MoHUA announces India Cycles4change stage 1 list of awardees
India Cycles4Change Challenge first stage list of awardees announced. A report on the challenge was released along with an Online Exhibition showcasing cities' cycling journey
New Delhi: The Government of India awarded 11 cities with the prestigious title of being India’s Top 11 Cycling Pioneers. The award marks the start of the next stage of the first season of India Cycles4Change Challenge where 107 cities across the country came together to test, learn, and scale up different cycling-friendly initiatives, kickstarting India’s cycling revolution. From the top 25 cities that were shortlisted earlier this year, a jury of renowned national and international transport experts selected the top 11 cities who shall receive an award of Rs 1 crore each to scale up their cycling initiatives. During the event, four cities received a special mention for their efforts in testing the pilot initiatives as part of the challenge. The list of all top 25 cities evaluated by the Jury is at Annexure 1.
Through an online event held on 28th July 2021, Shri DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), announced the Top 11 winning cities. The event was attended by officials from Central and State Governments, and other stakeholders from all cities participating in India Cycles4Change Challenge. The event also marked the release of the first Challenge report, and an Online Exhibition showcasing cities’ cycling journey. The Ministry also announced the second season of the Challenge beginning in August, 2021, wherein fresh applications will be invited from all Smart Cities, capital cities of States/UTs and all cities that have an established Municipal Corporation.
The first Challenge report
The India Cycles4Change Challenge launched its first report to the public—’The Dawn of India’s Cycling Revolution’. The report is a celebration of the cities’ efforts in the Challenge so far, and an indication of what’s to come in future. It documents key milestones achieved by the cities, lessons from on-ground tests and their plans for the coming year. The report is available at https://smartnet.niua.org/indiacyclechallenge/
Launching an Online Exhibition
Celebrating India’s cycling revolution over the last year, the Ministry launched an Online Exhibition showcasing the journey of the top 25 cities. The cities have transformed their streets and launched initiatives to become cycling-friendly through their exemplary leadership, enthusiastic efforts, and effective collaboration with citizens. The exhibition is an invitation to all the citizens to learn more about what their cities have done and join hands with them to scale up these initiatives in Stage 2. The online exhibition can be viewed at https://smartnet.niua.org/indiacyclechallenge/online-exhibition-overview/
The cohort of the top 25 cities will advance to the next stage where they will embed the vision of a cycling-friendly city by adopting policies, setting up dedicated departments and creating city-wide plans. The Ministry also announced Season Two of the India Cycles4Change Challenge – wherein fresh applications will be invited from all Smart Cities, capital cities of States/UTs and all cities that have an established Municipal Corporation. The Second Season of The India Cycles4Change challenge will start from August, 2021.
In the past year, theIndia Cycles4Change Challenge has inspired cities to adopt a new way of engaging with citizens to test innovative, inexpensive, and quick ideas to remove barriers to cycling. Going forward, cities will take their efforts up further—transforming the national programme into a city-led but community-driven movement.
“2020 ignited India’s cycling revolution. Cities and citizens joined hands for the first time, to test, learn, and scale up ideas to become cycling havens. The results have been resounding: more people are cycling; city officials and public representatives are leading by example—cycling to work—and we are backing the city’s efforts with investments. I encourage more cities to join the cycling revolution and work towards a cycling-friendly future.”
DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA
“The India Cycles4Change Challenge has not just transformed cities for cycling, but helped create a community of champions for cycling in cities across the country. I’ve also started cycling to work and witnessed the change first-hand. We look forward to supporting the cities in becoming cycling capitals of the world.”
Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA
“Create streets for cycling and cyclists will come. We saw clear signs of this in cities across India in the past year. But this is just the beginning. Cities must now scale up these interventions to make cycling safe and fun for everyone.”
ShreyaGadepalli, South East Asia Programme Lead, ITDP
India’s Cycling Pioneers (in alphabetical order)
The Top 11 Awardees
- Bengaluru, Karnataka
- Bhubaneswar, Odisha
- Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana
- Kohima, Nagaland
- Nagpur, Maharashtra
- New Town Kolkata, West Bengal
- PimpriChinchwad, Maharashtra
- Rajkot, Gujarat
- Surat, Gujarat
- Vadodara, Gujarat
- Warangal, Telangana
Jury Special Mentions
Other Cycling Pioneers
- Davanagere, Karnataka
- Hyderabad, Telangana
- Indore, Madhya Pradesh
- Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
- Kochi, Kerala
- Nashik, Maharashtra
- New Delhi
- Panaji, Goa
- Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
- Udaipur, Rajasthan
Key highlights of the Top 25 Cycling Pioneers
|The Top 11 Awardees|
|Why can’t every neighbourhood be a cycling neighbourhood?
