to have access to jobs and opportunities. Through equitable access to transportation supports, the promotion of economic stability and social standing of vulnerable communities is necessary.
Management and operations in transportation systems is defined as an “integrated approach to optimize the performance of the existing infrastructure through implementation of multi-modal, cross-jurisdictional systems, services and projects” (FHWA, 2013). It focuses on the transit vehicle operations directly and how they interact with the transit users. Increasing the performance of an existing infrastructure can improve operational performance, reduce long-term costs and save time (Abou-Senna et al, 2018). The components under operational systems are (ADB and MoUD, 2008; COST, 2011):
Ticketing, fare collection and revenue management
Operations management (Schedule span, type of services, driving rules, etc.)
It is important that the transport infrastructure always adapt to the constant growth of the city and its never-ending demand. Information Technology Services (ITS) provides many solutions and models that can help in data collection, forecasting the demand, tracking the vehicles and the passenger movement. All major cities, like Amsterdam, Sydney, Sao Paolo, London, etc. make extensive use of technology in their bus operations and maintenance. They have a centralised command centre and they track the buses through GPS (EMBARQ, 2010).
The benefits of management and operations strategies like these brings forth safer travel, reduced delay in commute, improved reliability, lesser wasted fuel, cleaner air, etc. (FHWA, 2017). Earlier, we have identified that Indian cities have started implementing ITS to help improve its transportation planning and management. In this article, we will study the data management and collection methods in practice at the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) control centre.
Case Study 1 – Real-time Data Management at NMMT, Navi Mumbai
Currently, NMMT has a bus fleet of 467 buses running on 75 routes. It experiences a daily ridership of approximately 3 lac passengers and generates an approximate daily income of Rs. 37-40 lacs. All the bus lines add up to a total route length of 1895 kms. and have an average length of 26 kms. The average headway is about 15 minutes, the maximum being 65 minutes and a minimum of 7-10 minutes (“NMMT City Bus System”, 2017). NMMT has allocated the buses among 3 depots (Turbhe, Asudgaon and Ghansoli) and 13 bus terminals.
On similar grounds of other major cities mentioned earlier, NMMT has also established a centralised command centre. It tracks the daily movement in the buses to make its operations and maintenance more efficient. They have implemented the real-time data management system through these eight modules:
1. Automatic Vehicle Locator System (AVLS)
AVLS captures the real-time on-board location and helps create a substantial database where the progress of the bus is stored on a second-to-second basis (Hounsell, Shrestha and Wong, 2012). It receives and stores the bus location and also the bus event information through an on-board GPS. Through this system, the location, speed and the route of the buses can be tracked. From the current location of the buses being tracked and comparing it with an average gives the estimated time to reach a destination. Through the same module, the estimated time for the bus to reach a bus-stop is also calculated.
Fig 1 – The total number of GPS enabled buses distributed among the three depots.
Over 95% of the buses have a GPS installed in them. GPS boxes in the older buses are being installed externally, while the newer buses come with an inbuilt GPS. Based on the movement of the bus, its status (Running, idle, on-trip standby, off-trip standby) gets constantly updated at the control centre, which is useful during the peak hours.
2. Passenger Information System (PIS)
Deriving the information from AVLS, the control centre constantly tracks the real-time information of the buses. It calculates the estimated arrival and travel time of the buses based on the historical travel data across different road segments and the time of the day. The commuters can receive this information (estimated arrival and travel time) through the mobile application. The passengers can also get information about the bus drivers and report for incidents.
The passenger movement is counted from the tickets count, through which the peak and off-peak hours are estimated. NMMT uses this information to dispatch the buses and at the same time maintain a reserve stock of them. The reserve stock is useful in case of unprecedented demand or breakdown of a bus.
3. Control command centre
The control centre constantly records and analyses the real-time information of the buses and passenger’s commute. AVLS and PIS provides a substantial database, which is useful in the maintenance and operations of the buses. Based on the data provided, the control centre is able to:
Check the fare collection and segregating it according to different categories
Track the buses for route violations and over-speeding
Check for incident reports
Interact with the staff and the commuters
Maintain the database
Image 2 – The role of control center in real-time data management of NMMT. (Content source – Hounsell Shrestha and Wong, 2012)
4. Incident Management
The control centre keeps a track of the bus operators and if their buses are following the route or not. They also maintain the incidence reports submitted by the commuters. In cases of any issue noticed by the centre or submitted by the commuter, the control centre resolves it immediately. Operational faults and break-downs are resolved by the respective depots, this:
Releases the work-load on a single depot
Allows depots to deploy reserve buses effectively
5. Mobile application
Information like the schedule of the buses, its operators, etc. are available on the mobile application. Through the mobile application, the commuters are capable of:
Checking the nearest bus-stops and routes
Checking the available buses and the waiting time
Setting a time for notification to leave their place of origin and reach the bus stops.
Checking the details of the bus and the bus operators
Reporting an incident
6. Business Intelligence, Financial management system and Enterprise management system
The control centre creates different real-time reports for the general manager, the accounts department and the employees of NMMT. These reports help them to monitor and analyse the performance of the buses and the operating staff.
7. Scheduling and planning
The scheduling of the buses at the initial stages follows the traditional approach by over-lapping On-site surveys, Activities according to the land-use maps and The number of buses available.
The number of buses on a particular route are increased or reduced according to the demand of the commuters. This demand is tracked online through the count of the tickets.
8. Automatic Fare Collection System
There are many ways to register a trips made by the commuters; through on-board ticketing, monthly passes and through a mobile application. All of these are recorded and maintained to analyse the daily ridership in the buses. Through which, the peak and off-peak hours are estimated. The same online system is also used to create stock correction reports.
Case Study 2 – Network of Bus Corridors in the Netherlands
Any transportation system is based on potential user’s demand. This demand forms the technical foundations for designing the system, planning operations and the financial feasibility (EMBARQ, 2010). Route planning of any public transport should always be in response to the context of the neighborhood and in consultation with the local stakeholders. It should be laid out to serve the maximum commuters in the most efficient way.
Following a similar ideology, the development or improvement of the public transport in the Netherlands is done gradually (from a regular bus to a dedicated infrastructure) on the basis of the integral vision of the change in transport requirements (number of passengers) and the development of the locations (with the increase in number of residents and jobs) (Public transport in the Netherlands, 2016).
This data to document the necessity to develop a route is collected through many ITS models. An estimated amount of €170 million is budgeted for 75 projects in total; for data collection models such as cluster travel information, Multi-Modal information, dynamic traffic management, etc. (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, The Netherlands, 2012). The data is processed into travel information, for both unimodal and multimodal mode, through apps such as 9292 (public transportation) and ANWB (Dutch Automobile Club). The travel information is useful for improved accessibility and traffic flows. The appropriate use of ITS architecture leads to co-ordinated and standardised development of a cohesive framework of technical and information structures (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, The Netherlands, 2012).
The integration of different services is also one of the key features of Dutch public transport. It follows a hierarchy of fast (peak hour), local and community, and demand responsive services. The bus operators setup their time-tables around a ‘transfer-scheme’ to be able to find a convenient way to connect to a metro/rail. The ticketing and fare system is also integrated. Use of Strippenkaart, sterabonnement or ov-chipkaart (tickets and pre-paid cards) are capable to allow the commuters to travel using the same fare and tickets.
