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Improving Walkability in Indian cities

Improving Walkability in Indian cities

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Published by Vaishnavi Jayakumar
Improving Walkability in Indian cities

Have you ever wondered how the pedestrian infrastructure in Pune can be compared with those in Chennai or Hong Kong or for that matter what actions needs to be taken in Surat to improve walkability?

Such comparisons and proposed improvement measures, with some caveat, can be made by making some sample measurements across the cities using a standard methodology i.e. a “walkability index.” In simple terms, walkability can be used to describe and measure the connectivity and quality of walkways, footpaths, or sidewalks in cities. It can be measured through a comprehensive assessment of available infrastructure for pedestrians and studies linking demand for walking and supply of walking infrastructure.

With a support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, CAI-Asia center managed to conduct a walkability study in six Indian cities. The scope includes the following cities: three big cities namely Chennai, Pune, Bhubaneshwar and three smaller but growing cities, Surat, Rajkot and Indore. This study is a follow-up of CAI-Asia’s study “Walkability and Pedestrian Facilities in Asian Cities: State and Issues” with support from ADB and other partners.

Walkability photos can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cai-asia

Based on the findings of this study, a number of recommendations were identified involving various stakeholders who should play a role in developing policies, projects, and/or initiatives focused on improving walkability and pedestrian facilities in Indian cities. Through discussions with Shakti Foundation it was decided to focus on broader NMT as a way forward, and that an approach is needed that focuses at both the national and city levels.

The objective of the project under phase 2 is to improve the state of walking and pedestrian facilities in Indian cities by policy, strategic documents and regulations along with dedicated projects through:

Policy Development - through the improvement and/or adoption of national/state/city policies and by obtaining commitments from two to three cities to improve walking and pedestrian facilities in the next couple of years that are concrete and visible to its residents and are considered as best practice examples for other Indian cities to follow, although the effort has been to obtain commitments from more than three cities
Development of Walkability Toolkit for Indian Cities – to facilitate policy and strategic development, a toolkit for states/cities to adopt in support of walking and pedestrian facilities in Indian cities. The Toolkit has been developed and comments from various experts has been received, which is being incorporated and will be made available in the final report.
Advocacy and City Dialogues and City Implementations – sustained commitment from the cities involves active facilitated dialogues with and between government (state and city levels) and other stakeholders in actual programs, projects, and/or additional policies adopted by the cities. On this regard the cities have committed to improve pedestrian facilities.
The dialogue in Bhubaneswar held on 24 November 2011, saw an excellent turnout of top city officials, headed by the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Commissioner of the BDA, Joint Secretary H&UDD, Chief of the Town Planning Department, Highway Department and others. The walkability study was greatly appreciated and the city has committed itself to creating specialized zones for pedestrians and improving facilities.

In Chennai both the MD of the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation and the Secretary, Highway and Minor Ports were keen on improving walkability and wanted a training course to be conducted for officials and engineers of various departments on complete street designs.

In Hyderabad, a roundtable was held with the Hyderabad Municipal Commissioner and other city officials on 14 April, the Commissioner has requested for a capacity building program for the officials a
Improving Walkability in Indian cities

Have you ever wondered how the pedestrian infrastructure in Pune can be compared with those in Chennai or Hong Kong or for that matter what actions needs to be taken in Surat to improve walkability?

Such comparisons and proposed improvement measures, with some caveat, can be made by making some sample measurements across the cities using a standard methodology i.e. a “walkability index.” In simple terms, walkability can be used to describe and measure the connectivity and quality of walkways, footpaths, or sidewalks in cities. It can be measured through a comprehensive assessment of available infrastructure for pedestrians and studies linking demand for walking and supply of walking infrastructure.

With a support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, CAI-Asia center managed to conduct a walkability study in six Indian cities. The scope includes the following cities: three big cities namely Chennai, Pune, Bhubaneshwar and three smaller but growing cities, Surat, Rajkot and Indore. This study is a follow-up of CAI-Asia’s study “Walkability and Pedestrian Facilities in Asian Cities: State and Issues” with support from ADB and other partners.

Walkability photos can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cai-asia

Based on the findings of this study, a number of recommendations were identified involving various stakeholders who should play a role in developing policies, projects, and/or initiatives focused on improving walkability and pedestrian facilities in Indian cities. Through discussions with Shakti Foundation it was decided to focus on broader NMT as a way forward, and that an approach is needed that focuses at both the national and city levels.

