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Capacity Building Workshop in Madhya Pradesh Facilitates Discussion on Development and Transport Needs for Emerging Indian Cities

WRI India was recently empanelled as a national training institution for Urban Planning by the Ministry of Urban Development, and has been leading capacity building initiatives under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) programme in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Through a series of intensive residential workshops, our trainings strengthen the skills of Urban Local Bodies and introduce them to best practices in urban development solutions.

WRI India recently conducted a three-part series of trainings for the Government of Madhya Pradesh, with support from the state’s Directorate of Urban Administration and Development. The event was held in Indore on 22 – 24 August 2016, and was attended by over 30 Urban Local Bodies from more than 20 cities in Madhya Pradesh. Participants included chief transportation officers, town and country planning directors, urban development authority representatives and senior civic engineers. The sessions were led by experts from the WRI India team.

This training capsule focused exclusively on public transport planning, featuring expert-led sessions on Transit Oriented Development, Safe Access to Mass Transit, Optimisation of City Bus Services and Feeder Systems, BRT Systems, and Safety in Public Transport. The sessions were designed to include a range of interactive exercises and innovative tools, such as:

  • Dedicated sessions for participant-led discussions and presentations, such as one focusing on the strategies and tools required to support the launch of bus services in a city.

  • A specially-designed board game to help participants understand safe access principles in the context of Indore’s congested Palasiya precinct.

  • Simple formulae to quickly assess a city’s public transport infrastructure needs, such as fleet size.

  • A site visit to Indore’s successful iBus BRT system in regular operational conditions, allowing participants to view the system from a commuter’s perspective.

The participants appreciated the workshop’s content and structure, noting that it helped foster a shared understanding of urban challenges despite their diverse personal narratives. For instance, Mr. Surya Prakash Tiwari, CTO Rewa, expressed that the workshop gave him a rare chance to not only work and interact with officers from other cities, departments, and hierarchical positions, but also helped him understand how such varying stakeholders can come together to identify and solve urban problems.

The key takeaways from the workshop included:

  • The need for a long-term vision in urban development

  • Sensitivity to local contexts when implementing global solutions

  • Comprehensive planning to create universally accessible public transport infrastructure

Representatives from Katni, Bhind and Satna were keen to use the learnings from the workshop to deploy urban mobility solutions in their own cities. Those from larger cities felt that the workshop highlighted the potential of knowledge sharing and inter-urban partnerships within the state. In their evaluations, participants commented that they felt empowered to set precedents and build consensus in order to overcome the challenges to sustainable urban development posed by existing institutional structures and conflicts.

WRI India will revisit these learnings and advance participants’ understanding of urban transport and development in the next edition of this workshop.

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