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India Cycles4Change Challenge

  • 11 Jul 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Smart Cities Mission (under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) has opened the registration for India Cycles4Change Challenge.

  • India Cycles4Change Challenge was launched in June 2020.

Key Points

  • Aim: To inspire Indian cities to implement quick cycling-friendly interventions in the wake of Covid-19 with the support of their citizens and assistance from experts.
    • Cities would be encouraged to create extensive cycling-networks using low-cost methods like pop-up cycle lanes, non-motorised zones and set up community-led cycle rental schemes.
    • In the longer term, the Smart Cities Mission encourages cities to convert temporary interventions into permanent.
  • Coverage:
    • The Challenge is open to all cities under the Smart Cities Mission, capital cities of States/UTs, and all cities with a population of more than 5 lakh population.
    • All eligible cities can register and submit their applications on the portal (https://smartnet.niua.org/indiacyclechallenge/).
    • The portal also has a registration form for citizens, experts, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to express their interest in collaborating with the city for the project.
  • Functioning: The Challenge will run in two stages.
    • Stage One will run until October 2020 where cities will focus on piloting quick interventions to promote cycling and developing a scale-up strategy.
    • In October 2020, 11 cities will be shortlisted and will receive Rs. 1 Crore award and guidance from national and international experts to further scale-up the initiatives in Stage Two, which will be held until May 2021.
  • Knowledge Partner: The India Programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) will be the knowledge partner of the Smart Cities Mission to assist the Mission in conducting this challenge and guiding cities in developing and implementing their proposals.
  • Need of Such an Initiative:
    • The need for personalized forms of transport is expected to increase as a response to Covid-19. Some Indian cities have already started working towards promoting cycling as a response to the pandemic.
      • Kolkata has proposed a dedicated cycle corridor by reclaiming parking spaces.
      • In Guwahati, the Green lane Foundation, with the support of the Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati and Pedal for a Change, is conducting a survey for citizens to vote for the best routes for bicycle lanes in the city.
    • A recent survey by the ITDP India Programme shows that cycling would increase by 50-65% as cities come out of lockdown.
      • Cities around the world are leveraging the opportunity to expand their cycling networks and public bicycle-sharing systems.
    • Further, increasing cycling can help cities in a green economic recovery.
      • Investments in cycling infrastructure have economic benefits of up to 5.5 times the initial investment.
      • Cycling for short distances can result in an annual benefit of Rs. 1.8 trillion to the Indian economy.

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

  • It was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in New York, USA.
  • It has grown from a small band of cycling activists to a leading organization in the fight to curb climate change, and transform streets for a better quality of life in cities.
  • It works in all types of cities on five continents, with offices in China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and the United States.
  • In India, the Urban Works Institute—a public charitable trust registered in the country—is ITDP’s network partner that manages the ITDP India Program.
    • The India Program works with cities to design and implement sustainable transport projects, and provide policy solutions to enhance social inclusion, reduce dependency on limited resources, improve road safety, and reduce carbon emissions.

Source: PIB

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