Kohima, November 07 (NEx): The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched the “Streets for People Challenge” in order to ensure a green recovery from COVID-19 and to inspire cities to create walking friendly streets through quick measures and to reimagine their streets as public spaces through the lens of economic regeneration, safety and child friendly interventions with inclusive designing.
Kovi Meyase, the CEO, Kohima Smart City Development Limited, Nagaland, in a press release informed that on November 07, 2020, the Old NST Parking spot was transformed into a pop-up open street space for Pedestrians, Food Vendors, Street Vendors selling organic vegetables and fruits, flowers and sitting space for shoppers to sit and relax. This was an open space initiative to envision and test how our streets can be transformed into happy, safe and inclusive spaces for everyone.
The Kohima Smart City will work towards identifying more locations around town where Open Street spaces can be carved out permanently for all citizens to use and enjoy, he stated.
He also said that cities can test quick, innovative and low-cost interventions using elements such as planters, seaters, barricades, signages, paints, makeshift play equipments, and by engaging with the community through events and campaigns. In the longer term, the MoHUA encourages cities to convert these temporary interventions into permanent ones.
As part of the Challenge, the Kohima Smart City with the Core committee comprising of representatives from Wards, Citizen groups, Professionals and City officials is organizing an Open Streets campaign around the city to create awareness about the need to share street spaces with Cyclists, Pedestrians and citizens including children, aged people and people with disabilities. It is to convey the message that Streets are not only for vehicles and for parking. We should make space for everyone and also for trees, plants and nature, the CEO said.
In a small effort towards creating an inclusive space, the Kohima Smart City in collaboration with the Kohima Traffic Police and in consultation with the Nagaland State Disability Forum also earmarked a parking space reserved exclusively for people with disabilities just outside Rutsa Bakery. The Kohima Traffic Police stated that they will try to identify parking spaces for PWDs in strategic locations around the town.
A lot of positive and hopeful feedback was received from the citizens and visitors. One young boy said that it was exciting to see a parking slot transformed into such a nice open space. He wished that the space can stay that way. Another citizen stated that more such spaces should come up around different parts of the city while another appreciated the platform given to the street vendors, Meyase stated.
Towards making Kohima a people friendly and more walkable city, the Kohima City seeks the support of citizens. Together we can reclaim our streets and make space for everyone, it said.