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International Workshop on ‘Transforming Delhi’s Streets’

International Workshop on ‘Transforming Delhi’s Streets’
05th October, 2021

Key Highlights

  • DDC Delhi organises a high-level international workshop on street design in partnership with WRI India.
  • City-makers and transport experts from Seoul, Singapore, New York, London and Bogota share their experiences with the Delhi Government.

DDC Delhi, in partnership with WRI India, organised a high-level international workshop on October 5 2021, on the topic of ‘Transforming Delhi’s Streets.’ The purpose of the virtual workshop was to understand international best practices in street design and development. The workshop was organised to learn from the journeys of top global cities in street transformation and apply those lessons to Delhi’s streets.

Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister Sh. Manish Sisodia and PWD Minister Sh. Satyendar Jain attended the workshop. Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi Sh. Jasmine Shah, Dr. O P Agarwal, CEO of WRI India with other top officials of WRI India, and senior officials and engineers of the PWD department were also present.

The workshop saw international participation of city-makers and transport experts from London, New York, Seoul, Singapore and Bogota and many other cities sharing insights and experiences of street transformation in their cities. During the workshop, the session facilitated direct interaction between all the experts and the Delhi Government.

The workshop also saw participation from the Indian cities of Bengaluru and Mumbai. During the conference, Jana Urban Space presented the ‘TENDER SURE’ project currently being implemented to redesign 50km of roads in Bengaluru in collaboration with BBMP. Officials from Mumbai also participated in the programme and shared details of their experiences in setting up the ‘Mumbai Street Lab’ to implement design interventions in road redevelopment.

The Delhi Government is widely recognised for its social reforms in the education and health sector, and it is committed to focusing on infrastructural reforms and road redesigning with similar vigour. I request all participants to keep an open mind to learn and deliberate on the global experiences shared in the workshop. The participants must try to understand systems and processes that top global cities have adopted in street transformation and consider their application to the streets of Delhi.

Sh. Manish Sisodia
Sh. Manish Sisodia, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi

The Delhi Government is committed to redesigning over 540 kilometres of long roads as per best global practices. The roads have to be made safe, sustainable, pedestrian-friendly and accessible, especially for senior citizens and young children. Global participation is essential as a learning exercise for all policymakers and the Delhi Government seeks continued support and collaboration with design experts across the world for redesigning roads.

Sh. Satyendar Jain
Sh. Satyendar Jain, PWD Minister, Delhi Government

It is a privilege for DDC Delhi to organise such an international workshop that is happening for the first time in Delhi. It is illuminating to see that almost all global cities began their journeys in street transformation only 15-20 years back and have managed to do so in this short period. All of them cited political leadership as critical for transformation to happen. Under the leadership of Hon’ble CM Sh. Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Government is determined to build world-class streets in the national capital.

Shri Jasmine Shah
Shri Jasmine Shah, Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi

The paradigm shift in Seoul from roads being car-oriented spaces to becoming human spaces is because of our focus on human mobility. Seoul places public transport and pedestrian mobility as top priority areas in its transport policy and the law. From building flyovers and footbridges, which were inequitable and inaccessible to many, Seoul has now incorporated more pedestrian squares, pedestrian crosswalks and lanes dedicated to buses. Political will and support from the leadership are significant to redesign and implementing such a transformative program. Social equity in the philosophy of transport policy is important to develop human-friendly streets.

Mr. GyengChul KIM
Mr. GyengChul KIM, CEO of DMROC, Seoul

Through its road repurposing project, Singapore decided to become a ‘car-lite nation’ i.e. a nation that relies less on cars on roads and more on public, shared and active transport. Redesigning streets is not just about creating infrastructure or using technology. It is about connecting places, people and possibilities. Our key infrastructural initiatives have been to build more integrated transport hubs, active mobility networks, community spaces, pedestrian streets, transit priority corridor and use railways as the backbone of the public transport system. Engaging with affected stakeholders prior to implementing any road design project is essential.

Mr. Ong Eu-Gene
Mr. Ong Eu-Gene, Director, Land Transport Authority, Singapore

It is essential to integrate data-driven processes in redesigning roads, recording progress and revising yearly priorities. The ‘Speed Camera Program’ adopted in New York ensured that most vehicles that received one traffic violation did not receive another within a calendar year. Strategic multi-cultural communication strategies were used to engage the citizens and engineer an environment to improve pedestrian mobility. The COVID-19 outbreak further transformed the street environment with the emergence of open streets, open restaurants, outdoor learning streets and bike network expansion

Mr. Michael Replogle
Mr. Michael Replogle , Former Deputy Commissioner for Policy, New York City Department of Transportation

London’s vision of ‘Streets for All’ focused on increasing the use of bicycles and buses. The London City Planning has made the buses more reliable and consistent with 24-hour operations. This reduced the traffic congestion due to private motor vehicles and made the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. London has developed a set of 5 city planning scenarios for the short and long-term future in the light of Covid-19.

Mr. Alex Williams
Mr. Alex Williams, Director, City Planning (London)

The sustainable mobility ‘A-S-I approach’ was adopted in Bogota in 1998 i.e. avoiding motorised travel, shifting to environment-friendly modes of transport and Improving the energy efficiency of transport modes and vehicle technology. Since Bogota and Delhi have similar population densities, Bogota’s programmes could provide insights to the Delhi Government to develop its programme. Bogota focuses on the low-income population and promotes walking, cycling and public transport among these communities to improve their quality of life. While one car lane moves only 2000 people in an hour, a bicycle lane moves over 6000 people. It is essential to plan urban areas around moving people, and not moving cars.

Sh. Dario Hidalgo
Sh. Dario Hidalgo, Sr. Transportation Consultant, Bogota, Colombia