The Streets of India got underway in September 2010 following up on the first World Share/Transport Forum held in Kaohsiung Taiwan. The idea of a joint project was launched as a result of the enthusiasm expressed by the Indian delegation, most of whom still at the PhD or early career stage. The idea was that we would work together over the next two years to lay the base for organizing the third World Forum in India The second conference took place in Sept. 2011 in Changzhi China. And 2012? In India as we had hoped?
This summary is part of our in-process 2012 work plan which will be published in the coming week as part of a campaign to strengthen each of our main target programs for the year ahead. It is presently a draft and your comments and suggestions for improvement are warmly requested.
Today India Streets consists of a collaborative blog which you will find at www.IndiaStreets.org, supported by a Facebook group page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/indiastreets/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/indiastreets. The blog is being read, but not widely (an average of about 50 consultations a day). Only about 40% of the readers check in from India, with high levels of readership from the US, UK, Pakistan and Nepal. Readership within India is concentrated in 20 of the largest cities, with Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune leading the way. The result thus far? Well, on a scale of ten (World Streets being 9), we can thus far give it no better than a 5, possibly a 4. So we have our work cut out for us.
It is impossible to think of turning our backs on the world’s largest and most raucous democracy. There are a couple of thousand people in India who have a clear idea of how to improve on current public policy and investments decisions, and if we can help them make their voices heard, that is what we should try to do.
Here are four collaborative project initiatives that we should like to try to help along in 2012:
- Make those needed improvements in the Streets of India program to strengthen its voice.
- Do what we can to encourage discussions and eventually preparations for a major world conference on Share Transport in India in 2012 as targeted from the beginning.
- See if the Safe Streets program can make a contribution in cooperation with local partners and sponsors. Most of India walks, and all too often walks badly. When the streets are made safe, the two most important transport modes are freed to take their full place: walking and cycling.
- Finally, if we can somehow inject the Equity-Based Transport program into the mainstream over the year. Got right, this program has a no less than perfect fit with the real needs of the transportation majority.
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Copies of the full draft report for all World Streets 2012 Focus Programs can be had at http://www.scribd.com/doc/80532876/World-Streets-2012-Focus-Programs