The objective of the project under phase 2 is to improve the state of walking and pedestrian facilities in Indian cities by policy, strategic documents and regulations along with dedicated projects through:

Policy Development - through the improvement and/or adoption of national/state/city policies and by obtaining commitments from two to three cities to improve walking and pedestrian facilities in the next couple of years that are concrete and visible to its residents and are considered as best practice examples for other Indian cities to follow, although the effort has been to obtain commitments from more than three cities
Development of Walkability Toolkit for Indian Cities – to facilitate policy and strategic development, a toolkit for states/cities to adopt in support of walking and pedestrian facilities in Indian cities. The Toolkit has been developed and comments from various experts has been received, which is being incorporated and will be made available in the final report.
Advocacy and City Dialogues and City Implementations – sustained commitment from the cities involves active facilitated dialogues with and between government (state and city levels) and other stakeholders in actual programs, projects, and/or additional policies adopted by the cities. On this regard the cities have committed to improve pedestrian facilities.
The dialogue in Bhubaneswar held on 24 November 2011, saw an excellent turnout of top city officials, headed by the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Commissioner of the BDA, Joint Secretary H&UDD, Chief of the Town Planning Department, Highway Department and others. The walkability study was greatly appreciated and the city has committed itself to creating specialized zones for pedestrians and improving facilities.

In Chennai both the MD of the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation and the Secretary, Highway and Minor Ports were keen on improving walkability and wanted a training course to be conducted for officials and engineers of various departments on complete street designs.

In Hyderabad, a roundtable was held with the Hyderabad Municipal Commissioner and other city officials on 14 April, the Commissioner has requested for a capacity building program for the officials a

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Published by: Vaishnavi Jayakumar on Jan 16, 2013
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Walkability
in Indian Cities
Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) CenterMarch 2011
A Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation supported study
 
©2011 Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities Center. All rights reserved.Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center, 2011. “Walkability in Indian Cities”. Pasig City, Philippines. This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part in any form for educational or non-pro
t purposes withoutspecial permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgment of the source is made. The CAI-Asia Centerwould appreciate receiving a copy of any publication that uses this CAI-Asia Center publication as a source. No use of thispublication may be made for resale or for any other commercial purpose whatsoever, without prior permission in writingfrom the CAI-Asia Center. 
Disclaimer
Disclaimer
 The views expressed in this publication are those of CAI-Asia Center sta
 
, consultants and management,and do not necessarily re
ect the views of the Board of Trustees of the CAI-Asia Center. The CAI-AsiaCenter does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication and does not acceptresponsibility for consequence of their use.
Acknowledgments
Acknowledgments
We appreciate the support provided by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation towards making thisstudy possible. Shakti Foundation works in support of clean energy policies that enhance the energysecurity of the country and sustain development.We also thank the following people for their contribution to the walkability surveys in these six Indiancities:Bhubaneshwar – Vipul Sharma (IUCN), Piyush Ranjan Raut (City Managers Association Orissa),
Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty (UNCRD)Chennai – Raj Cherubal (City Connect), Shreya Gadepalli and Christopher Kost (ITDP), Prof 
Madhav Badami (Mcgill University), Prof Sudhir Chella Rajan, Amrutha K, Preshant, Gayathri andOviya Govindan (IIT Madras)Indore - Tabrez Syed , Prajna Rao and Madhav Pai (Embarq)
Pune – Ashok Sreenivas, Robert Obenaus, Kittykanchan and Ranjit Gadgil (Parisar), Nitin Warrier
(ITDP)Rajkot – Christopher Kost (ITDP), Vinod Patel, Alpana Mitra (Rajkot Municipal Corporation)
Surat - Christopher Kost (ITDP), Vinod Patel, Mahesh Jaymalani and Nitya Dave (Surat Municipal
BRTS Cell)We also appreciate the comments and suggestions of various organizations and experts, includingKanthi Kannan of The Right to Walk Foundation and the sta
 
s of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundationparticularly Himani Jain.
Contact
Contact
CAI-Asia CenterUnit 3504-5 Robinsons-Equitable TowerADB Avenue, Pasig City, 1605Metro Manila, Philippinescenter@cai-asia.orgwww.cleanairninitiative.orgCAI-Asia India O
ce257 Regus EleganceElegance Tower, JasolaNew Delhi – 110025, IndiaIndia@cai-asia.org
 
Contents
Executive Summary 3
Executive Summary 3List of Abbreviations 41. Introduction 52. Why Survey Walkability in Indian Cities? 7
2.1 India is Urbanizing Fast 72.2 India is facing Signi
cant Transport Challenges 72.3 Improving Walkability can help address Transport Challenges 9
3. Walkability Survey Methodology 13
3.1 Overview of Existing Methodologies 133.2 Field Walkability Survey 143.3 Pedestrian Survey 163.4 Policy and Institutional Survey 16
4. Field Walkability Survey Results 17
4.1 Overall Score 174.2 Residential Area Surveys 194.3 Educational Area Surveys 214.4 Commercial Area Surveys 234.5 Public Transport Terminals Survey 25
5. Pedestrian Survey Results 27
5.1 Number of Pedestrian Interview Survey Respondents 275.2 Pro
le and Age Group of Respondents 275.3 Travel Characteristics 285.4 Respondents’ Rating of Pedestrian Facilities 295.5 Pedestrian Preference 295.6 Comparison of Six Indian cities data with other Asian Cities 32
6. Policy and Institutional Analysis Results 33
6.1 National Institutional Arrangement and Policies 336.2 City Development Plans 336.3 Institutional, Planning and Policy Barriers 38
7. Removing Barriers to Improve Walkability 41
7.1 Institutional Arrangements to Promote Walkability 41

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