Transparent Chennai, a research organisation, along with Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai, held a community meeting on pedestrian infrastructure in Anna Nagar on September 29.

“The meeting facilitated participatory planning with citizens to raise awareness on walk-ability and the process of implementing better pedestrian infrastructure for the community,” said S. Lalitha, Researcher, Transparent Chennai.

“People don’t know the necessity of pavements. They don’t know it is part of the public space. Accidents involving pedestrians are on the rise in cities,” she pointed out.

The meeting is the first step in a multiple process project, where the community and government will work together to decide on what are the best solutions for footpaths for the streets.

S. Lalitha explained the process in detail to the gathering which involves building relations with community members and stakeholders to explain the vision of the project and community participation for survey, mapping and data collection. Data will be collected on the existing conditions of streets, the mechanism behind the provision of new footpaths.

The process will include digitising the surveyed data to analyse and help identify design requirements and strategies, design workshop (public participation in design exercises), design finalisation (design suggestions by architects and urban planners), implementation plan (step-by-step, guided action plan), follow-up and accountability, S. Lalitha said.

Soon, we will conduct a survey to map the present condition of existing infrastructure in Anna Nagar, and design a workshop for facilitation of better pedestrian infrastructure, she added.

“It is a very laudable effort by Transparent Chennai. Awareness on pedestrian infrastructure is less among the public. More people should participate in the survey and design workshop,” B. Mohanasundaram, a resident of Anna Nagar, said.

Transparent Chennai collects, creates and disseminates maps, data and research on neglected issues in the city and works with residents to create data on issues of importance.

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