Greenway [for Healthy Cities] is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Lalitpur Metropolitan City (LMC), Kantipur Media Group (KMG), Ncell Axiata, IME Pay and Cycle City Network Nepal (CCNN) to promote cycling and other environment friendly practices in Nepal. The joint initiative with the slogan – “My way is the Greenway” aims to create a platform to promote green initiatives and bring on board institutions and people who believe in promoting sustainable urban mobility, curbing carbon emission, conserving environment and fostering partnership for urban sustainability.
The initiative touches every possible aspects of an individual’s daily routine in a city. It includes different aspects of green transportation, pollution control, local products and green economy and takes cycling – which is one of the means of Sustainable Urban Mobility – as a point of entry to make our living sustainable and environment friendly.
The ongoing Covid-19 situation, which has disrupted public transport, has provided us an opportunity to turn cycling from a marginal, fringe commuting mode, or a leisurely pursuit for a few, to a cost-effective, clean, healthy mode of transport used by a large population set. This is one of the reasons why bicycle is chosen as an entry point.
Additionally, bicycling is taken as a solution to transform mode of transportation in the context of increasing pollution in the cities. But the focus of Greenway doesn’t only limit to cycling. Greenway envisions working with and integrating other environment-friendly practices that support the green ecosystem, such as electric vehicles, wheelchair users and even pedestrians, who contribute to cutting carbon footprint by just walking.
In the context of Nepal, a number of cities like Lalitpur Metropolitan City have been investing in cycle infrastructures (hard measures) and have been organizing campaigns and events (soft measures) to promote cycling. Backing up such soft measures, the initiative aims to motivate people to voluntarily switch to bicycle as a more sustainable approach of transportation. There are numerous approaches in triggering behavior change and one of them is through gamification. This approach uses game elements like incentives or rewards in products, services, competition, lotteries and team experience aiming at promotion of a modal shift. A major part of this initiative also includes policy advocacy and support to promote formulation and adoption of cycle-friendly policies and programs.
Since this initiative is being implemented through a multi-stakeholder partnership, this gives a good room for different stakeholders to joint and contribute. Besides the general public, the initiative brings together federal and local government bodies, corporate houses and businesses so that the whole of society could contribute as part of an ecosystem of solution to the key challenges of today’s cities.
With the general public associated with it, the first-hand experience and data derived from this campaign is expected inform public policies and program, particularly through fresh insights on ways to make people’s lives easier keeping in view of the environmental challenges facing our cities. Similarly, the initiative will provide a common platform for different green businesses an opportunity to showcase their green products and services, which contribute to urban sustainability. While the initiative is still in its nascent phase, the other partners of this initiative are Sanopaila, Naxa and Green Decision Labs and Research and we hope to expand the partnership further as we move forward. Let’s all join forces for a noble cause!