With a population of nearly 10 million people, Bangalore has witnessed explosive urban growth and increased motorization in recent years. City planners responded to this unprecedented growth by building and expanding roads for cars, without fully considering how urban development can better serve people. Pedestrians are perhaps the most affected by this, facing great obstacles to simply walking safely in their communities. Thin sidewalks and a lack of dividers force pedestrians to compete for space with cars and auto-rickshaws, making it uncomfortable and unsafe for those who use sidewalks—where they exist. However, EMBARQ India’s efforts to design a more walkable and sustainable Bangalore have shown that it is possible to re-orient urban design around people and support walking, cycling, and active transport. Walking benefits cities and the people who live in them by relieving traffic congestion, reducing air pollution, and increasing physical activity, improving quality of life and creating cities for people, not cars.
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