Sunday morning saw locals come out in large numbers to participate in the WWF-India’s ‘One Planet Streets for All’ event. The event was held for all to take a stand for the cause of having inclusive streets and adopting sustainable modes of commuting.
It’s time for sustainable mobility in Goa
WWF-India held the event in collaboration with the Corporation of The City of Panaji, supported by ICLEI-South Asia. Its aim was to make people aware and gather support for adopting smarter and greener choices of commute, whilst making the roads more inclusive for the benefit and safety of all road users.
It’s no secret that the air we breathe is very polluted. Moving around in cars is responsible for 25% of the global energy-related CO2 emissions. The city areas are a big concern given the number of vehicles in them. Therefore, the mobility sector plays an important role in lowering these carbon emissions to avoid the impacts of climate change.
Despite being the smallest state in the country, Goa has one of the highest car ownership density. Therefore, now it’s important to utilize more sustainable modes of transportation when commuting. But this is not as easy as it sounds. Sustainable urban mobility requires a mind shift. People need to learn how to make better choices in their lifestyles and start using sustainable modes of transportation. Public transport, cycling, walking, and car-pooling are good choices.
Panaji aims to reduce community-level emissions by 19% by 2019 from 2013 levels. It intends on expanding its sustainable mobility infrastructure and raising community awareness.
Activities at the One Planet Streets For All event
The event had different activities during those 3 hours in the morning. Citizens participated in Ashtanga Yoga session by Geetanjali, a heritage walk along the Mandovi – by Charles Correa Foundation and Noah Fernandes, a karate demonstration by students of Sensei Joseph Rodrigues, a self-defense workshop for ladies as well as, Books Snakes & Ladder Game by Bookworm, Sustainable Mobility Game – Move n Seek by Incollab, and more.
There was also a Cyclathon organized. It was flagged off by Shri Vithal Dayanand Chopdekar, Mayor of the Corporation of the City of Panaji. Participants were eager to adopt eco-friendly practices in their daily lives and inspire positive action for the planet.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor of Panaji said, “This is a great initiative and the Corporation of the City of Panaji is happy to be a part of it. We understand the need for walking and cycling spaces in the city as part of the Smart City initiative. We will endeavor to encourage this initiative and request more citizens, especially children to contribute to this cause and make our city pollution-free.”
Speaking about this initiative, Dr. Suchismita Mukhopadhyay, Associate Director at WWF-India said, “It is important for citizens to make smart mobility choices in their daily lives. Simple individual lifestyle choices such as taking public transport, cycling and walking for shorter trips or even car-pooling can help decongest the roads, reduce pollution and address climate change.”
WWF-India’s part in the One Planet Streets For All initiative
The “One Planet Streets for All” is WWF-India’s initiative to promote sustainable mobility as part of its One Planet City Challenge platform. The challenge was first established in Sweden in 2011. It had a different name then: Earth Hour City Challenge. It simply aims to mobilize action and support from cities in the transition towards a climate-friendly future. This challenge demonstrates how sustainable cities can be a hub for creativity, ambition, and innovation in climate action.
The One Planet City Challenge was first introduced in India in 2012 and saw 24 cities in the country participate. Panaji joined the challenge in 2013. This year, Panaji is amongst the 3 Indian finalists from a pool of 40 finalists out of the 118 cities across 23 countries. It is now competing for the title of National and Global Winner. Panaji will also participate in OPCC’s public campaign called, “We Love Cities”, which aims to inspire and engage citizens for support as well as sharing ideas for improvement. The WLC campaign shall run from 7th May – 30the June 2018 on the We Love Cities campaign page and across social media platforms- Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Information credit – WWF-India/ Think Geek Media