Transforming Pune's Historic Core: Pedestrian Day 3.0

Parisar participated in the recent Pedestrian Day celebrations organised by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), collaborating with various organisations such as ITDP and Save Pune Traffic Movement. The event, held on 11 December 2023, transformed a stretch of Laxmi Road, from Nagarkar Taleem Chowk to Garud Ganpati Chowk, into a haven for pedestrians, commerce, and exhibitions, from 10 am to 7 pm. Our exhibition stood out, featuring a photo gallery showcasing successful case studies of streets across India that transitioned from motor-centric to people-centric, encouraging Punekars to reimagine and revive their streets.

Revitalizing Pune's Historic Core City: A Pedestrian-Friendly Transformation

Pune, with its rich cultural history, boasts an old core city established along the riverside. This area holds a unique character, deeply rooted in physical, social, economic, ethnic, and spatial aspects. The core city, particularly in the Peth areas, preserves a distinctive architectural charm with its Wadas, historic built heritage, and public spaces. However, with the escalating issues of air pollution and congestion in Pune, there arises a need to rejuvenate the core city, embracing its past while ushering in a sustainable and pedestrian-friendly future.

Laxmi Road: Redevelopment and Rejuvenation of Pune's Core Area

Old City Pune is distinct in its characteristics, it is a place of historical significance, a home to endless temples, old-houses, and an enamouring architecture. It harbours one of the oldest and densest parts of Pune, and a sought-after marketplace, Laxmi Road, with people coming from faraway places to shop and visit. It has seen rapid transformations with changes in mobility practices of people leading to congestion and urban festering, contributing to development that has myriad ill-effects on the place. Population increase has led to crowd and heavy congestion of vehicles on the roads. One of the complexities of Pune’s core city is the high percentages of private-vehicle ownership; mainly two-wheelers. According to Development Plan (2013) (Parisar, 2022), there are 83% households that own either cars or motorbikes, with number of vehicles overpassing the human population in Pune. After more than a decade of efforts by the government and non-government entities, the problems of transportation and traffic remain unresolved. Therefore, Parisar aims at decarbonising mobility systems and promoting public and non-motorised transportation; rejuvenating the core city for a healthier future and better liveable environment, economic recovery and customer focused, conserving its iconic character and vibrancy.