The real-time data management system implemented in NMMT is still young and constantly upgrading. However, a positive impact in the operations can be seen. Since the implementation of this system, there has been a significant reduction in the incident reports (Fig 2). The statistics suggest that cases of over-speeding of buses is almost negligible now.
Through constant tracking of the buses and implementation of this system, NMMT is now capable of:
Monitoring the services of the buses
Managing operational maintenance and reports
Real-time incidence reporting and resolving
Retrieving performance data for post-process applications
Reducing the manual data collection
Efficient data collection, availability of travel information and integration among different operators are key for developing an efficient operational model. A coherent and integrated route plan ensures user-friendliness and higher usage of the bus services. It has a direct influence on the passenger demand, reduced travel time and the operating costs; hence, also on the revenues (ADB and MoUD, 2008). Indian ULBs have also started developing similar models, however, the process of implementation is rather slower and complex. With an increasing use of ITS in bus operations, open data collection and disseminating travel information is getting easier and more efficient.
The following datasheet bring forward the challenges faced by the bus systems. The showcased 12 points are few reasons responsible for the current status of bus systems in most of the cities in India and the main issues due to which the buses in India struggle to sustain and offer an effective service.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue Volume 4, Issue 3 & 4 of CIDCO@Smart
January 24, 2019
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue Volume 4 – Issue 3 & 4 of its newsletter CIDCO@Smart, detailing the team’s activities between July and December 2018. This issue takes different case studies from all around the world discussing the importance of public spaces. It identifies the coherence of SDGs with public open spaces and the subsequent articles focuses on various best practice models in different cities around the world.
This issue talks about different cases such as revitalising the streets, designing gender sensitive public spaces and public spaces as promoters of equity and social inclusion. It also looks into the case of Pike Place Market in Seattle to understand the economy of public markets, innovative ideas such as transforming a landfill site into a public park and emerging ideas like development of urban agriculture under transmission lines.
This newsletter is available for viewing and downloading here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab speaks at World Bank Office, New Delhi
December 3, 2018
The World Bank and All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG) organized a one-day Consultative workshop “Capacity Building for Digital Strategies and Solutions for Smart Cities in India” on 30th November 2018 at World Bank Office, New Delhi. The objective of the workshop was to develop a capacity building framework for smart city leaders for capacitating the Urban bodies of India and South Asia. A host of agencies including experts from World Bank, AIILSG, UN-Habitat, UN University and universities from around the world participated in the workshop.
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab, participated as a speaker in the panel discussion. He spoke about the training management system of CIDCO and UJJWAL – The One Stop Shop Solution for CIDCO’s training management system. He presented the capacity building approach that integrates policy, technology and knowledge partners for improving capacities of ULB officials and institutions in India.
The training cell conducts 6th Session of ‘Vimarsh’
November 30, 2018
On November 28, 2018, all participants from the month of October ’18 were invited for the sixth session of vimarsh, out of which 6 participants came to attend. Participants who had gone to ASCI, CRRI, IIML and VNIT attended the discussion. They were satisfied with the overall experience of the training they attended.
Participants who had attended a behavioral training in ASCI were very impressed by the logistics and accommodation allotted for them. One of the female participant acknowledged that the stay was very safe, secure and comfortable. Personal assistance was also available. All the participants, in general, were satisfied with the course and faculties. They suggested that the course could be supplemented with site visits; however, it was informed that for a behavioral course site visit do not set in line with the course objectives.
Participants who had been to IIML were also pleased with the faculty assistance and the facilities provided at the institute. One of the participants mentioned that, “Everything was excellent and we have never attended such kind of training before”. Participants did feel that they had a very hectic schedule as even after the session they were engaged in Group discussions and Case studies. Despite the tiring schedule, the participants wanted to suggest this institute to all CIDCO officers because they felt that the kind of knowledge shared and way of teaching was marvelous. Real life examples quoted during the program were also appreciated. Other participants who attended the program with our participants were from ONGC, LIC and various other reputed organizations. Participants were thankful to Ujjwal for helping and convincing them for the training.
Training Cell also encouraged the participants to submit the study material to Ujjwal team or to the library for other employees to be able to access it. On requesting for an option to search for institutes while selecting the courses, the Training Cell informed that it is an intent of the management for the applicant to go through the course objectives while selecting the course rather than just looking at the institute or the brand name.
All the participants thanked Ujjwal team and JMD I, CIDCO to provide such an opportunity to CIDCO Officials.
The training cell conducts fifth session of ‘Vimarsh’
October 26, 2018
Fifth Session of Vimarsh took place on 24th October 2018 with the objective of understanding and sharing the participant feedback in regard to their learnings, stay, faculty and the institute they went to. Participants also spoke about the ease of using Ujjwal and the expected future trainings. 14 employees participated in the discussion forum bringing forward varied experiences from institutes like IIM-A, IIM-C, ISB, ASCI, ESCI and IRMA-Anand.
Employees who went to IIMA were extremely happy with the standard of the training and the course delivery. The course on Theory of Relativity helped them understand the dynamic nature of an organizational setup, ways to establish a relationship matrix and understand the authority in the organizational set up. The other course conducted at Ahmedabad campus engaged the participants extensively in assignments and role plays for enhancing communication strategies. They were also happy with Ujjwal Team’s assistance on course selection. Participants who went to IIMC, ESCI and IRMA appreciated the overall course content and delivery by faculty, campus premises, boarding and food arrangements. They were impressed by the punctuality and professionalism maintained throughout the training programme. Participant who attended training in IIMC praised the faculty for modifying the course content as per participants’ expectations.
Emphasizing on the benefits of the attended training in personal and professional growth, the participants requested the training cell to insist every employee of CIDCO to attend a training. Some participants suggested cross-functional learning within different departments in CIDCO, in response the training cell explained them the procedure to raise customized training programme request for the same.
Most of the employees were happy with their learning experience through Ujjwal. They appreciated efforts done by the training cell and were thankful to the management for providing such an opportunity to CIDCO employees.
CIDCO Smart City Lab participates and help organize CITIIS Preparatory Workshop
October 2, 2018
The CITIIS program, launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU) organised a national-level Preparatory workshop for 100 smart cities on 25-26th September 2018 in New Delhi. Under the program, 15 projects from the city's Smart City Proposals will be selected through a challenge process. CIDCO Smart City Lab participated and actively helped in organizing the 2-day workshop.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Publishes Volume 4, Issue 2 of CIDCO@Smart
August 7, 2018
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 4 - Issue 2 of its newsletter 'CIDCO@Smart', detailing the team’s activities between April and June 2018. Concentrating on the bus transport networks, this special issue takes different case studies from all around the world. It identifies the issues and challenges faced by the bus systems and the subsequent articles focuses on various best practice models in different cities around the world.
The newsletter is available for viewing and downloading here.
The training cell conducts 4th session of ‘Vimarsh’
August 6, 2018
The training cell conducted 4th session of 'Vimarsh' on 3rd August 2018 where they spoke with all available training participants of June '18. These participants had attended training programs in different institutes like ASCI, CSE, ESCI, IIMC and IIRS. The discussion was specific to experiences and individual feedback on course contents and the institutes.
IIRS and CSE received positive reviews, the participants were quite happy with the course delivery. The course in IIRS provided the participants with worthy insights on application of GIS and an opportunity to interact with the senior scientists on its use. Engineers who attended the training at CSE were impressed by the energy efficiency and resource management practices implemented in its campus introduced during the training and through various experiences shared by practicing architects.
