Kohima Smart City Development Company is an organisation funded through the Indian Government’s Smart City programme. I have been engaged by this organisation to provide consultancy services in respect of Kohima Smart City’s participation in the India-wide Cycle4Change campaign. The overall aim of the campaign is to improve the urban environment of cities for cycling, and to significantly broaden the use of bicycles as a means of transport and exercise.
Kohima is quite unique in the way that it is predominantly built on the upper slopes and hilltops of the Nagaland mountainous terrain. As a result, developable land is at a premium and much of the city is constructed on sloping round. The roads tend to follow the contours of the landscape in order mitigate steep gradients, and narrow carriageways with tight corners are common. As are steep inclines and poor road surfaces. However, where unique and stubborn challenges exist, the opportunity for new and innovative solutions is also created!
Pilot interventions have been used as a means of prototyping various strategies for improving the city for cycling. These interventions include testing out ways to create safe cycling corridors through the city, as well as cycling-friendly neighbourhoods. Other interventions that are aside from alterations to the urban morphology of the city include a community led cycle rental programme, construction a pump track, mobile app development, and designation of a local trail network.
To develop an innovative and practical scaling-up strategy for the Kohima Cycle4Change programme, we have adopted a collaborative approach based on design thinking methods and tools.
Fundamentally, design thinking is the process by which design methods and expertise are applied real-life situations in order to gain new understandings and subsequently identify new solutions. Put another way, design thinking is about using the powers of creativity to address complex problems.
In this project the objective is to create a strategic vision for cycling in Kohima, with practical and actionable strategies to drive this transition forwards.
There are some stubborn challenges to address. Narrow roads, hilly terrain, a busy city, frequent traffic congestion… To endeavour to create positive change for any city will no doubt reveal a myriad of complexity. However, within such tricky and complex situations lies great potential for innovation!
design-led strategic development
Safe Cycling Corridors
Strategies and prototype interventions that will improve existing major routes through the city for cyclists. This involves managing traffic and parking, creating dedicated cycle lanes, re-configuring dangerous intersections and more…
Non-motorised Traffic Friendly Neighbourhoods
Re-imagining Kohima’s urban neighbourhoods as safe havens for non-motorised traffic. The safety of pedestrian and cyclist road users is paramount; focusing on this imperative reveals a further greater opportunity – reclaiming neighbourhood roads for the benefit of all non-motorised users.