The success of Gurugram comprehensive mobility plan depends on implementation
The CMP is a document that is prepared to anticipate and work on fulfilling the transportation needs of people and goods in cities and their surroundings.
The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has put up the draft Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), Gurugram, for public consultation. The plan to address mobility challenges in the city till 2041 was prepared by the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi. The final draft report of the CMP has now been put up for suggestions, comments, or objections from the public at large—a welcome step.
The CMP is a document that is prepared to anticipate and work on fulfilling the transportation needs of people and goods in cities and their surroundings. An Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) for the Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex was prepared almost a decade back. The IMP, a 200+ page document with exceptional insights and ideas, ended up a complete failure because the CMP could never get implemented.
The current 350+ page draft CMP also has excellent insight and suggestions, but it will take more than just that to get anything going on the ground. Let me highlight three examples of how cities use a simple strategy and practical implementation framework to bring about positive change.
Transport for London, London
Transport for London, or TfL as it is commonly known, is probably the best example of an integrated transport authority in the world. The TfL manages significant modes of transportation in the city right from walking and cycling to roads, buses, and Metros. It also operates taxis, passenger boats and related facilities such as open data. The TfL was created in 2000 by the Greater London Authority Act of 1999. Today, the TfL does all the planning, operations, and management of transport services in the city. The TfL is responsible for delivering the Mayor’s transport strategy, which states that by 2041, 80% of all journeys will be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport. The plan clearly articulates the vision towards which London wants to move—walking, cycling, and public transportation. The TfL reports to the Mayor of London and updates its progress every week. The single agency with practical vision ensures that it delivers on its goals timely and has significant accountability.
Land Transport Authority, Singapore
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is a statutory board under the ministry of transport, which looks at the land transport developments in Singapore. The LTA is responsible for planning, designing, building, and maintaining Singapore’s land transport infrastructure. It aims to bring about a sustainable and inclusive public transport system, which is complemented by walking and cycling. In June this year, the LTA announced its 2040 transport Master Plan which aims to realise the goal of “a 45-minute city with 20-minute towns”. The plan means that anyone in the city should be able to commute to work in an average of 45 minutes, while it should take an average of 20 minutes to reach amenities within residential towns. This simple yet powerful vision is what the LTA invests in to make journeys more seamless and convenient.
Curitiba Research and Urban Planning Institute, Brazil
It’s not that integrated transport planning institutes only exist in developed countries. Developing countries can also have such institutes—there is no better example than the Instituto de Pesquisa e Planejamento Urbano de Curitiba (IPPUC) in Brazil (Research and Urban Planning Institute, Curitiba). The IPPUC was established in 1965 as Municipal Independent Authority with the task of coordinating the city’s integrated Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan. The planners recognised that growth in cities’ population is uncontrollable, but the development of infrastructure can guide a city’s expansion. By using transportation as a tool for redevelopment, the planners changed the original radial plan of the 1960s into a structured linear plan with a focus on TOD. The new policy created five high-density corridors served by high-quality mass transit. All the corridors were completed in 1982, but development took place over multiple decades. The city made sure that the focus was only on selected corridors, which is commendable. The IPPUC develops research, plans projects, and programmes, and raises funds for implementation to make the city ‘green.’
CMPs came into existence in the country more than a decade ago as a significant reform from the Central Government, as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) mission. They encouraged cities to think about mobility more holistically. However, the implementation of CMPs has been a big challenge in the entire country.
The new CMP is an opportunity for Gurugram— if it can simplify the strategy and develop a robust implementation plan, it will not only do wonders for the city but become a lighthouse for the rest of the country. Otherwise, the CMP would be just another document gathering dust on bookshelves or viruses on hard drives.
(Amit Bhatt is the director- integrated transport, WRI India)