The participants were happy with their program in ASCI and were keen on recommending the Institute to others. The site visits during the training helped them understand the topic thoroughly. They found the campus, accommodation and food exceptionally good. They felt the course was very informative, however one of the participant felt that the programme was more relevant to beginners and inclined towards project administrators rather than planners. This participant also felt that Ujjwal has very few courses for planners, while it was duly conveyed that there are lot more courses for planning department and almost all officials from planning have already gone for the related courses of their interest and relevance to their roles in the department. Several courses relevant to planning available on the portal are repetitively organized every year by respective organizations. Training cell also explained that employees can always suggest courses to be uploaded.
Overall employees had very good feedback regarding trainings. They appreciated efforts done by Training Cell and were thankful to the management to provide such an opportunity to CIDCO employees.
Director, NIUA presents at 3rd Transforming Urban Landscape in Lucknow
July 30, 2018
The convention 'Transforming Urban Landscape: 3rd Anniversary Celebration of PMAY(U), AMRUT & Smart Cities Mission' was held in Lucknow on 27th and 28th July 2018. Prof. Jagan Shah, Director, NIUA stressed on the significance of capacity building to achieve goals of urban missions and presented the case-study of CIDCO's capacity building programme. The presentation emphasized on CIDCO's training policy and the implementation of training portal UJJWAL.
The training cell conducts third session of ‘Vimarsh’
July 2, 2018
Third session of Vimarsh was concluded on 28th June 2018. The discussion was specific on the courses attended by CIDCO Officers and their individual feedbacks on course contents and institute. All training participants from the month of May ’18 were invited. Participants who had gone to ASCI, CSE, ESCI, INGAF, IIMA and NPC attended the discussion.
Most of the feedbacks received were positive. Participants who had gone for training to Administrative Staff College of India were very happy. Their training consisted of site visits as well, which was very useful to their day-to-day work life. Institutes Like ASCI and ESCI also arranges city tour for their participants.
One of the senior leader suggested that junior employees should take the trainings seriously and select training according to their profile and projects they are working on. The senior leader expected some more solemnity to the learnings during the course. One of the participant requested for specific courses for her department, where Training Cell informed her about few relevant courses and conveyed her on any further inputs or suggestions for adding more courses that are specific.
Overall employees had a very good experience regarding training. They appreciated efforts done by the Training Cell and were thankful to the management to provide such an opportunity to CIDCO employees.
The training cell conducts second ‘Vimarsh’ session
May 15, 2018
Second session of ‘Vimarsh’ took place on 11th May, 2018. All training attendees from the month of March and April 2018 were invited. 13 participants who went to ASCI, ESCI, IIMB, NPC and NCTSR attended the discussion.
The feedback received was positive and almost all of them intend to bring a change, either at their personal or professional desk. Participants who had gone for training to IIMB were specifically very happy and recommended that each employee of CIDCO should go there at least once. One of the participants said, “IIMB focuses on complete development and apart from the training also teaches ways to overcome stress.”
Upon a query, the training cell informed the participants that the selection of courses is done on the basis of TNA done for the employees of CIDCO and prior to upload, the courses are approved from the respective HODs and JMD. Some participants suggested on conducting specialized trainings and were subsequently explained about customized trainings and the request procedure.
Many of the participants had attended a training for the first time and would like to have such trainings in future as well.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 4, Issue 1 of its newsletter
April 16, 2018
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes CIDCO@Smart Volume 4, Issue 1 detailing the team's activities from January 2018 to March 2018. The newsletter gives an insight into the work done by the Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
It is available for viewing and downloading here.
The training cell initiated ‘Vimarsh’ workshops
March 30, 2018
The objective of the workshop was to initiate a dialogue with the participants to know more about the institute they went to, their accommodation and their learning. All participants in the month of February’18 were invited. Participants who had gone to ASCI, IRMA, CSIR-CRRI and ESCI attended the discussion.
During the discussion, almost all participants spoke individually about the institute, the accommodation, the faculty/instructors, learnings from the training, and how they would like to make a difference through this training.
The idea behind Vimarsh is to have a healthy and interactive discussion with the participants and discuss about their experiences during the training. This will allow them to know about other institutes apart from the institute they have already attended.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab attends workshops and discussions
March 17, 2018
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in the WSDS 2018, organised by TERI, by attending the thematic workshop on 'Strengthening an evidence-based policy framework for sustainable transport' on 15th Feb, 2018. NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab also attended the stakeholder discussion on 'India Urban Mobility Study' organized jointly by TERI, World Bank and the ITF on 16th Mar, 2018.
Customized training program for DOs and ADOs in YASHADA, Pune.
February 16, 2018
Training cell conducted a Customized training program for general cadre DOs and ADOs in two different batches at YASHADA, Pune from 1st to 3rd Feb, 2018. The trainings were designed for three days each with an objective to familiarize the participants with land related matters and compliance in legislative and judicial work. Several internal and external faculties were invited for the session and each faculty shared an in depth knowledge of topics assigned to them.
Training cell conducted another Samvad session for the planning department at CIDCO.
February 11, 2018
The training cell conducted another Samvad session for the planning department of CIDCO wherein various cadre officers from planning were told about the newly introduced features of Ujjwal. Officers came up with several queries on the use of Ujjwal and the training cell team managed to resolve all of them. Several senior planning officers suggested to add the option of keyword search in selecting a course.
NIUA CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 3 Number 3 and 4 of its Newsletter
January 23, 2018
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes CIDCO@Smart Volume 3 Issues 3 and 4, detailing the team’s activities from July 2017 and December 2017. The newsletter gives an insight into the work done by the Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO. It is available for download here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Shares Comments on the Draft TOD Policy for Delhi
September 1, 2017
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab shared comments on the Draft TOD Policy for Delhi. These comments were presented in context of the five constructs of Transit Oriented Development – Urban Density, Design, Diversity, Mobility and Housing. In summary, they were as follows:
Need for phasing the development of areas under the policy along the MRTS corridors
Need to ensure strong multi-modal integration
Need for stronger parking restrictions within the TOD
Need for eliminating FAR limits within the TOD and:
Using number people/households/jobs as markers of density
Reducing the practice of using FAR based incentives
Need for diversification of housing unit size, types and occupancy
MoUD announces 30 cities under Round III of the National Smart Cities Mission
August 4, 2017
The Ministry of Urban Development announced the selection of 30 cities under Round III of the National Smart Cities Mission, bringing the total number of cities chosen in the mission to 90. The remaining 10 cities have an opportunity to revise their smart city proposals and resubmit in order to ensure feasible plans. This announcement was followed by the launch of City Liveability Index, whose purpose is to measure the quality of life in 116 major cities including smart cities, capital cities and cities with a population of above one million each. During the launch of the City Liveability Index, a companion document named “Methodology for Collection and Computation of Liveability Standards in Cities” was also released. It is meant to be the guiding document for data collection, analysis and calculation of various scores for the different parameters.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 3 Issue 2 of its newsletter
August 4, 2017
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 3, Issue 2 of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between April 2017 and June 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 newsletter is available for download here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab launches Ujjwal Training Portal
August 3, 2017
On 5th July, 2017, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab launched Ujjwal, CIDCO’s first customized training portal. Its purpose is to aid the implementation of CIDCO’s new Training Policy. The Training Policy was approved by the CIDCO Board as a step towards overcoming barriers to training and knowledge enhancement for all Class I & Class II CIDCO officers. Ujjwal is an integrated platform that provides access to a wide choice of managerial, technical and behavioural courses from world-class institutes, through a user-friendly interface. It can be accessed at https://cidco-smartcity.niua. org/ujjwal.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Training Cell is driving the propagation of the training portal across the multiple departments within CIDCO. As a part of this effort, it is conducting training sessions titled ‘Samwaad’ in every department within CIDCO. In the three weeks since its launch, the portal has already registered 25% of its expected users. Out of which 50% have registered their interest for participating in trainings and 80% have been confirmed for participation.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab establishes a Training Cell at CIDCO, Navi Mumbai
August 3, 2017
On 15th May, 2017, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab established a Training Cell at CIDCO, Navi Mumbai to facilitate the implementation of CIDCO’s Training Policy. The primary aim of the Cell is to support CIDCO and its officers in the identification of training needs and facilitation of participation in corresponding training programmes.
