Nagaland: Re-imagining the streets as public space
Dimapur, Nov. 7 (EMN): As part of the ‘streets for people challenge,’ Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL) has transformed the Old NST parking lot into an open street space for pedestrians and food vendors, as well as a sitting space for shoppers.
The initiative was undertaken to test how streets could be transformed into a happy, safe and inclusive space for everyone, stated the chief executive officer of KSCDL, Kovi Meyase, in a press statement issued on Saturday.
He informed that KSCDL would identify more locations around the town where open street spaces could be carved out permanently for all citizens ‘to use and enjoy’.
Meyase stated that Kohima Smart City had received many positive feedbacks from the citizens and visitors. He cited instances where one young boy had expressed excitement to see a parking lot transformed into a ‘nice open space’, while another citizen wished that more such spaces should come up at different parts of the city, and another appreciated the platform given to the street vendors.
He also stated that the Kohima Smart City, in collaboration with the Kohima traffic police and in consultation with the Nagaland State Disability Forum, has also earmarked a parking space outside Rutsa Bakery exclusively for people with disabilities.
He added that the traffic police has agreed to identify parking spaces for PwDs at strategic locations around the town.
Meyase mentioned that the Kohima Smart City with the core committee comprising representatives from wards, citizen groups, professionals and city officials, are organising an open street 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.
The campaign is being initiated to convey the message that streets are not only for vehicles and parking.
Meyase stated that the challenge was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in order to ensure green recovery from Covid-19 pandemic. The objective of the programme was to inspire cities to create walk-friendly streets through quick measures and to re-imagine their streets as public spaces through the lens of economic regeneration, safety and child-friendly interventions with inclusive designing.
MoHUA stated that cities can test quick, innovative and low-cost interventions using elements such as planters, seaters, barricades, signages, paints, makeshift play equipments by engaging with the community through events and campaigns. The ministry also encouraged cities to convert those temporary interventions into permanent ones.
Towards making Kohima a people-friendly and more walkable city, the Kohima Smart City has sought the support of citizens saying, “Together we can reclaim our streets and make space for everyone”.