As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, rapidly spreads across the world, health services in many nations are increasingly overwhelmed, while the global economy is falling into an unprecedented recession. The World Bank has cut India’s growth forecast for 2020-21 to 2.8%, down from 5% in 2019-20. Informal sector workers and members of lower income groups have been hit particularly hard as their wages have disappeared. The International Labour Organization estimates that...
Inequality is shaping how people are experiencing COVID-19 in cities to a startling degree. The vulnerability of the urban poor is striking everywhere, but the divide is more visible in some places than others.
This is where I live on Veera Desai Road in Andheri (K- West) ward of Mumbai. Though our ward has the third highest COVID-19...
Streets in the last century were primarily designed as a mode of transport for goods and services. This automobile-centric approach of street design stifled the human accessibility aspect, and eventually, cities forgot that every citizen is a pedestrian at some point in a day. But this scenario is changing, and cities globally are leading the movement to reinvest in their streets with a focus on pedestrian environment.
Mumbai is a city of pedestrians, with 51% of the total daily trips being walk trips, according to the...
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is India’s flagship scheme serving as a social security net for millions of rural households; providing them guaranteed employment and income resilience. While it has contributed significantly to the rural life and economy, can it be used to mainstream climate agendas into development, and contribute to building resilience?
A model of convergence
Climate resilience is understanding how climate change – both slow-onset events (such as increasing sea levels, rising temperature, rapidly changing weather...
This blogpost was originally published in News18 on April 15.
On December 26, last year India’s Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POSOCO) faced a unique challenge: to mitigate the impact of a solar eclipse on the electricity grid. It was expected that the solar eclipse would disrupt the generation of solar energy due to blackout of the sun, and cause changes to the electricity demand pattern (due...
In contemporary India the household revolves around fulfilling the needs of children at home. Children are central to the decision-making process at every level. While Indian families make children a priority in designing households, our city-planners do not take into account the needs of future generation while planning Indian cities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a disruptive new normal for everyone through shelter-in-place orders and social distancing guidelines. But for the billions of urban poor, these guidelines aren’t just burdensome; they’re essentially impossible.
Social distancing is a critically important response to the pandemic, but it also assumes that residents have adequate space, services and social safety nets to survive such an order. This is simply not the reality across cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The global spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) highlights the intensity of global interconnections, and social and economic interdependence between regions. The pandemic has reinforced the critical need for access to safe and assured water supply for all, as described in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, for preventing rapid transmission of the disease.
Water is an important defining element of settlements across the world and can be traced back through a city’s historical structure and morphology. The relationship between a city and its waterfront is unique and always changing, depending on the functions carried out on adjoining land.i...
Since time immemorial, Indian cities have come up either on riverbanks or near surface waterbodies or over groundwater reservoirs, making the presence of water a founding feature of settlements. Historically, waterbodies played a vital role in defining the cultural heritage of a city. They provided public spaces for recreation, gatherings and religious activities, as well as a range of livelihood options, like fishing and boating. This dependence, in turn, ensured that these waterbodies were cared for and used by local communities, and fostered a water focused identity of the place....
Building a Resilient Kochi - A holistic approach to provide Safe Public Transport and Public Spaces in times of a pandemic and beyondby , , e -
Public transport and public spaces serve as lifelines for cities. With the occurrence of COVID 19 pandemic, public transport systems, streets, and public spaces were shut as they are highly prone to the spread of infection, thus putting cities to a grinding halt. Now, the cities are preparing to slowly exit from this ‘lockdown’ phase and embrace the ‘new normal’. This gradual exit requires a meticulous plan with short-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies especially for providing public transport services and opening public spaces.
While the situation in Kochi (which is one of the key anchor cities of Kerala) has been brought under control with immediate measures, there is a very critical need to develop resilient sustainable solutions for a long-term adoption to create safety in public transport modes and city public spaces.
This document is expected to guide the city authorities and agencies to develop a phased approach for public transport and public spaces in Kochi, to tackle the present and future pandemics. It provides action steps specific to the city, to plan, implement, and regulate safe public transport and public spaces, which in turn help to scale this up to other parts of the state and country.
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Public Bus Operations in Indiaby , , , , , e -
Buses are one of the most commonly used and popular modes of transport in India, with over 46% of urban passenger trips being serviced by public buses. However, they are also confined spaces with a lack of adequate ventilation, which makes them high-risk environments for the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, public transportation across the country stopped to prevent the spread of diseases between the millions of passengers bus systems handle on a daily basis, as well as transit staff. In order for bus services to resume operations effectively and safely, comprehensive measures will need to be implemented across the board.
This document has been created to help prepare bus operations, following the emergency response phase of the pandemic and includes guidelines catered to Indian contexts, based on the best practices adopted by cities around the world.
COVID-19 Public Safety Measures for Metro Systems in Indiaby , e -
India’s metro system carries more than 8 million people across cities every day, forming an integral part of the country’s urban transport system. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown, public transportation came to a halt to avoid spreading disease further.
Metro systems have the potential to be high-risk environments for spreading disease—with a large number of common surfaces and its reliance on air conditioning and closed ventilation. Stations, too, pose a risk. Metros carry a large number of passengers, and ensuring their safety and the safety of metro staff will require careful planning.
To resume metro services safely, operators will need to implement a comprehensive post-lockdown operations plan, to prepare for various scenarios and improve ridership over the long term. This document contains pragmatic suggestions on how to adopt health and safety measures as set out by health agencies and how to communicate these to the public effectively.