Lead by the Training Coordinator, Ms. Manjali Arora Suneja the Training Cell is situated at CIDCO Bhavan in Navi Mumbai to ensure dedicated support to the capacity building activities within CIDCO. It works in close collaboration with NIUA’s New Delhi office. The Cell is focused on promoting use of Ujjwal, CIDCO’s first Training Portal, through trainings for CIDCO Officers. It also addresses all queries and issues related to the use of the portal and maintains an update course database. One of its key tasks is to build partnerships with institutes that provide relevant trainings on subjects relevant to CIDCO. Any enquiries regarding the Training Cell’s activities can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Provides Comments for the Delhi Land Policy
June 14, 2017
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab shared comments on the New Delhi Master Plan Chapter on Land Policy and the Regulations for Operationalisation of Land Pooling Policy. The recommendations focused on:
Reducing land acquisition and transfer of land to the government through the policy as it goes against the principles of land pooling.
Recognizing the complexity of the land pooling process and enabling the DDA’s critical transformation from a developer into a facilitator for that process.
Reducing the multiple approval processes at the different stages of development for plans and layouts.
Overall, the comments question the policy’s deviation from its objective of using the land pooling method for maximizing citizen engagement and eliminating land transfer to the government.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ 14th Municipalika Conference
May 19, 2017
Rewa Marathe, Research Associate, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab presented at the 14th Municipalika conference in Navi Mumbai, as part of the panel on Healthy, Green & Connected cities. She shared the findings of a study recently conducted by NIUA on Transit Oriented Development in Indian Smart Cities. The presentation can be viewed here. Former Secretary, MoUD, Dr. M. Ramachandran chaired the panel and it included representatives from public and private sector. The discussion focused on the need of high quality pedestrian infrastructure for last mile connectivity and the significance of citizen participation for creating a healthy, green and connected city.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 4 & Vol 3, issue 1) of its newsletter
May 11, 2017
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 newsletter is available for download at NL_LO
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Participates in Stakeholder’s Workshop on Delhi-Gurgaon-Rewari-Alwar Regional Rapid Transit System
April 22, 2017
Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) organised a stakeholder engagement for the Delhi-Gurgaon-Rewari-Alwar RRTS on the 22nd of April at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Research Associates Suzana Jacob and Rewa Marathe participated in the workshop on behalf of the CIDCO Smart City Lab.
UMTC shared the DPR for the RRTS corridor, outlining the technical specifications and the financial models adopted for the project. The presentations included a discussion on the alignment and construction of the corridor along with expected ridership and revenue generation, multi-modal integration at the various stations and the development of the area around it. Ministry of Urban Development Additional Secretary Shri. D.S. Mishra delivered the inaugural address for the workshop.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab presents on National Smart City Mission at Constitution Club
March 22, 2017
Siddharth Pandit, Chair – CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented an overview of the National Smart City Mission to Members of Parliament at Constitution Club. PRS Legislative Research organised the talk where NIUA was invited to give insights on the National Smart City Mission. The presentation included an overview of the Mission, highlights from the Smart City Proposals of 33 cities and implementation parameters such as formation SPV and PMC, and challenges and opportunities lying ahead. The presentation can be viewed here-Smart City Mission PRS 22.3.17
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab submits suggestions on the National TOD Policy Draft
March 3, 2017
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India has prepared a draft for the national Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy. On 28th February 2017, it held a workshop to brief the States and UTs on the policy framework. CIDCO Smart City Lab submitted suggestions/inputs for the TOD policy draft to the MoUD based on its learnings from the study conducted on TOD in Indian Smart Cities. These suggestions/inputs were structured into three parts:
· overall suggestions for sections
· specific suggestions for amendment to the existing language within the sections
· specific recommendations for critical issues that should be included in the policy.
Some of the key suggestions/inputs submitted are as follows:
1. Establish access to high-quality mass transit and parking restrictions as the underlying core mechanism for TOD.
2. TOD should support higher density than the surrounding area. Density should be defined in terms of built-up area, population and jobs (per unit area). FSI should not be used as the sole measure of density. High density should be complemented with a mix of land uses (places of work, residence and leisure) to reduce the need to travel.
3. TOD developments should address the larger housing needs of the city by including a larger component of affordable housing (including rental, micro units and temporary shelter housing). Further, classification of the housing stock should be diversified beyond traditional income-based groups to include tenure, size, composition, household type (from census definition).
4. DCRs and Form-Based Codes should be used to create street-oriented buildings and active street frontages that lead to the use of public spaces all through the day. This can help make the neighbourhood vibrant and safer through natural surveillance. Public spaces should also accommodate the informal sector (such as street vendors).
5. Engagement of the private sector in the process of developing a TOD to enable the developers to build projects that respond to the local environment, improving the chances of its success. This will also help the local governments deficient in capacity, experience and resources, in long term and large-scale citizen engagement.
6. Reorganisation of the 21 principles of TOD outlined by MoUD in their TOD Guidance Document, into 5 constructs of TOD: Design, Density, Diversity, Housing and Mobility - to simplify the discussion on TOD.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ International Workshop for Development of TOD Projects in Indian Smart Cities
January 16, 2017
CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in a two day International Workshop on the Development of TOD Projects in Indian Smart Cities on 12th and 13th January, 2017. The event was organised for administrators of Smart Cities, which have proposed implementation of TODs in their Smart City Proposals. City representatives and PMCs from 13 cities took part in the event held at India Habitat Center in New Delhi.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ Roundtable on Smart Cities : Enabling Citizen Participation Through Technology
November 16, 2016
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented at the roundtable hosted by Jaanagraha on “Smart Cities: Enabling Citizen Participation through Technology". The roundtable was organized to look at the whole gamut of citizen participation in governance including use of technology, the available digital engagement tools and the challenges in enhancing its usage. The experience of various stakeholders in activating and enhancing citizen participation in governance were shared.
In the presentation titled "Citizens Engagement in Smart Cities Mission", Siddharth shared the findings about the efforts taken by the 20 Lighthouse Cities and the important differences in the approach to strategic planning the National Smart City Mission is advocating than the traditional top down landuse planning process. As such citizen engagement becomes an important part of organizational culture and decision making for planning bodies and the impacts will be seen over time rather than overnight successes. Yet for lack of previous experience, city agencies have shown the appetite and adaptability to undertake this new approach in urban transformation; the lighthouse cities have exemplified the quality of their proposals by emphasizing citizen engagement. Technology has enabled undoubtedly to jumpstart the collaboration and idea seeking for visioning, area identification and project prioritization. The challenge remains to permeate this process during the implementation and monitoring of the projects as the mission moves forward.