Building on the success of its pop-up cycle lanes, Bengaluru launched a platform—the Sustainable Mobility Accord—to create cycling neighbourhoods. The accord provided an opportunity for citizens and local organisations to work with the city to identify and redesign different neighbourhoods. It started with a bang right at the city centre, creating slow zones to make streets safer for cycling. Bengaluru plans to expand its initiatives across the city, and make every neighbourhood a cycling neighbourhood!
“Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches; planning with people ensures that cities take care of people’s concerns by investing in the right places.”
Commissioner & E/o Additional, Chief Secretary to the Government, Directorate of Urban Land Transport, Government of Karnataka
|How can cycling expand the reach of public transport?
To get more people to cycle, cities must integrate cycling with existing modes of transport. Bhubaneswar realised this early on, and created a city-wide cycling network plan along high density development and existing transit corridors, with special focus on making cycling the go-to mode from and to stations.Fixing parking was also a key aspect of the city’s plan—a parking policy and a city-wide parking management plan are in the works!
|How to make sure cycle tracks work for everyone?
Ask people what they need.
With an existing cycling network, Chandigarh went to its citizens with one simple question: What is one thing the city could do to make cycling better? Here’s what they found: cyclists needed to feel safe at all places and at all times of the day. This guided the city’s efforts to revamp its cycle tracks—installing street lights along the tracks and cycle signals at junctions. A Cycle Safety Squad formed by the Traffic Police—to assist cyclists and prevent encroachments on the tracks—was another big step.
“Our city has devised a strong scale-up plan to connect the city periphery with the city center through dedicated cycle tracks. Chandigarh will soon have India’s largest public bicycle sharing system with 617 docking stations and 5000 cycles, the best in the country!”
Chief General Manager, Chandigarh Smart City Ltd.
|What if cycling was made attractive for all?
Warangal went the extra mile to ensure diverse groups of citizens took to cycling, with something for everyone: safe rallies for the elderly; cycling-themed events like drawing and essay competitions as well as kite festivals for children; tree planting and cleanliness drives for college students; slow cycle races and rangoli festivals for women.
With cycle donation drives for the underprivileged, the city also made sure cycles reached everyone who needed them. Warangal is ensuring that every citizen—young, old, rich, and poor—is a part of the city’s cycling journey!
“Warangal has developed beautiful cycle lanes that promote a healthy lifestyle while causing no pollution. We aspire to see many more of these in our towns and cities of Telangana, for a greener future.”
K T Rama Rao,
Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Government of Telangana.
|Can cycling in the hills be fun?
The city officials faced an uphill battle—to convince citizens that cycling in the hills could be safe and fun. Here’s what they did. With a new bicycle training arena and workshops, they trained people to cycle on the slopes. Regular events and cycle rallies also got more people cycling. Today, there are more cyclists on the streets of Kohima than ever before, many even cycling to work. Some have also stepped up to champion cycling in their own communities, and make cycling in the hills the new normal.
“Thanks to the Challenge, our city broke the myth that it’s impossible to cycle in mountainous terrain like Kohima. We are racing ahead to make Kohima the cycling capital of the North East!”
CEO, Kohima Smart City
|How to win people over with cycling?
Listen to what they want.
Nagpur is a shining example of listening to citizens at every stage of the process. A whopping 15000 people responded to a survey by the city, highlighting their barriers to cycling. These learnings shaped the city’s plans to improve cycling. The city went back to the people with its plans, and worked with Resident Welfare Associations to identify neighbourhoods to test out these plans. So, when the city tested its first pilot, citizens actively participated in the test and provided feedback. It now plans to build on these efforts to scale up across the city.
|New Town Kolkata|
|How to get more people to cycle?
Get them cycles and teach them to cycle.
New Town Kolkata worked on this simple principle to get more cycles to people, and train them to cycle. The roll-out of a city-wide public bicycle sharing system with 1000 cycles was the first step. The next was to train people—especially women—to cycle through weekly training camps. The city is now planning larger awareness programmes and a 70 km network of cycle tracks across the city.
“New Town Kolkata has taken several steps to actively promote cycling, including cycle tracks, safe signages, cycle clinics, smart cycle stands, and cycle training. Cycling is a safe and healthy mode of transport, an absolute need of the hour during the pandemic!”
