How the sustainable urban mobility project in India reacted to COVID-19

The Integrated and Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities in India (Smart SUT) reports how it responded to the Coronavirus outbreak and its ongoing technical support to partners.

Steps towards communicating sustainable transport messages in India

In terms of its communication, the GIZ project Integrated and Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities in India (Smart SUT)  follows the approach “Talk about the good things you do!”. In the center of its communication concept stand the partners. The projects wants to support them in communicating what the joint project and sustainable transport stands for. The project identified three core messages to promote green mobility “That is smart, shared and connected”, “Provides clean air through zero emission” and “That is inclusive, gender balanced and safe”. Support has already started for two of the partner states in organizing campaigns. In the wake of the current situation these are developed mostly online and are complemented by stickers and posters to inform on best practice COVID-19 social behaviour in public transport. Part of the project communication is also a bi-monthly project update. The last edition (May 2020) can be accessed here.

Pre COVID19 – Tactical urbanism and road safety videos from the partner city Coimbatore

Do you still remember how life looked like before COVID-19?  The SUT project in India had organized a colourful tactical urbanism event in Coimbatore before the outbreak. The goal was to get feedback from the people of Coimbatore for the upcoming changes in the city which will be implemented as part of the Non-Motorized Transport Plan. It will be supported by GIZ. A video of the event can be accessed here.

Children are exposed to many threats while moving in traffic. In India 10,000 children (below 18 years old) are killed in road accidents every year. Especially near schools, road safety is important. Andrea Bluemel, senior consultant in the project, particularly points out that the closer proximity to the exhaust pipes means that children are even more exposed to GHG emissions and the negative effects of air pollution than adults. The project created a video showing what traffic (before COVID-19) looked like at eye level of a schoolgirl in Coimbatore. The video can be accessed to the right.

How can transport function safely post lockdown?

The COVID-19 situation is a challenge for public transport. For example, in India’s capital Delhi, buses, metro and other means of transport, like auto-rikshaws and mobility service providers like Uber or Ola, are currently unavailable. Soon the strict lockdown could be more and more relaxed which includes reactivation of transport services. But how can people safely move without spreading the virus? The SUT project developed suggestions for bus operators how to restart service post lockdown which can be accessed here.

Virtual appraisal mission – Climate friendly e-mobility

As part of the Indo-German bilateral cooperation with the Government of India a new technical cooperation project on “Promotion of climate friendly electric mobility” has been proposed, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project will be jointly implemented by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises (MoHIPE). It is envisaged to contribute to an integrated technological and institutional transformation of the Indian transport sector towards sustainable and climate friendly e-mobility. The project will have a duration of three years and is planned to start in January 2021.

As part of the project preparation phase, an appraisal mission will be conducted between 25th May and 5th June 2020. In wake of COVID19 situation the mission will be a virtual mission. The aim of the appraisal mission is to substantiate the existing project concept with regards to the technical, institutional and societal context in India. So far 45 key stakeholders are invited. During the meetings, the project concept is introduced and discussed to get their views on the project design and the broad verticals that the project will be working on.

Contact: Jürgen Baumann

Integrated and Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities in India (Smart SUT) is implemented by GIZ and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


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