The presentation can be viewed here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 2 & 3) of its newsletter
November 2, 2016
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 newsletter is available for download at newsletter_vol_2_issue_23
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab joins immersion visit to UK with 10 city representatives and MoUD representative
October 31, 2016
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in an immersion visit to London organised for representatives from 10 smart cities. The group included eight Municipal Commissioners from Bhubaneswar, Indore, Jabalpur, Ranchi, Raipur, Chandigarh, Faridabad and Davanagere, CEO of SPV of Guwahati Smart City, Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority, Director of AMRUT Mission and Director of NIUA. The trip was arranged as part of a research project on Transit Oriented Development for Indian Smart Cities. It included site visits to King's Cross & Canary Wharf and interaction with representatives from Transport for London, London School of Economics, RICS, ARUP and Future Cities Catapult among others.
More information about the visit can be found here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ National Consultation Workshop for Development of TOD in Indian Smart Cities
September 6, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in the National Consultation Workshop for Development of TOD in Indian Smart Cities on 3rd September, 2016. The event was organised for administrators of Smart Cities, which have proposed implementation of TODs in their Smart City Proposals. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss challenges in operationalisation of TOD projects in these cities.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ European Cyclists’ Federation
August 11, 2016
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab wrote for the European Cyclists' Federation on the subject of Bicycling in India. This was part of their ongoing Smart Cycling Series where they invite visionaries and leaders in the field of mobility to share their thoughts and visions. The article can be viewed here.
NIUA along with the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) leads a Side Event on the theme: Prioritizing Children and Youth within the New Urban Agenda at the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom 3) of Habitat III
July 18, 2016
NIUA along with the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) is the leading organizing intuition for a Side Event on the theme: Prioritizing Children and Youth within the New Urban Agenda at the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom 3) of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) being held at Surabaya, Indonesia from Monday 25 July to Wednesday, 27 July 2016.
This side event will aim to prioritise children and youth within the New Urban Agenda, highlighting their needs in cities across the globe around issues such as housing, sanitation, education, health, transportation, mobility, environment and leisure to bring them into the centre stage of discussions within the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. This side event will provide a space not only to recognise how children and youth have been active in the Habitat III process, but also highlight and advocate their priorities and recommendations towards the New Urban Agenda. This event will feature a diverse range of speakers – including one child leader and two youth – drawn from our strong affiliate of partners that include Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), Cities Alliance, India Youth Fund, United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), UN Habitat and World Vision International.
Central Government announces 13 more smart cities
May 27, 2016
Central Government has announced 13 more Smart Cities from the 23 cities that submitted their Smart Cities Proposal in April 2016. Lucknow topped the list of winners of the Fast Track competition conducted for 23 cities belonging to the 23 states /UTs that did not make it in the first round of winning proposals. These cities improved the quality of their Smart City Proposals based on the feedback received.
33 cities from 25 States/UTs are now covered under Smart City Mission. The winners of the Fast Track competition are Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Warangal (Telanagana), Dharamshala, (Himachal Pradesh), Chandigarh, Raipur (Chattisgarh), New Town Kolkata(West Bengal), Bhagalpur (Bihar), Panaji, (Goa), Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), Imphal (Manipur), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Faridabad (Haryana).
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab develops a knowledge product on Value Capture from Infrastructure Investments for Smart Cities
May 18, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab develops a knowledge product on Value Capture from Infrastructure Investments for Smart Cities. This paper attempts to capture some of the best practices that cities globally have attempted for Value Capture Finance (VCF), a principle that communities benefiting from public investments on infrastructure should pay for it. The paper may be found here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 2 Number 1 of its newsletter- A National Smart Cities Mission Special Issue, detailing the team’s activities between January 2016 and March 2016
May 16, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 2 Number 1 of its newsletter, detailing the team’s activities between January 2016 and March 2016. This issue captures the National Smart City mission in elaborate details and the highlights of the first 20 cities that were announced as early winners of the mission in January 2016. The newsletter looks at the game changing interventions in the smart cities mission such as demand driven planning, learning and replicability, special purpose vehicle and convergence, and discusses them across the lighthouse cities. It also presents preliminary analyses of several emerging themes the SCPs focus on, which include integrated mobility, environmental sustainability, use of information and communication technology and financial resource management. Beyond the national smart cities mission, the newsletter in the section ‘smart city corner’, engages the readers in a comparison of the smart city programme in India and the US. This section also discusses latest technology used in France for sustainable district wide heating and cooling. Additionally the newsletter features snapshots of three top ranked cities of the first cycle of national smart cities mission- Bhubaneswar, Pune and Jaipur, with highlights of their SCPs that make them stand apart from the rest. With contents that cover the expanse of the smart cities mission of India, this newsletter is intended as a summary of the SCPs of the 20 lighthouse cities.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab gives comments on UNCSTD theme paper on Smart Cities
April 25, 2016
Siddharth Pandit- Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab, gave comments on UN Committee on Science Technology and Development (UNCSTD) theme paper on Smart cities. The report presents key urbanisation trends and their links to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Department of Science and Technology will be participating in the 19th Session of the UNCSTD that will deliberate on the report. The comments may be found here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab attends at the BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave 2016
April 16, 2016
Nanda Kishore – Research Fellow, CIDCO Smart City Lab - attended the BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave 2016 as a Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India representative. This conclave, which was held in Mumbai on April 14, 15 & 16, 2016, saw representatives from Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa discuss urban challenges such as security, public transport and affordable housing; an opportunity for BRICS Cities to learn from each other and overcome challenges together.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab presents at WRI India Sustainable Cities CONNECTKaro 2016 Conference
April 5, 2016
Siddharth Pandit - Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab - presented at WRI India Sustainable Cities conference, CONNECTKaro 2016 in New Delhi. The objective of the seminar, which was held over three days between April 5 and April 7, was to discuss challenges and solutions in the areas of transport and access, urban expansion, land management, renewable energy, air pollution, new mobility, and road safety in cities, drawing from global best practices and applying them to the Indian context. This seminar hosted political leaders, senior bureaucrats, policymakers, business leaders, and experts coming from around the world and country to share their knowledge and expertise on sustainable urban development. In a presentation titled "India Smart Cities and Urban Transport", Mr. Pandit spoke about the present transportation situation in India and the ambitious objectives of the Smart Cities Mission. The presentation can be accessed here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab presents at UITP India Bus Seminar in Delhi
March 29, 2016
Siddharth Pandit - Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab - presented at the 2nd UITP India Bus Seminar which was held in Delhi on March 29, 2016. The objective of the seminar was to remind the importance of bus based public transport system, to deliberate on ways of making buses more and of developing new bus technologies (electric, hybrid, etc.). This seminar hosted experts coming from around the world and country to share their knowledge and expertise on addressing challenges around increasing bus ridership towards reducing traffic congestion and enhancing quality of life. In a presentation titled "Urban Development and Public Transport", Mr Pandit spoke about the present transportation situation in India and the ambitious objectives promoted by the Smart Cities Mission.