West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation
New Town Kolkata Green Smart City Ltd.
New Town Kolkata Development Authority
|What if there was a green cycling network through the entire city?
PimpriChinchwad tested a pop-up cycle lane connecting open spaces in the city. Building on the success of the test, the city created a city-wide HaritSetumasterplan, with inputs from citizens, local CSOs, and experts. The masterplan envisions developing a cycling network connecting green spaces in the city. And to ensure this plan doesn’t just remain on paper, the city has already allocated the funds to make it a reality.
“People are at the core of any public project. The response PimpriChinchwad has received from citizens for the initiatives under the India Cycles4Change Challenge, makes me believe that the future of PimpriChinchwad is sustainable!”
Usha alias MaaiDhore,
|Can children safely cycle to school even today?
Vadodara thinks so!
It all started with one neighbourhood and nine schools. Officials cycled to school with children to understand their challenges and then worked with them to develop and test ideas to make cycling safer. Vadodara invited kids to not just help identify issues, but also paint cycle lanes in vibrant colours, and create unique signboards that would go with them! These initiatives are only the start of a cycling network that will make every neighbourhood in the city a joy for children to cycle in.
|How to get more people to commute by cycle everyday?
Rajkot has the right answer!
They started by speaking to people who already cycled everyday—postmen and others—to understand the issues they faced and then fix them. Over 1500 municipal officials led by example by cycling to work. The city also encouraged private companies to start cycle-to-work programmes and incentivise their employees to commute by cycle. Many have already launched these programmes. The city has now identified 40 frequently used routes to make them safe for cycling.
NileshPrajapati, Project Officer, ICLEI
|How can we change how people perceive cycling?
Surat started out with a focus on creating a whole generation of children who look at cycling as a lifestyle. The city started a first-of-its-kind cycling curriculum for schools; selected Cycling Ambassadors to champion the cause of cycling; and launched design competitions for children to envision cycling-friendly streets. Piloting pop-up cycle lanes along schools and residential areas also ensured children were able to test them and give their inputs. While changing today, Surat is already pedalling towards a better tomorrow!
“The India Cycles4Change Challenge has started a new era of cycling in India. We are already seeing the cascading impacts of this initiative on the environment, the economy, and above all, the wellbeing of citizens.”
Chief Resilience Officer, Surat and
Chairman, Sarvajanik Education Society
|Jury Special Mentions|
|How can we build the new without forgetting the old?
Aurangabad has the answer!
The city set out on a nostalgia trip—on two wheels! With a Cycles4Heritage campaign, the city sought to get people out on the streets to cycle and explore heritage sites across the city. Even its pop-up cycle lanes followed the same idea—to give old things new life—by repurposing recycled old tyres and light poles as bollards to define their cycle lanes. Now, the city aims to create a network of cycle lanes connecting all heritage sites in the city.
|What happens when citizen groups drive the Cycles4Change?
A lot more gets done, faster!
Leveraging existing capacity in the city, Gurugram brought together multiple citizens groups, residents associations, and local councillors. Building on their strengths, they supported the city in multiple cycling initiatives from rolling out weekly car-free days to piloting a pop-up cycle lane and redesigning intersections! Working together, they’ve helped Gurugram become a front-runner of the cycling revolution, with plans to create over 60 km of pop-up cycle lanes in the coming year.
|What can we learn from a city that did it all?
Enthusiastic city leaders across departments came together to promote cycling with open street events, rallies, webinars, social media campaigns, and even drawing competitions! The city went all out testing solutions as well—cycle lanes, roundabout and junction redesigns, floating bus stops, and interventions to slow down traffic in neighbourhoods. The next step—a Healthy Streets Committee to bring key decision-makers together and scale up the transformation across the city.
|What if cycling became a city-wide celebration?
Every citizen would cycle!
Silvassa launched the Cycling Palooza—a month-long cycling festival across the city—with Cycle Melas for children, community cycle rides, training programmes, cycle donation drives, open streets events, even outdoor movie screenings! The celebrations also gave the city an opportunity to test and improve its pilots—new pop-up cycle lanes and redesigned junctions—based on feedback from citizens. Silvassa envisions a future where the city celebrates cycling not just for one month, but every day of the year.
|Other Cycling Pioneers|
|How can a city rally support for cycling?
By putting people first.
