News Excerpt
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) 2.0, along with the ‘Streets for People Challenge’.

•    As the lockdowns lift, cities face many challenges in providing safe, affordable, and equitable modes of transport that enable social distancing, Limited public transport options, narrow, crowded sidewalks particularly in market places and deterioration of mental health, are key issues that must be addressed on priority.
•    Pedestrianisation of streets for walking and creating public spaces is a crucial step towards mitigating these issues. Cities around the world, such as Bogota, Berlin, and Milan have responded by transforming streets for walking and cycling, to ensure safe mobility during COVID-19.

Objective of CSCAF
•    The objective of CSCAF is to provide a roadmap for cities for combating Climate Change while planning and implementing their actions, including investments.
•    The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is supporting in implementation of CSCAF.

The framework has 28 indicators across five categories:
1.    Energy and Green Buildings,
2.    Urban Planning, Green Cover and Biodiversity,
3.    Mobility and Air Quality,
4.    Water Management and
5.    Waste Management.
It attempts to address both the mitigation and adaptation sides and evolve the weight of the sectors across both the above in the Indian urban context.

What is the expected outcome of the CSCAF?
o    The key outcomes that are expected to emerge are:
o    Status and Benchmarking: Where do you stand and what to do to improve.
o    Capacity Building and Help: What you can do and what you need help with
o    Cross Learning: Who else is in a similar situation and how can you learn from them. Also, the framework is expected to create awareness, citizen engagement, and an environment of KPI-driven spending and circular economy.
o    This exercise is also a part of the Ministry’s focus and objective on quality of life. The focus is clearly on the community, the neighbourhood and the citizen; and tangible steps that can be taken towards clear impacts.

Streets for People Challenge
    The Streets for People Challenge is the response to the need for making our cities more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
    It aims to inspire cities to create walking-friendly and vibrant streets through quick, innovative, and low-cost measures.
    All cities participating in the challenge shall be encouraged to use the ‘test-learn-scale’ approach to initiate both, flagship and neighbourhood walking interventions.
    Fit India Mission, under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, along with the India program of the Institute for Transport Development and Policy (ITDP) have partnered with the Smart Cities Mission to support the challenge.