CIDCO Smart City Lab assists the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, for the Indo-German Exchange Meeting
March 7, 2016
Dr. Sameer Sharma, Additional Secretary, Smart Cities, Mr. Munish Kumar Garg, Director, Smart Cities, and Mr. Sajeesh Kumar N., Deputy Secretary, Smart Cities, spoke at the Indo-German exchange meeting, sharing some of the Smart City Lab's analysis of the winning Smart City Proposals. CIDCO Smart City Lab assisted the ministry in identifying the projects related to climate change and integrated mobility for the top 20 smart cities. Some of these projects will be taken up by the GIZ and KFW.
CIDCO Smart City Lab at Velo-city Global 2016 Evolution of Cycling, Taipei, Taiwan
February 28, 2016
Siddharth Pandit - Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab - presented at Velo-City Global 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan. In a presentation titled "#Indiahasathingwithbikes" he spoke about bicycles & the smart cities in India. The presentation can be seen here.Velo-city is a series of cycle planning conferences organized by European Cyclists Federation to bring together those involved in policy, promotion and the provision of cycling facilities and programs. To learn more about the conference visit their website at www.velo-city2016.com.
Smart City Lab Participates in Workshop on Using Data to Build Safer Cities by Safetipin
February 9, 2016
Rewa Marathe, Research Associate at the Smart City Lab, participated in a workshop on "Using Data to Build Safer Cities" by Safetipin. It included a panel discussion with Ashok Bhattacharjee - Former Director Planning, UTTIPEC, AGK Menon - INTACH Founder-Member, Nandita Bhatla - Senior Technical Specialist at ICRW and Kalpana Vishwanath - Co-Founder Safetipin. The discussion covered challenges of collecting data of the intangible 'feeling of safety', exclusion in planning and design and the gendered nature of the built space. Safetipin also presented its work, explaining their safety audits and the mobile application based data collection process. To learn more about Safetipin visit their website at http://safetipin.com/
National Smart Cities Challenge Winners Announced
January 28, 2016
Government announces the 20 winners of the National Smart Cities Challenge. The winning cities and towns are from 11 states and UTs. Total investment of Rs. 50,802 Crores has been proposed for over a period of five years. The Smart Cities Mission is expected to promote a holistic approach towards development of the cities. These twenty cities account for 3.54 crore population. The 23 States and UTs who could not make to the list of winners will be given an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’. The highest ranking city from each of the remaining 23 States and UTs can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15 2016, for inclusion in the mission.
The press release from NIUA & CBUD can be seen here.
NIUA Collaborates with IIT Madras for Smart Cities Challenge at Shaastra 2016
January 23, 2016
In collaboration with NIUA, IIT Madras held a Smart Cities Challenge at Tech-fest Shaastra 2016. The participants proposed IOT solutions based on the ideas from National Smart City Mission's 'Mera Shehar Mera Sapna' Contest. The entries were judged by a panel of members from NIUA, MoUD, DEIT , and IIT. Siddharth Pandit, Chair - CIDCO Smart City Lab represented NIUA.
For the first stage, all the participating teams submitted their proposals, outlining the concept and the workflow of the proposed IOT solution. For the second stage, twenty shortlisted submissions were presented to panel on the 23rd of January and three winning proposals were chosen. The competition was a great success at the Shaastra 2016 and received positive feedback from all the participants.
The winning proposals in the order of their rank -
Ration Station, Sastra University, Tanjore
Smart Manholes, IIT Madras
Ride On, IIT Madras
Further Details of the competition are available here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (3 & 4) of its newsletter.
January 22, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (3 & 4) of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between July 2015 and December 2015. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart‘ gives an insight into the work done by the smart cities unit in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
The third and fourth combined edition showcases the Smart City Plan of CIDCO in CIDCO Navi Mumbai (South). Each issue beginning from this will showcase an overview on one objective area and one project of high impact from the plan. A section on inclusive planning is also introduced. This issue presents an interview with V. Radha, IAS, Joint Managing Director (JMD), CIDCO, on gender inclusive planning at CIDCO. The newsletter also presents initiatives at NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab which include Citizen engagement strategy for Smart Cites and Designing for Bicycle based Mobility along with a case study- Bike-share system at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Various smart policies and technologies across the globe which include the application of ICT beyond e- Governance in Smart Cities, Privately Owned Public Spaces and Smart Bus Shelter is captured in this newsletter. It is hoped that featuring these ideas can instigate dialogues and potentially implementation in Indian cities especially Navi Mumbai. The latest progress of the National Smart City Mission is also discussed in this issue.
The Newsletter can be viewed here.
Smart City Lab presents on “Urban Infrastructure in India”at PRS Legislative Research.
January 8, 2016
Siddharth Pandit, Chair - CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented an overview of the Urban Infrastructure Policies in India at PRS Legislative Research to the current LAMP Fellows.
The first urban infrastructure policy in India, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, was launched in 2005 to address the challenges of urbanization, need for urban sector development and improve quality of life in cities. A decade later, Government of India is taking the next steps in process with AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission, Housing for All, HRIDAY and Swacch Bharat. This presentation highlights the challenges and successes of these policies. The presentation can be viewed here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab presents “Technology and City” at Columbia Global Center Mumbai
December 17, 2015
Siddharth Pandit, Chair - CIDCO Smart City Lab presented an overview of the National Smart City Mission and the CIDCO Smart City Plan at the 'Technology and City ' workshop arranged by Columbia Global Center, South Asia, Mumbai.
The presentation showcased the depth and breadth of ICT initiatives implemented in India. These initiatives have traditionally focused on improving governance (e-Governance) and efficiency of service delivery. The National Smart City Mission's emphasis on scaling up these ICT initiatives to other areas of urban planning such as water, sanitation, housing and public transportation and on convergence of knowledge and financial resources was discussed.
CIDCO's recently released Smart City Plan was highlighted through the various ICT initiatives under the objectives areas of the plan. CIDCO is scaling up its commitment to technology as a key enabler to sustainable urban planning. The various initiatives can be found at https://cidco-smartcity.niua.org/cidco-smart-city-plan/
The presentation can be found here
Smart City Lab assists in preparation of CIDCO Smart City Action Plan
December 7, 2015
CIDCO launched its Smart City Action Plan at the hands of Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis on December 4th, 2015 at the Vashi Exhibition Centre in Navi Mumbai. The NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab assisted in the process by facilitating preparation and documentation of proposed smart projects across the various departments of CIDCO. The projects span the brownfield development in the seven nodes of CIDCO Navi Mumbai (South) and the greenfield development at Pushpak Nagar. The projects are divided into 10 objective areas
Smart Organisation : CIDCO recognized early on in its Smart City journey, that to be able to successfully deliver on its Smart City vision, it has to develop itself into a world class organization.As part of this transformational process, CIDCO reviewed the changes in the business environment and proposed to strengthen the four core fundamental principles around which its Smart City vision is anchored, namely – People, Technology, Environment and Efficiency.CIDCO is investing Rs 219.5 Crores by 2019 in various initiatives towards transforming its organization.
E-Governance, Transparency and Ease of Business : Improving transparency and ease of doing business using technology transformation.CIDCO’s Twenty Point Transparency plan has focused on improving public services and growing citizens’ expectations. The transparency plan initiated by CIDCO is a coordinated effort by the Management to improve citizen experience. The plans range from creating a governance framework for better delivery of key e-governance initiatives to creating policies and procedures that would be a guide for employees and stakeholders in delivery.CIDCO is investing Rs 170.04 Crores by 2016 in various initiatives towards using people, processes and technology.
