The blogs are part of WRI India’s mission to provide unbiased, expert analysis on the most important environmental issues facing the world today.
In today’s rapid-fire, fragmented information culture, we hope these insights will provide a measure of clarity to decision-makers worldwide.
Small Steps Towards Restoring Damaged Lands
More than 700 million people in India currently depend on forests and agriculture for sustenance, mostly comprised of highly vulnerable groups such as tribals, women, smallholders and marginal farmers. Any threat to these forests and farmlands poses a risk to the dignified survival of these populations. To protect and conserve these forests and farmlands and ensure a continued flow of ecosystem services, nature-based solutions such as landscape restoration can prove effective. Land restoration can both...
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Swachh Vayu Survekshan and the Search for Clean Air
Every year during the winter season, air quality across India deteriorates to hazardous levels. The combination of low temperatures and still conditions keep pollutants trapped in the atmosphere, further exacerbating the issue. Interestingly, neither coastal nor some of our cleanest cities are strangers to this phenomenon. For instance, Mumbai saw several poor air quality days this year with the...
Deconstructing COP27 for India
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, concluded with delegates reaching an agreement to establish a fund for Loss and Damage to help vulnerable countries deal with the severe impacts of the climate crisis. Despite the urgent need for countries to adopt ambitious climate actions aligned with science, COP27 saw no major developments to accelerate mitigation. The developments also fell short of ramping up the adaptation finance to double by 2025 — as envisioned in COP26. While the implications of COP27 will be felt for decades to come, in this interview we...
Public Realm Transformation for Improved Access: Learnings From Fort Kochi's RoRo Jetty
Look anywhere in a city and you will see more people on foot than in cars. Yet city roads and urban public spaces are rarely designed keeping pedestrians in mind, making it particularly challenging for children and the elderly. Integrating street infrastructure and raising user awareness is key to improving accessibility and enabling safer and smoother pedestrian and vehicular movement.
The Reimagining Fort Kochi project, developed under the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative is working to improve accessibility at the RoRo jetty node in the...
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Youth-Led Urban Development: A Participatory Approach to Improving Public Spaces
Disclaimer: All pictures are of participants in the Healthy Cities for Adolescents (HCA) project and have been taken with their consent.
This is the first in a series of blogs on Adolescents and Public Spaces. In this, we talk about how adolescents can partake in the public space development process and lead public space initiatives contributing to their well-being.
India’s potential for growth rests on the investments in and development of its youth, with...
Moving Towards Sustainable Urban Mobility for All
India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. As the population practically doubles, cities are under extreme stress to ensure the provision of education, employment, and basic services.
A critical aspect of meeting these requirements is ensuring equitable access to existing opportunities and services that are often scattered across a city. An affordable,...
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Are Low-Emission Zones the Answer to Urban India’s Air Pollution Woes?
This is the first blog in our three-part series on the importance of implementing low-emission zones (LEZs) across Indian cities.
As the national capital grapples with the annual phenomenon of deteriorating air quality at the onset of winter, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has announced the imposition of Stage-II measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to address the issue. The implementation of Green Zones, with...
Why We Need to Prioritize Traffic Engineering for Street Safety
A version of this blog was originally published on July 13, 2022 on Scroll.in
Streets are the largest contiguous public spaces in cities across the world. However, they should not be considered as mere conduits for traffic but must be looked at as spaces where people meet, and businesses thrive.
In India, the lack of pedestrian infrastructure makes the basic act of walking fraught...
How the Kochi Ithile Wayfinding Signages Improved Public Access Through Information Systems
“Not to find one's way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one's way in a city, as one loses one's way in a forest, requires some schooling. Street names must speak to the urban wanderer like the snapping of dry twigs, and little streets in the heart of the city must reflect the times of day.”
- Walter Benjamin, Berlin Childhood in the 1900s (1932)
In our digitally connected world, navigating an unfamiliar city is no longer an unsurmountable challenge. However, incorporating wayfinding practices like making basic information easily available in the form of...
Kawaki, a Community-Led Tree-Based Intervention for Climate Resilience: A Case Study
This is a second in a series of blogs on community-led tree-based intervention to build climate resilience. Please read the first blog here.
The name Kawaki, is formed from two Malayalam words, kawu (grove) and aki (make) which translates to "make a grove". It is also a community-led urban greening movement implemented in Kochi by the city municipal corporation with the technical support of WRI India under the Cities4Forests program....