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City Management

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.

Read Full Story @ http://mazdigital.com/webreader/38636?page=64

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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.

Read Full Story @ http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/satellites-to-help-merge-modes-of-transport-suresh-prabhu/story-oBUZWDoI2ymJqnVA7J7P9K.html

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.

Read Full Story @ http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/metro-unveils-faster-wifi-enabled-trains-that-run-without-drivers/story-YK3ucS4mYqXBaHj3i0Q3RN.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fbpost&utm_campaign=india

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.

Read Full story @ http://www.wri.org/blog/2016/04/sustainable-transport-investment-could-save-300-billion-year-within-existing-financial

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.

Read Full Story @ http://www.hindustantimes.com/gurgaon/redesign-expressway-to-end-the-congestion/story-M2GJoe93TOzmCcdQfEtsHL.html

70% of Urban India’s Sewage is Untreated

There are four years left for the government target of ensuring all Indians use toilets, but in urban India alone, no more than 30% of sewage generated by 377 million people flows through treatment plants.

The rest is randomly dumped in rivers, seas, lakes and wells, polluting three-fourths of the country’s water bodies, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of various data sources. An estimated 62,000 million litres per day (MLD) sewage is generated in urban areas, while the treatment capacity across India is only 23,277 MLD, or 37% of sewage generated, according to data released by the government in December 2015.

Further parsing of this data reveals that of 816 municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs) listed across India, 522 work. So, of 62,000 MLD, the listed capacity is 23,277 MLD but no more than 18,883 MLD of sewage is actually treated. That means 70% of sewage generated in urban India is not treated. While 79 STPs don’t work, 145 are under construction and 70 are proposed, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Inventorization Of Sewage Treatment Plants report.

India’s towns and cities contaminate their own water, with no improvement over the years. Sewage generation in India from class-I cities (with a population more than 100,000) and class-II towns (population 50,000–100,000) is estimated at 38,255 MLD, of which only 11,787 MLD (30%) is treated, according to the Faecal Sludge Management report by Water Aid, a safe-water and sanitation advocacy, quoting a 2009 CPCB report. The untreated sewage is dumped directly into water bodies, polluting three-fourth of India’s surface water resources, the FSM report said. Up to 80% of water bodies could be polluted, the report said.

Operation and maintenance of existing treatment capacity is below par, with 39% plants not conforming to environmental rules for discharge into streams, the CPCB’s 2009 report said. An estimated 75% to 80% of water pollution is from domestic sewage, discharged untreated into local water bodies.

A general, growing shortage of (working) sewage-treatment plants

Of the 522 working STPs across India, maximum are in the northern state of Punjab, which has 86. But no more than 38 work.

State/UT Punjab Maharashtra Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh Himachal Pradesh All India
Capacity of Municipal STPs (MLD) 1,245.45 5,160.36 1,799.72 2,646.84 114.72 23,277.36
Total Municipal STPs 86 76 73 73 66 816
Operational Capacity (MLD) 921.45 4,683.9 1,140.83 2,372.25 79.51 1,8883.2
STPs Operational 38 60 33 62 36 522
Non-Operational STPs 4 10 1 7 30 79
Proposed STPs 13 11 1 70

Uttar Pradesh has the most working STPs, 62, followed by Maharashtra (60) and Karnataka (44). About 17 million urban households lack adequate sanitation facilities in India, with 14.7 million households having no toilets, the FSM report said. If you consider five people per family, that means about 85 million people–or more than the population of Germany–are without adequate sanitation in urban India. In terms of rural households, only 48.4% (87.9 million) have toilet facilities as on December 7, 2015, according to a reply in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament.

Around five million (7.1%) urban households having pit latrines that have no slabs or are open pits, and about 900,000 toilets dispose off faeces directly into drains. Only 32.7% of urban households that have sanitation facilities use toilets connected to an underground sewage network. As many as 30 million urban households (38.2%), of the 79 million households with septic tanks, have no clear method for sewage disposal.

Open defecation remains a major challenge

About 12.6% of urban households defecate in the open. This number is higher for slums, with 18.9% of households defecating in the open. Around 1.7% of households across India defecate in the open despite having toilets, the government informed the Lok Sabha in a reply last month, based on the National Sample Survey report 2012.

In Madhya Pradesh, around 22.5% urban households defecate in open spaces, followed by Tamil Nadu (16.2%), Uttar Pradesh (14.8%), Gujarat (8.7%), Maharashtra (7.7%) and Delhi (3%). As many as 55% of rural households defecate in the open, according to data tabled in the Lok Sabha on May 7, 2015. Odisha tops list, with 86.6% of rural households defecating in the open. In Kerala, no more than 3.9% of households defecate in the open.

The proportion of people practising open defecation globally has fallen almost by half, from 24% in 1990 to 13% in 2015. About 68% of the world’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities, including flush toilets and covered latrines, in 2015, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

However, nearly 2.4 billion people across the world lack basic sanitation facilities, such as toilets or latrines. Of these, 946 million defecate in the open, according to the WHO. The Swachh Bharat Mission, launched by the National Democratic Alliance government on October 2, 2014, aims to make India open-defecation-free by October 2, 2019.

The government plans to construct 2.5 million individual household toilets in urban areas by 2015-16, of which 882,905 were constructed upto December, 2015, according to latest data available. As many as 32,014 out of 100,000 community and public toilets have been built under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The rural sanitation programme, in its first year, saw the construction of 8.8 million toilets, against the target of 6 million.

Source: thewire.in

The Important Role of Rural Transit

“While public transit in the Twin Cities largely serves people commuting to work – and is framed in the public mind by shiny coaches and sleek light-rail cars – it has a much different look and feel in rural Minnesota,” according to an article by Gregg Aamot.

The article provides an in-depth exploration of the experience and the context of rural transit. In the latter realm, Aamot cites evidence from the Center for Rural Policy and Development that “public transit systems provided 12 million rides in Minnesota regions outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area (and nearly 98 million rides in the Twin Cities)” in 2014. In 2010, about “70 percent of transit riders using the most rural systems reported not having either a car or a driver’s license.”

The article also provides background on the political support for rural transit in the state, as well as descriptions of the day-to-day experience of  Jim Hansen, a bus driver in the rural area around Blooming Prairie.

The Minnesota-based Center for Rural Policy and Development released the “Rural Reality: City transit, rural transit” report in January.

Read Full Story on www.minnpost.com

How cities score

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

 

Read Full Story on Economic Times

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