Brief Report on Signing of Statement of Intent and Inaguration of the “Centre for Pedestrian Infrastructure and Planning (CPIP) at School of Plannig and Architecture, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS), Secunderabad

Walkability is an important concept in sustainable urban development and planning. It is a measure of how friendly an area is for pedestrians. Walkability has environmental, social-economic and health related benefits. One of the most important is the decrease of the automobile and C02 footprint from the community. Better walkability contributes to increased social interaction, reduced crime, increased civic sense and responsibility. However, in the fast growing city of Hyderabad, walkability has become dangerous, unfriendly and unsafe due to non-availability or misuse of pedestrian footpaths and walkways. There is an immediate need to review the problems faced by the pedestrians and identify solutions for making the city pedestrian friendly and encourage the civic authorities to contribute in the concept of pedestrian infrastructure.

Therefore the “Walkable Hyderabad Consortium” in collaboration with the School of Planning & Architecture, JNIAS came forward to establish a “Centre for Pedestrian Infrastructure and Planning (CPIP)” at JNIAS, Secunderabad on February 15, 2013. The purpose of this Centre is to impart training, conduct research and related activities for students and professionals leading to capacity building in pedestrian infrastructure and usage of public spaces.

Walkable Hyderabad Consortium (WHC) is a collaborative partnership of international and national organizations namely Goethe Zentrum, Hyderabad, Indian National Trust for Art and cultural Heritage, Hyderabad, The Right to Walk Foundation/ Hyderabad, Nexus Institute/ Berlin, The PTV group/ Karlsruhe, The Indian Institute of Architects, A.P Chapter/ Hyderabad, Institute of Town Planners India, A.P Chapter/ Hyderabad, Karmayog Hyderabad and Heritage Conservation Initiative Consultancy, (HCIC)/ Hyderabad.

Inauguration: The Inauguration of CPIP commenced at 3.30 pm with the Welcome Address delivered by Ch. Sujatha Gangadhar, Registrar JNIAS and chaired by Prof D. Swaminadhan President, JNIAS with Chief Guest Prof. H.C. Konrad Hagedorn, Project Leader, Sustainable Hyderabad Project & Head of Division of Resource Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany presiding over the session.

The following dignitaries graced the dias at the Inaguration:

  • Dr. D. Swaminadhan, President – JNIAS
  • Dr. Pramod.S. Shinde, Director – SPA JNIAS
  • Ms. Amita Desai, Executive Director, Goethe Institute
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn, Project Leader, Sustainable Hyderabad Project & Head of Division of Resource Economics at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • Dr. Angela Jain, Nexus Institute, Berlin, Germany
  • Tanja Schaefer, Director Sustainable Transport Research, PTV Group
  • Ms. Kanthimathi Kannan, President, Right 2 Walk Foundation, Hyderabad
  • Ms. Anuradha Reddy, Convenor – INTACH Hyderabad

An introduction to the “Walkable Hyderabad Consortium” was presented by Ms. Amita Desai, Executive Director, Goethe Institute followed by screening of short films, documentaries and case studies highlighting the need for Pedestrian Infrastructure and the plight of pedestrians by the students of University of Hyderabad and University of Applied Sciences Germany. A brief presentation was done by representatives of Nexus Institute, Berlin and PTV Group on the technical collaboration for CPIP.

The formal Inaguration of CPIP was announced by lighting of the lamp by Prof. D. Swaminadhan, President, JNIAS along with Chief Guest, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn, Head of Division of Resource Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin followed by Smt Ch. Sujatha Gangadhar, Registrar, JNIAS and other invited dignitaries.

Address by the Chief Guest Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn on the outcome of the Project on the Sustainable Hyderabad was very interesting and President Prof. D. Swaminadhan, JNIAS delivered the Presidential address expressing happiness over collaboration of SPA, JNIAS and WHC for a noble cause of Pedestrain Infrastructure and committed his complete support for the development of the Centre.

Formal signing of the “Statement of Intent” by the representatives JNIAS and WHC and the exchange of “Statement of Intent” between Dr. D. Swaminadhan from JNIAS and Ms. Amita Desai from WHC was successfully completed.

This was followed by a presentation of Ms.Kanthimati Kannan, Convenor, CPIP and President, The Right 2 Walk Foundation outlining the future plan of action of CPIP.

Dr. Pramod S Shinde, Director,SPA, JNIAS give a brief vote of thanks on behalf of JNIAS. The Inagural Session concluded with a visit to the CPIP facility at SPA, JNIAS by all the members of CPIP and other participants and followed by High tea.

Next step and first activity of the CPIP is to carry out a students’ design competition titled “Walk the Talk” for all architecture students. The competition was announced and the poster released as final part of the inauguration event.