Environmental Sustainability : Environmental Sustainability has been an integral part of the smart city vision. CIDCO has been sensitive towards preservation of environment since the inception of the Navi Mumbai project and has accordingly taken measures to protect it. With renewed vigor it is rededicating to this cause by strengthening its efforts through development of mangrove parks, nature park, missions like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, special projects like river front development etc. Wherever required, CIDCO is determined to regulate undesirable developments and promoting causes such as conservation of water by mandatory stipulations.
CIDCO is investing Rs 418 Crores by 2019 in various initiatives in its efforts towards environmental sustainability.
Swachh Bharat : The mission initiated by the Government of India last year is being fully supported by CIDCO, through employment of good sanitation practices including solid waste management and preventing open defecation through construction of toilets for the convenience of people.CIDCO is investing Rs 378.75 Crores by 2020 towards new sewage treatment plants (STPs), using technologies such as GIS in mapping of health hotspots and in its solid waste management.
Financial Independence : CIDCO believes that cities can flourish if they are financially independent, i.e. all finances required for sustenance of a city have to be generated within the city. These could be based on value added services to citizens, rent on leased public spaces, strategic use of land for commercial ventures etc. Financially sustainable cities attract industries, residential interests, and better social infrastructure and create employment for citizens. CIDCO is undertaking all its major infrastructure, transportation, port and affordable housing initiatives costing Rs.32744 Cr. as well as smart city initiatives costing nearby Rs.2033.40 Cr. out of its self-generated resources. This is because CIDCO has developed a robust market intelligence driven system wherever land is monetized in order to fund the city development.
Inclusive Planning : A key building block of the Smart City is to keep it inclusive where in the women, elderly, differently-abled and sons of soil feel at home. CIDCO has always been ahead of the curve in recognizing and addressing this issue. A holistic approach is considered, wherein physical planning (by way of providing plots for various activities) is supported by commensurate social environment. Housing, employment training , resource centers and recreation centers are some of the initiatives that will benefit from CIDCO’s planned investment of Rs 10911.85 Crores by 2019 towards inclusionary planning.
Quality of Life : Special projects such as Nature Park, Central Park, Golf Course, River front development, have been envisaged to promote greenery and ensure environment sustainability. These have been conceptualized with a view to not only add value to the city and offer its citizens opportunity for recreation etc. but also make water bodies more accessible to the people so that unscrupulous activities do not take place and degrade the environment. CIDCO envisages that one of the key building blocks of a smart city is to develop Navi Mumbai as a city of choice for its residents by offering livability and quality of life. This will be attained by providing, public safety, open spaces, social facilities etc. for a stress free, environmentally friendly citizen experience.
As part of this initiative, CIDCO has undertaken range of projects, namely, river fronts, water fronts and Marina. CIDCO has worked out a comprehensive model towards protecting and enriching open spaces and is investing Rs. 635 Crores by 2019 in these quality of life initiatives.
Provision of Basic Infrastructure :As part of self-sustained city program, Infrastructure is the core block that involves application of new strategies and technologies. CIDCO has always aimed to provide adequate infrastructure in the form of water, sanitation, roads, railways, information and communication technology –in order to improve living standards and enhance productivity, mobility and connectivity.
Water supply, power, road network, bus transport systems are some of the investments planned by CIDCO, which is investing Rs 7484.26 Crores by 2019 in world class urban infrastructure.
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) : CIDCO has pioneered the concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) by exploiting the air space above railway stations, the landmark being Vashi & Belapur station complex developed in late 90s. On the suburban rail network currently under development, i.e. the Nerul – Seawood – Uran corridor, the Seawood station and its adjoining commercial hub project is another iconic project of TOD.
‘Smart Cities’ are those where the residents can either walk to their work places or have public transport system right next to their houses, so that they can reach their work places quickly. CIDCO had been developing the bus transport and railway transport systems. CIDCO’s ground breaking concept of ‘Railway Station cum Commercial Complex’ makes it a major driving force behind the city’s economic development
CIDCO has launched several rail projects in partnership with central railways and has now ventured into METRO development.
Smart City Lab participates in FGD on Green Freight
November 9, 2015
Ryan Christopher Sequeira, Research Fellow participated in the 2nd Green Freight India Working Group Focused Group Discussion organised by Clean Air Asia and hosted by NITI Aayogon November 5th, 2015 in New Delhi.
Clean Air Asia was established in 2001 as the premier air quality network for Asia by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and USAID. Its mission is to promote better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport, energy and other sectors.
Smart City Lab participates in Consultation on building a framework for Gender Inclusive Smart Cities
November 9, 2015
Dr. Debolina Kundu, Advisor and Rewa Marathe, Research Associate engaged in a day long consultation hosted by UN Women and Akshara on Gender Inclusive Smart Cities in Mumbai on 4th November 2015. Dr. Kundu presented the vision of the National Smart Cities Mission and spoke about the role of data in making smart cities inclusive. Other attendees included elected representatives from local municipalities, civil society organizations and planning consultants. The group deliberated upon the issues of mobility and access to the city, impact of affordable housing and the role of technology and public participation in making gender an overarching issue for the development process.
Smart City Lab to present at National Energy Policy Workshop at NITI Aayog
November 6, 2015
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Government of India has been entrusted with the task to prepare the National Energy Policy framework in consultation with a large number of stakeholders. NITI Aayog has been organising high level stakeholder dialogue with stakeholder ministries, research organisations, industry experts, and academia to ensure such a policy to be broad based.
NITI Aayog with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as the knowledge partner is organising "National Energy Policy Workshop", a High level Stakeholder Dialogue on "Exploring Demand-side Concerns for an Energy Secure India".
A. N. Nanda Kishore will be a panellist discussing infrastructure constraints that hamper growth for the consumption sectors and seeks to discuss options that will provide for a long-term integrated infrastructure planning in session "Balancing sustainability and rising demand for housing" from 1615 to 1730 hours.
DownloadBackground Note | Agenda
CIDCO to present Navi Mumbai Smart City model at 3rd Annual Conference on Smart Cities in India
October 12, 2015
India Infrastructure Publishing is organising the 3rd Annual Conference on Smart Cities in Indiaon October 15 and 16, 2015 at The Imperial, New Delhi. The mission of the conference is to highlight the opportunities in smart cities, discuss the challenges, examine implementation strategies and showcase technologies. The conference will also present noteworthy global initiatives and projects.
P. Suresh Babu, Coordinator, Smart City Lab and Additional Chief Planner (A&R), CIDCO will be presenting the Navi Mumbai Smart City model on Day 2.
Bloomberg Philanthropies to conduct Ideas Camp on smart city development
October 1, 2015
Bloomberg Philanthropies', knowledge partner to MoUD for the Smart City Mission, will conduct an Ideas Camp to empower Mayors and ULBs with knowledge of processes and challenges of Smart City development. The Camp is the first element of a program of support developed to help municipal leaders learn from each other and to connect with leading urban practitioners and experts in India and around the world.
The Smart City Lab will coordinate two sessions on Pan-city Initiatives and Financing Smart Cities at the Camp that is being held at the JW Marriot, Delhi on 6 and 7 October, 2015.
For more details visit www.smartcitieschallenge.in
Smart City Lab to present at National Conference on De-polluting Indian Cities
September 10, 2015
International Development Centre Foundation is organising a 2 day National Conference on De-polluting Indian Cities on September 18 and 19, 2015 in partnership with GRC India Ltd., Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, Indian Council of Medical Research, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and International Roma Cultural University, Serbia. The conference will be held at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
A. N. Nanda Kishore will be a panellist discussing 'Smart Cities and Climate Smart Cities' in Technical Session III from 1545 to 1700 hours on Day 1.