Kochi started small and built momentum for cycling through a series of increasingly larger cycle rallies. This culminated in a Republic Day mega rally with over 700 cyclists to launch its first pop-up cycle lane! Getting a great response and feedback from citizens, the city now plans to expand the pilot to a network of cycle lanes, also adding a cycle sharing system with over 1000 cycles across the city.
“The new cycle tracks in Kochi are a welcome change for the cycling community. Combined with the cycle rental scheme in most metro stations, Kochi will witness a major mindset shift, also enabling people to adopt cycling for daily travel as well as leisure.”
Rittu J Jacob,
|What happens when different city departments work together?
They clear all bottlenecks!
Hyderabad fostered a strong collaboration between the municipal corporation, the traffic police, and transport authorities at every step, from identifying pilot sites and mapping issues to developing design solutions. They tested a pop-up cycle lane using paints, bollards, and signages. Hyderabad now aims to institutionalize this collaboration by setting up a Healthy Streets Committee responsible for implementing a city-wide cycling network.
|What happens when a city creates a new identity for cycling?
Cycling becomes a local trend!
Davangere launched a local campaign to make cycling cool again—with exclusive cycling-themed merchandise at cycle rallies, campaigns with LED displays across the city, and even cycling anthems spread through local radio shows. The rebranding campaign paid off! When the city launched its first pop-up cycle lane, citizens showed up in large numbers to support cycling in their city.
|What happens when cycling meets art?
In the heart of an artists community, the country’s capital created a vibrant cycling plaza. The city took the idea of street art to a whole new level, bringing together artists to paint the streets in one neighbourhood, transforming even the cycle lanes into pieces of public art. The city has now opened this opportunity out to other neighbourhoods to expand this initiative across the city.
|How to use data to drive change?
Nashik embraced a data-driven decision making approach. One, they analysed the most-used cycling routes for diverse groups—including industrial workers, students, tourists—to select a strategic route to test cycle lanes. Two, a detailed analysis of the selected site at different times of day helped them identify the most pressing issues. And three, they collected data on the increase in number of cyclists, and also displayed this information across the city to inspire others to start cycling as well. The city now plans to redesign over 100 km of streets, building on its learnings from the pilot.
|What if cities had a network of champions for cycling?
Cycling reaches everyone!
Kakinada identified a Cycling Champion for every ward in the city to build widespread support for cycling. Over 1000 citizens participated in 12 cycle rallies across the city, leading up to the launch of the city’s first pop-up cycle lane. The Champions also ensured surveys and consultations organised by the city saw strong citizen participation from diverse groups—including women, children, and persons with disabilities.
|What if the spine of the city is made cycling-friendly?
Udaipur decided to test its pilot on one of the city’s most important thoroughfares connecting multiple hubs of the city including the main bus stand, government offices, local institutions, and a military campus. This location, along with an active cycle-to-work campaign by the city, inspired a lot of daily commuters to shift to cycling. The pilot also caught the eye of the mayor and Udaipur now aims to make this a permanent cycling intervention!
|Can a lake get more people cycling?
Sagar thinks so!
Living up to its name, Sagarcentred its cycling interventions around water—the LakhaBanjara Lake. Connecting surrounding schools, heritage monuments, parks, transport nodes, and a sports stadium to the lake, Sagar tested a pop-up cycle lane providing a scenic and attractive ride for all! To encourage those who do not own cycles, Sagar strategically placed cycle rental stands along their pilot. Building on its learnings and the newfound enthusiasm for cycling, Sagar plans to expand this initiative across the city.
“This initiative by the Smart City Mission broke societal norms and empowered women and girls by inspiring them to step out of their homes and cycle.”
|How can cycling help reinvent a tourist hub?
Panaji has an idea!
Imagine visiting Panaji and cycling through its quaint Goanneighbourhoods, along a view of the sparkling Mandovi river, and suddenly, the whole wide ocean opens up to you. This is exactly what Panaji had in mind while creating its pilot cycle lane to redefine how visitors would experience the city. The city now plans to make cycling fun across all its neighbourhoods by retrofitting heritage streets for cycling and conducting regular cycle rallies.
|What happens when a city revives an old cycling culture?
Indore once was a shining example of what a cycling-friendly city could look like. Over the years, cycling has reduced, but even today the city has over 2000 cycle stores renting out more than 100,000 cycles! Indore embraced this opportunity to revive cycling, testing cycle lanes at the city centre and launching rallies to get people on cycles again! The city now plans to fix the gaps in its existing cycle network, and give its old cycling culture new life.