Engaging communities in promoting sustainable neighbourhood
DULT’s engagement with communities began through Cycle Day initiatives in the year 2013 with focus on promoting sustainable modes of transport such as cycling and walking. The program is conducted in association with community partners and has successfully reached out to over 50 neighbourhoods with 500-plus cycle day events conducted across Bengaluru before the pandemic hit in March 2020.
Since Cycle Day has served as a catalyst to generate required momentum for sustainable mobility in the city, it was only natural to extend the community engagement to the next level. The next level included a deeper engagement with the communities for:
- Active engagement of the communities to formulate specific goals and action plans for transforming their neighbourhoods into sustainable neighbourhoods, while the original idea of promoting sustainable modes of transport remains the same.
- Facilitating communities with necessary support in the form of capacity building and funding assistance in showing measurable impacts on ground.
Thus the Sustainable Mobility Accords (SuMA) was conceptualized in September 2020. It is also christened as Cycle Day 2.0.
- To engage communities at the neighbourhood level to further spread awareness on benefits of sustainable modes of transport like walking, cycling and public transport.
- To support the community to formulate specific goals and action plans for transforming itself into a sustainable neighbourhood, by providing necessary support in the form of capacity building, assistance in showing measurable impact on ground.
SuMA program is implemented by the Karnataka Non-motorised Transport Agency (KNMTA), which is a registered state government society under DULT to spearhead the state’s initiatives on non-motorised transport (NMT).
As part of SuMA Cohort 2020-21, applications were invited from registered Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) / Societies / Trusts / Section 8 Companies and nine community partners were selected after two stages of evaluation process, which are spread accross Bengaluru. Seven SuMA partners have undertaken the work for their respective neighbourhoods in the current Cohort. Each of these seven partners will be given a grant upto Rs 50 Lakhs for implementing interventions that help improve the mode share of sustainable mobility in their neighborhood.
For overseeing the implementation of SuMA and providing guidance, a SuMA TaskForce is constituted. It is headed by Chairperson of KNMTA Governing Council and consists of DULT, KNMTA, IISc, Bengaluru Open Streets for Coalition (BCOS) partners including Bicycle Mayor of Bengaluru and ESAF along with WRI India.
KNMTA and DULT have constituted a Coordinating Team, represented by Transport Planners and Urban Planners, for each neighbourhood for coordination and providing required support to the SuMA partners for their neighborhood.
Key Phases of the Program:
The program involves three broad phases viz. Data Collection and Analysis, Proposal preparation and Implementation of the program as per the defined time frame.
Data was collected by each of the SuMA partners to understand the mobility patterns and infrastructure available in the neighbourhood. This includes Household Survey and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Local Area Mobility Parameters (LAMP) audit was done in a few of the neighbourhood to assess the presence and quality of infrastructure for sustainable mobility. The household data collection focuses on capturing baseline information like demographic, socio-economic, travel diary, mobility related challenges etc. covering an evenly distributed sample in terms of age, gender, socio-economic status, abilities and geographical area.
The FGD intends to gather insights on the why’s and how’s aspects of mode choices made by the participants and their recommendations. FGD has also ensured in capturing the voices of people from vulnerable, marginalized and neglected segments.
Consultation with community partners in preparatory activities including design of questionnaire, sample size for survey etc.
Capacity building through workshops, training programs and demonstration mainly in relation to Household Survey, proposal development etc.
Proposal Preparation and Design
Deliberation and brainstorming on findings of household data analysis, insights of FGDs and LAMP audit parameters for identifying potential intervention areas.
Co-creating draft proposals with community partners for the identified intervention areas.
Getting buy-in of the larger community of the neighbourhood through Community Consultation Workshops like SuMA Exhibition.
Capacity building on Tactical Interventions, Monitoring and Supervision, Impact assessment etc.
Facilitating consultations with and support from government stakeholders.
Support on implementation of proposals / innovative solutions.
Assistance in assessment of impacts / measuring benefits.
The expected outcomes of the SuMA initiative include:
- Capacity building of neighbourhoods to advocate for sustainable mobility practices/interventions.
- More neighbourhoods with better NMT and public transport (PT) infrastructure that will promote walking, cycling, and the use of PT.
- Better sense of ownership for NMT and PT infrastructure/assets through participative planning, design, and implementation.