Pune, October 01: Though Pune continues to be one of the best cities to live in, mobility remains as a major problem. But, there is hope. In another year, some innovative and creative mobility solutions may emerge.
After winning the Grand Challenge competition organized by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) based in Basalt, Colorado and NITI Aayog, Pune will be the first in India to be christened as a Lighthouse City. What that essentially means is that the city will be a test-bed for experiments on urban mobility solutions by engineers of the RMI, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and other corporates.
One of the first initiatives will be what will be called the Urban Mobility Lab. This will aim at solving complex mobility problems. These emerging solutions will initially be implemented locally. Then, it will be replicated nationally and then, globally. These solutions will also be dovetailed into India’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission. It will include eco-friendly mobility solutions.
Colorado based RMI representative Ryan Laemel told INK, “Pune was selected for its government and civil society leadership, demonstrated action on key aspects of urban mobility, progress on the Smart Cities Mission and also as it had the appropriate size ideal for mobility solutions. The city also has an early adopter culture, given its strong presence of universities, IT, auto manufacturing and a growing economy”.
Laemel also mentioned that organizations ranging from a multi-stakeholder group to a single to independent experts and academics will all be participating in the workshop. The PMC and RMI will work together to select the final six project teams, who will eventually take forward the work. “We are seeking solutions that can be implemented in the near-term, i.e., 6–18 months. These experiments will help India identify the key barriers and solutions enabling it to adopt a shared, clean, and connected mobility nationally,” he added.
RMI will be administering the Urban Mobility Lab with the support of the Government of Maharashtra and PMC. The first workshop under this initiative will be held this month from 15 to 17.
The solutions are expected to cover public transit and shared mobility, transit data, traffic management, enforcement and road safety. It will also examine mobility oriented development including non-motorised transit infrastructure, efficient freight, vehicle electrification and charging infrastructure.
If it works out the way it is planned, Pune will see a new life. A life everyone is waiting for.
Aakriti Bhalla & Zarine Hossein