Urban mobility in focus
One of the important points highlighted in the various Smart City proposals submitted by state governments is about managing urban mobility. They include greater pedestrianisation, creating cycling tracks and promoting other forms of non-motorised transport such as GPS-enabled e-rickshaws besides…

One of the important points highlighted in the various Smart City proposals submitted by state governments is about managing urban mobility.

They include greater pedestrianisation, creating cycling tracks and promoting other forms of non-motorised transport such as GPS-enabled e-rickshaws besides smart parking or IT-enabled solutions for traffic management.

A number of cities have proposed creation of more pedestrian zones and promotion of public transportation through Bus Rapid Transport or feeder buses.

“The basic idea of pan-city development is to apply digital technology to existing transportation so as to bring in an efficiency component, reduce transaction cost and travel time,” Indian Express quoted an expert as saying.

It is not meant to be capital intensive. It could be having digital bike docks as in the case of London or Manhattan or provision of real-time traffic information along roads as Barcelona does at its bus stops, urban expert Saswat Bandyopadhyay, Professor of Planning at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University said.

Pan city development plans for metros such as New Delhi and Mumbai have proposed smart parking to manage the increasing volume of cars while Agra has mooted the One Agra, One Smart Card for cashless transaction across public transport systems, museums and other tourist attractions.

Vinay Anadkat, a transport expert at World Resources Institute, said that the stipulated size of projects up to a maximum of 500 acres under area development is too small for implementing public transport projects for metros or buses.

An analysis of about 45 proposals showed that most cities have submitted plans for transport infrastructure under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). Application of technology to these transport modes has been proposed under the Smart Cities mission.

Proposals from Bhubaneswar included sensor-based traffic lighting and transport systems, installation of GPS, CCTVs and on-board announcements in buses, establishing a central control room and video analysis for traffic management.

This is in addition to plans for promoting non-motorised transport, walking and cycling and multimodal integration of bus terminals and railway stations.

Urban mobility emerged as the highest priority area for the Bhubaneswar following an extensive consultation with citizens. “Most voted for improving urban mobility followed by issues related to water, power and waste management,” said a city official.

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