Creating safer, more vibrant streets in the heart of Bangalore
On September 24, 2014, Ashoka Changemakers and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced the Hosur Sarjapur Road (HSR) Neighborhood Improvement Plan as a winner of the “Safer Roads, Safer India: Game Changing Innovations that Save Lives” Challenge. EMBARQ India has been working with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city’s municipal corporation, on the HSR project over the last year to help design infrastructure enhancements and mobility solutions for the area.
The Ashoka and UL Challenge was focused on innovative projects that improve road safety, as India currently has the worst road traffic crash rate in the world. An expert panel of judges selected four winning entrepreneurs from a pool of 80 applicants on the basis of innovation, social impact, and sustainability. Each of the winners will receive INR 300,000 (US$ 4,845) in unrestricted funding to support their road safety innovations.
Improving quality of life in an important Bangalore neighborhood
HSR is in a critical location in Bangalore, as it borders two major corridors connecting different parts of the city – the Outer Ring Road and Hosur Road. However, a high concentration of cars and lack of connected and meaningful public spaces in the neighborhood have compromised the quality of community life. Safety and security challenges have also increased. In response, EMBARQ India initiated an effort to create the HSR Neighborhood Improvement Plan in April 2013. It aimed to provide a safe network of spaces that improve community life by developing connectivity to the parks, playgrounds, and lakes in the vicinity.
This Neighborhood Improvement Plan has been the result of a unified effort from EMBARQ India and the Neighborhood Improvement Committee. It is part of the ward’s “Namma HSR, Namma Neighborhood” green and safe neighborhood initiative, led by the head of the local BBMP Ms. K. Latha Narasimha Murthy, and supported by members of the local Residents’ Welfare Associations. Local residents have also played an important role contributing to the Neighborhood Improvement Plan through participation at regular meetings.
The plan encompasses five broad interventions – Orientation and Wayfinding, Urban Green Habitat, Safe Access Networks, Transport Networks and Public Space Design. These interventions include improvements to road design, streetlights, pavements, parking management, pedestrian safety, water and solid waste management, walking zones, lake development, healthcare and education. EMBARQ India has made recommendations to improve pedestrian safety, intersection design, and the accessibility of public spaces. It has also assisted Ms. Murthy in piloting improvements to the Gyana Shristi intersection.
This plan aims to serve as a template for other neighborhoods in Bangalore, creating more safe, accessible, liveable neighborhoods throughout the city.