Chennai Sustainable Transportation Network

Exhibition: Cities | October 5, 2011 by

In emerging economies, increased traffic congestion results in lost productivity and negative health impacts, and Chennai, India’s fourth largest city, is no exception. Chennai City Connect, with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and SMART-University of Michigan, is envisioning a regional transportation plan to ease congestion, designing pilot projects with the Madras Office of Architects and Designers (MOAD). They propose to link surrounding towns and villages to Chennai via a 5,000-square-km (1,900-square-mile) network of transportation corridors. The network connects districts and towns with a growing IT corridor and industrial and economic clusters. The plan incorporates readily available technology and services, optimizes local transport, and does not require governmental policy changes or “mega-sized plans” to streamline implementation.

The pilot projects focus on integrating various modes of transport—pedestrian, bicycle, auto-rickshaw, rail, bus, motorbike, etc. Aiming to reduce private vehicle use in Chennai’s central business district, the T Nagar Redevelopment Project, the first of its kind in India, will create new pedestrian zones, reorganize bus routes, and establish mobility hubs for easy transfer from different modes of transportation. Currently, 70% of Chennai’s citizens walk, cycle, and commute by bus. The Vadapalani Metro Rail pilot project focuses on improving pedestrian access, bicycle parking, and pick-up/drop-off, for roll out at all thirty-four stations.

Initiated by Chennai City Connect, with Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation, University of Michigan. Architects: Madras Office of Architects and Designers. Chennai, India, 2009–present

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