Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur and Aurangabad have dominated the 'Streets4People Challenge' organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under the Smart Cities Mission to make public places more people-friendly.
These four cities among 11 cities across the country were selected for scaling up their pilot projects and creating permanent public infrastructure. They were also picked up as pioneers for showcasing creative on ground transformation and extensive collaboration with citizens.
According to the ministry, in a competition that was open to 113 smart cities, 38 cities piloted the re-imagination of an important street each by prioritizing them for pedestrians.
The Streets4People competition required cities to redesign their streets as public spaces through low-cost innovative measures making them safe for citizens, more particularly senior citizens and children.
People friendly initiatives of Maharashtra Cities:
Pune won the accolades for reclaiming space along several roads to create safe and exciting ‘experience zones’ for all citizens. The city activated these edges by painting the spaces, conducting laughter yoga sessions, music sessions, introducing kids play-areas etc.
Going ahead, the city plans to build wider footpaths and install street furniture at different locations.
Pimpri-Chinchwad was hailed as the walking and cycling champion for reclaiming space from the carriageway for segregated cycle lanes and footpaths.
The city worked closely with their Street Design Consultants to further their city-wide Harit Setu Masterplan, connecting green spaces across the city.
Aurangabad leveraged its success of the ‘Open Street Campaign’ by reclaiming carriageway space with vibrant paints and billboards. They also added low-cost seating that allowed citizens to spend time and enjoy the newly created space.
The Aurangabad Smart City Development Corporation and the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation plan to transform the stretch from Kranti Chowk to the Cannought area in a sustainable way, giving it a modern look.
Working closely with technical experts and key stakeholders, Nagpur strategically reorganized the street section along with the very busy Sitabuldi market and Sakkadara to allocate more walking space for people. The city used colourful paints, old car tyres as planters and seating made with scrap materials to demarcate the new walkways.
Nagpur Smart & Sustainable City Development Corporation Ltd will further facilitate bicycle rental, e-rickshaw projects as part of its green city initiative.
Scaling up pilot projects:
The four cities from Maharashtra that have won Stage I of the Streets4People Challenge will receive a cash award of Rs 50 lakhs.
In Stage 2, these cities will use their learnings and continue to work towards a vision for “Healthy Streets”—integrating walking, cycling, and public transport to make streets safe and convenient for all.