This blog post originally appeared in TheCityFix.
In too many cities today we see a stark dichotomy. On one side we have enclaves for the rich and powerful, full of luxuries and amenities, and access to the bounties of a globalized world. On the other, there are the disempowered and poor, slumdwellers, and recent migrants, who lack even the most basic services.
But we are also seeing new social and political movements to press back against these trends...
India’s buildings are silent power guzzlers. According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Ministry of Statistics, Planning and Implementation (MOSPI), residential and commercial buildings consume 32 percent of the country’s total electricity. As our cities grow, building energy demand is poised to balloon. According to the Global Buildings Performance Network (2013), by 2030, India would have an...
The mobility sector in India is undergoing a digital transformation. Public bus agencies, usually referred to as State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs), are investing millions in setting up Intelligent Transport Systems to improve the efficiency of bus systems. At the same time, mobility entrepreneurs backed by heavy investments, are developing innovative...
In August, 16 people died as a result of landslides in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, India. In addition, the region saw significant destruction of property, including homes, infrastructure, coffee plantations, and other farms.
In the aftermath of such significant direct and indirect losses, a critical introspection of the cause of such massive disaster is important. It is more prudent to manage the disaster risks and vulnerabilities than to manage disasters. It is also important to examine the relationship between disasters, natural resources, and development. Are we taking for...
Protecting and improving India’s forests and extending tree cover outside forests in an important approach to achieving India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Official estimates suggest that in order for this to happen, it is imperative not only to protect and improve existing forest cover, but to also extend tree cover in close to 30 million hectares. In this podcast, Rohini Chaturvedi, Former Director of WRI's Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration work in India, speaks to...
Technology and innovation in urban mobility is moving forward rapidly. However, city streets are a finite and scarce resource. In the lead up to NITI Aayog’s MOVE: Global Mobility Summit, Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of ZipCar, speaks about how technology-driven innovation in urban mobility has come a long way from when she first set up ZipCar almost two decades ago, and what cities need to do today to incentivise its people to commute more sustainably.
Robin also highlights...
As India prepared to commemorate its 72nd Independence Day, the southern state of Kerala saw little reason to celebrate. The monsoon rainfall this year was heavier than normal and had reached alarming levels. On an average, districts received 30 percent excess rainfall, with some districts recording between 70 to 90 percent excess.
In agricultural India, an abundant monsoon is a blessing. However, successive spells of heavy and excess rainfall...
Industrial agglomerations together could support at least 33% of the nation’s 40 GW rooftop solar target. Here’s how.
In 2000, the Indian government introduced industrial parks called Special Economic Zones (SEZs), with the objective of enhancing foreign investment, providing an internationally competitive export-processing environment, and boosting employment generating opportunities. As per the mandate set by the Central Ministry of Commerce and...
The Indian energy sector’s dependence on increasingly scarce water resources has serious consequences. In a recent report, Parched Power: Water Demands, Risks, and Opportunities for India’s Power Sector, Tianyi Luo, Deepak Krishnan, and Shreyan Sen highlight this issue and offer recommendations, helping decision-makers understand the magnitude of water issues for the thermal power sector in India using quantitative evidence.
The report states that between 2013 to 2016, 14 of India’s 20 largest thermal power plants...
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.