His idea is to create an above ground metro system, studies for which have already begun. The peculiar Colombian political system requires each new administration to create a Plan de Desarrollo, roughly translated as a general development plan, which includes the major infrastructure initiatives to be undertaken in the next four years. This plan has to be approved by the full council. The process usually takes several months before final approval.
Only when the Plan de Desarrollo is finished, will the details of the transportation policy be fully known. In particular, it will be necessary that a substantial number of car drivers switch to the public transportation systems. It will also be necessary to optimize existing resources. This network is entrusted with providing information to over 50, city employees on how to use alternative forms of transportation to the private vehicle, such as bicycles or the different forms of public transportation.
This network will also help each administrative unit in designing and implementing a sustainable transportation plan for their employees. In addition, it will be in charge of organizing and implementing the monthly day without cars, which will be compulsory for city employees, although optional for the rest of the Bogotanos. The idea behind these initiatives is not only to have a direct impact, but also to serve as an example to the general population. The development of the Plan de Desarrollo has been opened to input from the public through websites and other means.
One of the areas in which user participation is being sought is in school transportation. Data from the city suggests that every day children under 13 require , vehicular trips. Improving this situation will not only result in an improvement in the quality of life for the children and their families, it will also reduce air pollution.
This initiative is part of the Mayors Challenge, a contest sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bangalore, 15 April — Increased number of vehicles on road leading to congestion, longer commute time, extended implementation time for metro services on one hand whereas existing railway track, lesser commute time and implementation time, and benefits for suburbs in terms of affordability and increased economic activity have all given impetus for commuter railway services in Bengaluru.
The Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru, is a land of opportunities for everyone. The city is home to many industries, including information technology parks, and evidence suggests that the labor workforce will live close to the workplace in neighboring towns-suburbs. Some reports also suggest that Bengaluru is already saturated.
With the growing commercial market, the housing is no longer affordable to many. Given the significant commute between the commercial centers and the suburbs and suburban towns viewed as the best options for setting up industries to release growth pressures on the city to absorb new migrants and to relocate some people from the city there is an impetus to use and develop the commuter railways transit system. The number of vehicles in the city has grown, by 17 times in the last decade.
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Several measures were taken in Bengaluru like road widening, increasing frequency of public transport, construction of metro rail network to ease the burden. But, each of these options is laden with problems of cost, time taken for construction, nuisance to public during implementation, and shorter reach in terms of travel distance covered. The commuter rail service CRS , aka Namma Railu, therefore is a best possible solution connecting suburban growth centers within an approximate one-hour travel distance to Bengaluru.
Since then, the movement for action over CRS in on-going. With the recent Karnataka State budget announcing a Rs. The proposal is to connect seven suburban towns Mandya, Ramanagaram, Tumkur, Dodballapur, Chikballapur, Malur, Bangarpet and Hosur with the cities which are approximately km apartand catering to 16 Lakh people who are not currently served by any means. However, when compared to other modes of transport being thought of and some already under implementation, CRS scores well over them.
CRS covers total network length of km as compared to km for metro, 60 km for monorail or 35 km for high speed railway line. CRS when compared in terms of cost involved is much lesser i. And lastly, CRS is going to benefit the neighboring towns by increasing the economic activity, by providing affordable transport service and also lesser commute time to work.
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While doing so, team from Praja-RAAG is also aware that land is a big challenge as some new land may need to be acquired. However, as railway tracks already exist connecting these routes, the extra work needed — doubling the lines, electrification where needed and additional platforms — is minimal and would take less time to implement.
Ho Chi Minh City, 14 April — It has been more than a year since the biofuel E5 — which is a mixture of traditional fuel with biological additive used to increate octane, improve vehicle emissions, and lessen the dependence on fossil fuel — was first introduced for mass sale in Vietnam. After the initial enthusiasm and some minimal successes, E5 sale is dying out. Is there any way for this potential green product to avoid a seemingly possible premature death? Vietnam is ranked second globally for its average motorbike ownership, with motorbikes for every 1, Vietnamese.
In coping with the enormous domestic fuel demands, Vietnam has become the fastest growing fuel consumer in the region, surpassing China. Vietnam is expected to turn from a fuel exporter to a fuel importer, as its own oil reserves are depleting. In addition to that, the air pollution in big cities, such as Hanoi and HCMC during rush hours, has exceeded the threshold by five to seven times , which is due mostly to vehicle emissions.
This ethanol is produced mostly from plant materials like corn and cassava, thus the name biofuel. E5 is the first step the government has made in trying to avoid its heavy fossil fuel importer destiny and moving toward a more sustainable future. But all has not gone as planned.
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The majority of fuel consumers in Vietnam have been reluctant to switch to E5, with the reason seemingly being uneffective public communication. In fact, E5 offers a range of benefits for motorbike and car users, including better engine performance and maintenance. Nonetheless, there have been no official statistics published on the impacts of E5 for specific models of vehicles, and most governmental communication focused just on simply introducing the product.
