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Mysuru takes up Challenge to build ‘pedestrian-friendly’, safe streets

Post COVID-19, the Centre wants more cities to have walker-safe streets; says the effort is expected to boost the local economy and turn cities sustainable

Mysuru is one of the 113 cities registered for the Streets for People Challenge, an initiative of Smart Cities Mission, Government of India.

The India Programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which is the knowledge partner of the Smart Cities Mission, is conducting this Challenge and guiding cities through it.

The registered cities will implement quick, innovative, and low-cost interventions to make their cities walkable, with a focus on place making and liveability.

“Promoting pedestrian movement in urban streets promotes public health, cleaner air, better public mobility and is environmentally-friendly. It will ease congestion and traffic and pave the way for a sustainable city. I request active citizen participation in creating safer streets and support Mysuru in the Challenge,” said Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde.

Community engagement is a key component of the Challenge, and its success depends on active coordination between the city and its citizens. To ensure this transformation, Mysuru is committed to working with its citizens as it develops and implements the proposals, a release said here.

The Challenge pushes cities to reimagine their streets as public spaces through the lens of economic regeneration, safety, and child-friendly interventions, in order to ensure a green recovery from COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

What’s the Challenge?

The Challenge comprises two stages: in Stage 1 that runs until February 2021, each city has to identify and test at least one flagship walking project and enhance liveability in one neighbourhood. The potential locations for the flagship project may include streets and public spaces around transit hubs, heritage zones, commercial streets, market areas, recreational corridors, or any zone with high footfall.

A city-led design competition will form an integral component of the Challenge to gather innovative ideas from professionals across the country as the Challenge considers participatory approach as its core value.

11 cities to get nod

The Mission will shortlist 11 cities, through a reputed panel of experts, which would then move to Stage 2 of the Challenge. The evaluation will be based on the pilots and conceptual city-wide scale-up proposals submitted by the registered cities. The shortlisted cities will receive an award, a citation, and guidance from national and international experts to further develop and commence their scale-up plans submitted in Stage 1. This stage will extend until May 2021, the release said.

During the course of the Challenge, cities will receive assistance through online training workshops, knowledge resources, peer-to-peer learning discussions with fellow cities, and interactions with local civil society organisations (CSOs) and design experts to strategise and implement pilots, while also developing their scale-up proposal.

The Challenge, the release said, has launched an online portal that features a page exclusively for this purpose titled ‘Support your city’. By filling the form on this page, interested citizens, CSOs, students, consultants, and corporates can express their interest in working with the city for the Challenge. Using this portal, Mysuru will review the entries and form a diverse team that will support in developing and implementing the initiatives.

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