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How cities score

Better use of data could make cities more efficient—and more democratic


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Unauthorised religious structures near drains and on roads were an insult to God, said by Supreme Court

Unauthorised religious structures near drains and on roads were an insult to God, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, coming down heavily on states for failing to inform it about the action taken against such constructions.

“Everyone has the right to walk. God never intended to obstruct the path meant for the people. Why shouldn’t these structures go?” asked a bench of Justice Gopal Gowda and Justice Arun Misra, hearing a petition on the matter.

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Trail-Oriented Development

Planning for active transportation is the new trend in urban development, according to the Urban Land Institute—and it pays off.

The concept of transit-oriented development is by now widely embraced. A new report from ULI explores what it calls “the next frontier”: trail-oriented development.

As The Architects’ Newspaper puts it, the report asks: “What happens when officials, urban planners, and developers, and other professionals involved in the built environment put a premium on safe sidewalks, cycle paths, the pedestrian, and the cyclist?”

The study looked at 10 residential and commercial developments in cities around the world, as well as five “catalytic” bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects.

It found that trail-oriented development has a positive impact on “economic development, public health, air quality, community design and real estate design and investment.” Trail systems can boost retail sales, commercial property values, and tourism, while creating savings in health and business costs.

Bike ridership is growing worldwide, even inalready-bike-friendly cities. In the United States, San Jose is updating its Trail Strategic Plan, while Houston recently unveiled a new plan for “casual riders.”

For cities playing catch-up, the report includes a guide to becoming a bicycle-friendly community.

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Big Data for better Urban Planning

We have heard the term “Big Data” thrown around more and more in recent years. This is the concept of computationally analyzing extremely large data sets to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions. Although it still seems farfetched that a computer algorithm can improve personal connections, many companies actually are leveraging this technology through apps and gamification to improve connections with their customers. And perhaps there are ways to leverage these technologies to improve workplace culture.

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Integration of all transportation modes via Satellites

Railways minister Suresh Prabhu offered hope on Thursday to people seeking seamless travel across different modes of transport in the country.

The minister expects the integration project to pick up pace this year after roping in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for satellite mapping of India’s transportation needs.

As part of the elaborate plan, a citizen will be provided a common mobility card that will allow travel on trains, buses, taxis and ships across the country, and may be used for shopping too.

The project is in the nascent stages and plans to integrate bus and metro services in the metropolitan centres are still on the drawing board.

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Build The Cities Of The Future with Free Urban Planning Softwares

Urban Network Analysis, an open-source software released by MIT. Taking a cue from social networks and mathematical network analysis methods, the City Form Research Group‘s program calculates how a cities’ spatial layout affects the way people will live in it.

It measures traits such as “reach, gravity, betweenness, closeness, and straightness,” which, in laymen terms, express features such as the number of services, buildings, and resources within a certain walking distance, or the volume of traffic along sidewalks and streets. Designers can also assign characteristics to individual buildings, as well as track urban growth and change with analytic support for policy makers.

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India’s first personal rapid transit (PRT)

The National Highways Authority of India has laid the groundwork to roll out India’s first personal rapid transit (PRT) network and will invite global bids for the project within the next fortnight. The pilot project will span a 13km stretch from the Gurgaon-Delhi border to Badshapur Mod on Sohna Road and is estimated to cost Rs 850 crore.

A project called the Metrino (in pic), a PRT system in which pods are suspended from an overhead rail, has been under consideration for a while. Every pod can take up to five passengers. For the pilot project route, 16 stations have been planned, starting near Ambience Mall. A personal rapid transit (PRT) network is made up of small automated vehicles running at close intervals on a guideway with docking stations for passengers to get on and get off.While a pod can accommodate up to five people, there is also an option to hire an entire pod that will take a passenger straight to the destination, skipping the scheduled stops. The average speed of the pods is 60kmph.

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DMRC launching new swanky ‘Driverless Trains’

Ever tempted to see how the tracks and approaching stations appear to Metro drivers?

Commuters will soon be able to experience it with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launching new swanky ‘driverless trains’ that will accommodate passengers end to end.

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Sustainable Transport Investment Could Save $300 Billion a Year – Within Existing Financial Flows

Investing in sustainable transport infrastructure is something national and local leaders want as a way to cut climate-warming emissions – 23 percent of the global total – generated by the world’s transportation systems. But it has become a daunting prospect due to the public perception that it’s prohibitively expensive. New research that compares both high-carbon and low-carbon paths for transportation shows that public perception is mistaken: a low-carbon investment strategy is actually more affordable than the carbon-intensive way. The potential savings could be $300 billion each year and is within existing financial flows.

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The reason for the demolition of the highway was simple– most of the traffic on it was ‘non-destined’ and was causing congestion and air pollution, besides leading to accidents.

The reason for the demolition of the highway was simple– most of the traffic on it was ‘non-destined’ and was causing congestion and air pollution, besides leading to accidents.

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