With the absence of clear public communication, after a pilot year, E5 remains a myth to consumers. In , there were only in 13, gas stations all over the country that offered E5, and this biofuel only accounted for The murky situation of E5, however, should not be seen as a certain sad ending, but as an opportunity for improvement. The first area to improve, clearly, is public communication and awareness.
Well-designed infographic banners should replace the existing unspecified slogans, which tell people to use E5 because it would be good for the environment. Consumers need to be assured that the ethanol is pure, the E5 supply is stable, and their specific vehicle models are benefitting from the biofuel before they make their decision to change.
Lastly, a more structured and equal treatment of petrol retailers across the country is needed. While some pioneering petrol retailers had to make huge initial investment for E5 tanks and pumps with no significant subsidies, many private retailers still remain bystanders. Without either a substantial decrease in price or mass availability of E5, consumers still hesitate to change, and the pioneering retailers, unfairly, have had to suffer. The current case of E5 in Vietnam could show us that for a green initiative to succeed, not only an effective product and governmental support are needed, but also a well-designed operation plan with effective communication.
Johannesburg, 13 April — The Transit Oriented Development strategy of the City of Johannesburg is producing a series of interventions intended to ease vehicular traffic and increase pedestrian safety, particularly along the BRT transit lines known as the 'Corridors of Freedom'. A new pedestrian bridge or 'skywalk' is currently planned over one of the urban Corridors, the 'Empire-Perth Corridor', over the prominent intersection between the University of Johannesburg campus and a shopping mall. However, even where intentions are genuine, the bridge proposal also underlines many of the challenges in reshaping transportation for more pedestrian friendly, transit-oriented and cities.
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Another step in the implementation of its long-declared Transit Oriented Development TOD strategy, the City of Johannesburg is promoting a series of interventions to ease traffic and increase pedestrian safety, particularly along the BRT transit lines known as the 'Corridors of Freedom' constituting the backbone of the TOD strategy. But however well-intentioned, it is still necessary to interrogate the quality of these interventions , to ensure they accomplish what they were intended to achieve and do not perpetuate problematic models.
Its long, non-descript ramps afford little consideration for pedestrian behavioural patterns, which currently exist along sidewalks which are undersized, in disrepair, or in many cases non-existent. The devotion of extensive resources to a flyover bridge instead thus seems somewhat misdirected. Improved pedestrianaccess to an existing bridge just m down the road could yet save significant resourceswhile improving the pedestrian experience in the area as a whole. Moreover, minibus taxis, which stop at the corner, do not seem to have been included in the design in any significant way either, so promising to further rather than ameliorate congestion.
Another concern is the further erosion of public space. Although billed as a pedestrian-friendly intervention, the conception of a flyover bridge to solve vehicle-pedestrian conflicts inherently favours the car: missing the important distinction between an urban boulevard and a highway, conceiving of the space on the ground as sacred for cars, and making it the role of pedestrians and cyclists to get out of their way.
The project also proposes to install fencing along stretches of sidewalk nearby, a way of militarizing the street ostensibly to protect pedestriansand prevent jaywalking, but in the process revoking public space from them and handing it over to vehicular traffic. Despite the above concerns, what gives cause for optimism is that in the community feedback meeting on the proposed design, residents of the area, the vast majority of them non-experts in urban design principles, flatly rejected the rationale for the bridge as a starting point and requested a review of the project by the JDA.
The bridge proposal underlines just how difficult it is to reshape transportation in the city in general, even when intentions are sound ; Creating a truly transit-oriented and pedestrian friendly city may require a shift away from seeing projects as isolated interventions, and towards a broader, more participatory, and further integrated vision. Delhi, 12 April — When the car-free Sunday movement started on a small stretch of a well- frequented road in Gurgaon on 17 November , citizens and authorities regarded it as a fun urban experiment.
Wonder turned to incredulity as Raahgiri remained popular. Crowds kept turning out, on cycles, skateboards, with running shoes on, in dance gear, to paint and sing, to meet friends and discuss politics, to enjoy the outdoors and partake of a community life they realised had been completely missing—all of them, of course, leaving their cars home. When the car-free Sunday movement started on a small stretch of a well- frequented road in Gurgaon on 17 November , citizens and authorities regarded it as a fun urban experiment.
Gurgaon was just a beginning. Despite the overwhelming success of Raahgiri as an event property, one does wonder whether the movement has the potential to translate into something bigger so that our cities can aspire to become more sustainable. Taking a step back, we find that the motivations for a car free day were born out of more than just the desire to achieve pollution-free and less car dependent cities.
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These organisations were driven by a larger vision, one that involved healthy lifestyles, safe public spaces, an integration of nature into the city and social inclusion. Importantly, they saw the citizen as an agent of change.