Pune Municipal Corporation’s intervention at Godse Chowk aims to make it safe and comfortable for young children and their families

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Pune, 13 December 2021: On the occasion of Pune’s ‘Pedestrians Day’ on 11th December 2021, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) performed a tactical intervention at Godse Chowk on Gulwani Maharaj Road. The PMC partnered with Egis India, Parisar, and the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) to execute the intervention.

The intervention, part of city-wide initiatives on sustainable mobility under the city’s road department, was aimed at making the chowk a safe and comfortable mobility corridor for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers (ITCs). Egis India and Parisar, a local civil society organisation, partnered with the PMC for the technicalities on improving the junction’s design for better road safety.

From 2018 onwards, BvLF has partnered with the PMC in its aim of making Pune a child- and family-friendly city under its global Urban95 initiative. The overall goal of the project is to make lasting changes in the landscapes and opportunities that shape the crucial first five years of children’s lives and for those who care for them.

Although the four-armed junction located on a secondary street connecting to Karve road has a moderate volume of traffic, the speed of vehicles passing through is usually quite high. It also has an inconveniently-placed zebra crossing and obstructions along the footpaths – thus making the junction difficult to cross and unsafe for pedestrians, particularly those with young children.

The intervention included multiple actions, including the following:

  • Placing pots with planted shrubs to create a bifurcation between the pedestrian and vehicular spaces.
  • Extension of the vibrant design on the walls adjacent to the footpath – this is intended to highlight the junction.
  • Placing cones or barricades to demarcate the proposed line for a footpath and dividers on all four sides.
  • Marking positions for proposed streetlights and traffic signals in keeping with Infant, Toddler, Caregiver-Friendly Neighbourhood (ITCN) Design Guidelines.

Prior to the intervention, the team had completed a pre-intervention analysis and prepared designs on the principle of being a scalable, low-cost move to bring about long-term change.

Dr. Kunal Khemnar, Additional Municipal Commissioner, (Estate), Pune Municipal Corporation, said: “Tactical urbanism projects vary significantly in scope, size, budget, and support. Projects often begin as grassroots interventions and spread to other cities, and in some cases are later adopted by municipal governments as best practices. Tactical urbanism is an approach to urban change that features characteristics such as a deliberate, phased approach to instigating change, the offering of local solutions for local planning challenges, short-term commitment as a first step towards longer-term change, lower-risk actions with potentially high rewards, the development of social capital between citizens, and the building of organisational capacity between public and private institutions, non-profits, and their constituents. I extend my congratulations to the PMC and all partners involved in this intervention and my appreciation for their constant commitment towards the larger goal of making our city child- and family-friendly.”

Mr. Vijay Kulkarni, Chief Engineer, Road Department, Pune Municipal Corporation, said: “Tactical urbanism is all about action, planning-by-doing and Urban Prototyping for the purpose of safe and pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood building. On the occasion of Pune’s Pedestrian Day, I would like to congratulate and appreciate the efforts of the Urban95 team and the Bernard Van Leer Foundation for supporting the cause of creating awareness about the importance of safety for infants, toddlers and their caregivers. I wish success to the Urban95 Pune team for such noble initiatives and expect more such interventions all over Pune city.”


Ms. Rushda Majeed, India Representative, Bernard van Leer Foundation, said: “The Urban95 programme aims at conveying the importance of having ITC-friendly clean, green public spaces for the benefit of all. The Godse Chowk intervention is another positive step towards meeting that goal, and we thank the PMC for taking this programme ahead with their consistent efforts. This intervention is an excellent example of how the simplest of planned measures by city officials can contribute significantly towards the larger goal of making our cities safer and better for young children and their families.”

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