Ktm Walks campaign

                                                              

Ktm Walks campaign

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Solution proposed by: 
Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office, Clean Energy Nepal
In a Nutshell: 
“Ktm walks” is a campaign to promote walking and cycling. The main goal is to build a livable and humane city. During the campaign, motorized vehicles are restricted from certain areas for certain times to create a public open space for the local community to enjoy a fresh and fun environment.
Where and When: 
1) From Spetember 20 to 27 2014 in Janabahal, Kilagal, Basantapur, Satgumti, Bhagwan Bahal and Teku Dobhan. 2) December 20, 2014 in Kilagal. 3) April 15,2016 in Satgumti , October 02 again in Satgumti and October 05 in Kilagal an d Itumbahal
Challenges: 
Kathmandu was traditionally designed with communal spaces and infrastructures best suited for walking and where the community could socialize. But Kathmandu is now focusing on developing infrastructure that prioritizes motorized transportation and commercial purposes. This is increasing the level of air and noise pollution in the city and decreasing quality of life. This campaign is an attempt to revive the core areas of Kathmandu by restricting motorized transportation and creating open public space for the people, which will protect our heritage, increase healthy mobility, and support local vendors and businesses.
Innovation: 
This campaign is the first attempt to pedestrianize spaces ever tried in Kathmandu. The open and public spaces created by the program witnessed an environment filled with joy and happiness. People were walking freely, children were playing and the local people used the opportunity to establish temporary micro businesses such as food stalls and craft. Tourism in the area also increased and there were decreased levels of air and noise pollution in that area during the campaign. More over the community participation and their enthusiasm continues to replicate throughout the city with new events being started.
Concept: 
Government action today is primarily focused on building more infrastructure for motorized vehicles as an attempt to address congestion as this was what residents are demanding. However, building more roads is leading to higher levels of private motor vehicle use and greater congestion in the city. These higher levels of motorized vehicle use increase noise and air pollution and decrease residents’ quality of life. In addition, residents have become desensitized to the noise and air pollution and are now using their vehicles for very short trips that can easily be walked. Our team felt that it was time to remind residents of what life was like when vehicles were not the primary source of transportation in the city. We also wanted residents to feel and understand the value of public spaces that are free of the dangers of motorized traffic. Public open spaces in Kathmandu are an incredibly important but under-valued resource. The recent earthquake in Kathmandu highlighted the importance of public spaces in the city. Through this campaign, we give residents the chance to experience a “car free” city for a defined period of time, which ultimately turns them into strong advocates for public spaces
Description: 
The campaign started in the year 2014 on the occasion of “World Car Free Day” after a series of meetings with governments, NGOs, local clubs, communities and volunteers. The first campaign started from 20 to 27 September, 2014 in five different core areas of Kathmandu, where vehicles were restricted for few hours (depending upon the area). Many creative activities took place that encouraged participation from the community. The campaign generated a lot of interest in the community and after a few months was then continued in the similar areas in December, April and October. The major objective of this campaign was to inspire and promote sustainable modes of urban tranportation such as walking and cycling for daily mobility and to help residents understand the importance of public open spaces. After the massive earthquake that took place in April 2015, slowed down the campaign to some extent. However, the strong foundation of community building that occurred prior to the earthquake helped people see the importance of public spaces and areas free of motor vehicles. Residents saw Ktm Walks as an opportunity to be after the tragedy. The impact of the campaign was an improvement of the quality and safety for walking, decreased air and noise pollution, and increased business opportunities to vendors. An additional impact was an increased number of residents who were now advocates for changes in their own community. The campaign provides an example of how a community could be and the health and economic benefits that can achieved. Along with the community , it also aims to draw theattention of government authorities to shift their focus to sustainable modes of transportation and increasing the number of public open spaces. The successful continuation of this campaign shows that people do appreciate such environment.
Impacts: 
The campaign provided open space for people to walk, cycle, play, and establish micro-businesses. Over 1000 people participated from 10neighbourhoods in 11 events. The positive response from the community is the biggest compliment for the campaign.Impacts include increased safety and decreased air and noise pollution. The campaign increased awareness among residents of the importance of public spaces and that walking and cycling are part of solution to solve many of the city’s problems. The campaign increased awareness among government officials that residents want car-free public open spaces, which opens the door to future sustainable transportation in the city.