Smart City Lab presents development of Navi Mumbai at ‘Urban Planning for City Leaders’ Workshop at Kuala Lumpur
September 9, 2015
The 30th KLRTC Workshop was jointly organized by CityNet, UN-Habitat and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Training Centre from September 7-9, 2015. Staged by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, this year’s workshop was specifically designed for urban practitioners and decision makers from rapidly growing contexts and offered new tools for sustainable planning and an opportunity to strategize for a new urban agenda.
With limited resources, a fast changing urban landscape and short political cycles, however, harnessing the benefits of urbanszation can be a difficult task. This short course gets urban actors asking the right questions about land use in their city, bridges the technical and policy dimensions of urban planning, and emphasizes a people-centered approach to decision making.
Attended by 21 participants from nine countries, the workshop was based on UN-Habitat’s unique publication “Urban Planning for City Leaders” launched in 2013 and has been greatly received and applied in Malaysia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Kenya, Mexico, Saint Lucia and the Philippines. Some of the modules were Sustainable Urban Pattern and New Urban Agenda, Planning Approach for Achieving Sustainable Urban Development, Public Space for a Liveable City and Dynamics of Urban Planning Challenges.
One of the workshop highlights was the peer-to peer review where participants had a fruitful discussion to analyse and identify key challenges and strategies and come up with a set of recommendations to develop an urban regeneration project, Sungai Besi Town. This project aims at upgrading the quality of township in this area to increase tourism and business activity at the area of Sungai Besi and is currently at the planning phase. They went to visit the project prior to the discussion.
This year’s KLRTC workshop that focused on a more practical level is expected to equip participants with ready-to-use tools to improve their own projects and thus bring tangible improvements for their cities at their disposal.
CIDCO to present Smart City Plan at NITI Aayog
August 31, 2015
NITI Aayog is organising a workshop titled “Transforming Urban India: Developing Smart and Sustainable Cities” on September 2, 2015, from 10:30 hrs to 13:15 hrs at Multipurpose Hall (Kamladevi Complex), India International Centre, 40 - Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. The workshop will provide a platform for exchange of ideas and knowledge among key stakeholders on issues related to the development of smart and sustainable cities. The Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Bengaluru is the knowledge partner for this event.
Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, IAS will present CIDCO's Smart City plan at the Workshop and is the only planning authority invited to make a presentation.
Smart City Lab coordinates sessions on ‘Smart City Urban Planning’ at Smart Cities India 2015
May 11, 2015
The Smart Cities India 2015 exhibition and conference is taking place at Pragati Maidan from May 20 to 22, 2015 to bring forth innovative developments in transforming our cities. The three days conference will help in redefining our urban infrastructure.
Ryan Christopher Sequeira, Fellow, Smart City Lab will be coordinating 4 sessions on Urban Planning for Smart Cities on behalf of the National Institute of Urban Affairs.
Day 1: 1130 to 1300 hours
Day 1: 1400 to 1530 hours
Day 3: 1000 to 1130 hours
Day 3: 1145 to 1315 hours
Smart City Lab authors Background Paper for Round table discussion and consultation on Sustainable Energy Integration in Smart Cities
May 1, 2015
The Smart Cities Mission is an ambitious initiative that is pan-India and cuts across sectors. It seeks to redefine not just urban life but also the Indian economy and our social fabric as a whole. The potential is transformational, however, this mammoth undertaking necessitates a paradigm shift in the way we have been managing our cities. Smart Cities can be thought of as a singular overarching idea that brings under it multiple ideas that are whole economic sectors in themselves.
Sustainable Energy is one such idea in the quintessential multi-axial complex of Smart-Cities architecture and design. In the long list of public goods and services that a city provides its inhabitants with, Energy is preeminent. The direct impact and the indirect nexus that energy has withpossibly every other sector, including critical ones such as water, transport, and industry makes Energy one of the topmost priorities when addressing the Smart Cities Mission. Before implementation begins, this mission will benefit from cogent mechanism design, a definitional framework with well-defined standards and standardized systems that are suitably modified only to meet regional and local objectives or constraints.
This first stakeholder consultation would act as the preliminary step towards achieving this objective. This background paper seeks to be a ‘conversation starter’ around the idea of Sustainable Energy integration in Smart Cities and would kick-start wide consultations with stakeholders that would ultimately inform government policy towards a cogent cohesive implementation framework for executing the Smart Cities Mission.
Smart City Lab authors Conference Paper on ‘The Role of m2m+iot in Smart Cities of India’
February 19, 2015
India m2m + iot Forum is the most premium global platform for the machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) community and offers the best opportunity for learning, sharing, connecting, networking, branding and positioning with senior decision makers associated with machine-to-machine (m2m) and the internet of things (iot) world.
The conference will be held on February 19 and 20, 2015 at the Royal Plaza, New Delhi and aims at enriching the machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) ecosystem with market intelligence, technology trends, success stories and capacity building. It is a confluence of a variety of activities in the form of keynote sessions, panel discussions, technology showcase, dialogue and exchange forums - covering the vast gamut of technology, application, policy, use cases from across India and the world.
Dinesh Kapur and Ryan Christopher Sequeira of the Smart City Lab authored the Conference Paper titled 'Smart Cities in India - the role of m2m+iot'
Smart City Lab to present at Digital India Conclave
December 2, 2014
India Inc. along with FICCI, Invest India and Chase India is organising a Digital India Conclave, a series of online and offline activities pivoting around two roundtables in New Delhi and Washington DC. The conclave will bring together around 100 -150 key stakeholders across government/public sector, the private sector as well as other influencers such as think tanks, media and specialist experts.
The Digital India programme by India Inc. is a part of a strategic dialogue series. It involves key stakeholders and influencers who focus on the potential of India US collaboration around some of the key initiatives of the Indian Government. These programmes will be part of the India US Partnership Hub that was launched during Prime Minister Modi's visit to the US in Septmeber 2014.
This online- offline integrated 4 month programme will bring in perspectives and participation from senior policy decision makers in the Government and industry along with other key influencers around a discourse to achieve the following objectives:
Identify the challenges and opportunities in the Digital India initiative
Identifying synergies that can be created between industries and the Government to successfully implement the Digital India initiative.
Explore how the India US collaboration could help in achieving the Digital India vision
Involve key stakeholders and influencers in defining a roadmap that will lead towards a truly Digital India
Produce a series of online – offline activities to facilitate discourse culminating in a bespoke online publication.
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, Smart City Lab is to speak as a panelist in the session on “Digital India & Smart Cities” at the first conclave of the Digital India Programme on 5th December 2014 at Longchamp Hall, Hotel Taj Mansingh, New Delhi at 11 am.
Smart City Lab to present at NextGen City Jaipur
December 1, 2014
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India and Governance Now is jointly organising the NextGen Cities Conclave in Jaipur on 4th December 2014 at the ITC Rajputana. The Conclave will be attended by key officials of the state government, various agencies, academia, industry and the media.
The NextGen Cities Conclave is a part of the series of capacity building conference on smart cities that Governance Now is organising across India. The Conclave will be attended by key officials of the state government, various agencies, academia, industry and the media.
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, Smart City Lab will speak on Integrated Urban Planning and Development on the session between 1445 and 1530 hours.