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Chapter 8 The Structures of Mobility and Challenges of Low Carbon Transitions in India

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3266

ISBN: 978-1-910158-64-7

Published: November 2016

Component type: chapter

Published in: Low Carbon Mobility Transitions

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-2847


Non-motorised transport (NMT) modes, including cycles, pedal rickshaws, and animal-driven carts, were once the dominant way of moving around in Indian. Yet the share of cycling declined from an average of 30% in 1994 to 11 % by 2008, alongside a 12% rise in the share of personal modes of transport and declining public transport trips. A rising number of fatalities, overall congestion, and poor air quality have affected the quality of life in Indian cities. Lack of integration between land use and transportation, the absence of an enabling environment for NMT modes and poor transportation demand management have raised questions over Indian cities’ preparedness to transition to a low carbon future. This chapter argues that the translation of progressive policies into action has been marred by confusion and ad-hocism which has harmed the cause of low carbon transitions even further. It traces how an early post-independence obsession with modernity drove cities away from a low carbon sustainable model to a more energy-intensive model. A narrow re-imagining of roads as mere thoroughfares combined with borrowed motifs of modernity led to a culture of automobility that prioritises personal mobility over other low carbon alternatives. The chapter argues that despite the many challenges facing the prospect of low carbon transitions, recent government interventions in the form of policies and programmes present some hope.

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  • Rutul Joshi, Faculty of Planning and Centre for Urban Equity, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. (Author) http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3978-8985
  • Yogi Joseph, Centre for Urban Equity, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India (Author)
  • Vivek Chandran, Centre for Urban Equity, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India (Author)

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Joshi, Joseph & Chandran, 2016

Joshi, R., Joseph, Y. & Chandran, V. (2016) "Chapter 8 The Structures of Mobility and Challenges of Low Carbon Transitions in India" In: Hopkins, D. & Higham, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3266


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