Cycling Culture: Towards reharmonising human habitats with natural ecosystems

By Chandra Vikash

Is this #TheGreatReset and a new world order that human society most urgently needs?

Bicycle Tracks (or bike lanes) are signages of Car Culture. Most people including avid cycling enthusiasts and cycling/NMT (non motoring transport) advocates fail to see that. The reasons are not very difficult to see. They are either misled or are covert apologist for the monstrous Car Culture which has hold sway on modern human society globally over past half a century. 

Car Culture spawns an entire eco-system of vast infrastructure and manufacturing capacities that have been built based on the deeply ingrained notion of automobile-dependant urbanisation where most of human society has already been huddled into or has been planned to, as urbanization sprawls further grabbing more peri-urban areas villages forests lakes and river beds and even as underground bunkers to fulfill its voracious and insatiable appetite.

Given the vice-grip it has on policy makers planners, media and a cottage industry of influencers, the devastating impact of over 5 billion motor vehicles and in growing numbers on our little green blue planet is often overlooked or brushed aside. The time has come to rethink and question that.

Motorcar tracks: Cycle culture

More people today would ride bicycle safe healthy and happy if we could just turn around to restrict motor vehicles to Motoring Tracks ONLY and created Cycling Culture. 

Lo and behold, with this one epochal decision, we shall see a whole new ecosystem spawn around the world as human habitats begin to reconfigure their habitat. Cycling Culture will also be a great step towards reharmonising human habitats with natural ecosystems that have been badly damaged and need our compassionate healing and restoration.

LACE model developed by Delhi-based GAIA Innovations Labs team is a comprehensive systems management framework to lead the great reset towards Cycling Culture with a wide array of benefits that shore up high against the costs of making this transformational change for cities around the world. It was invited for  presentation as sustainability and climate change solution at the prestigious New Urban Agenda and SDGs Conference in Australia on 1-2 November 2018.

The 2nd international Implementing the New Urban Agenda and SDGs Conference was held in partnership with the 26th EAROPH World Congress, in Newcastle, NSW on the 1st and 2nd November, 2018. This 2018 congress focused on the theme Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities:  Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

Out of 45 papers selected for presentation from around the world, three were from India. Two of these were by GAIA Innovations lab team consisting of Prof Sanjay Sharma and I from their centre at ABES Engineering College in Ghaziabad on Smart Neighborhoods & Localised, Abundant and Circular Economy (LACE) Model. A third paper by Sureka Yadav from DCRUST, Murthal Universityis on Smart Water Management for Traditional Indian Cities.

Localized, Abundant and Circular Economy (LACE) Model is an amalgamation of two diverse, synergistic and symbiotic approaches – a. New Urbanist Regional Planning with Smart Neighborhood Approach and b. Traditional Regional Planning with Vedic Gram Approach (Indigenous approach in India based on classical and folk traditions in the letter and spirit of United Nations Declaration for Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007).

Its key objective is to transform every rural and urban neighborhood to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in an accelerated manner. ABES – GAIA Innovation Lab as a collaboration between ABES Engineering College based in the city of Ghaziabad in Western Uttar Pradesh Province and Global Academy of Indigenous Activism (GAIA) – a social and cultural organization focused on leveraging traditional knowledge systems for accelerated achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, Smart neighborhoods and Universal Livelihood Security based on every individual’s uniqueness, local and individual needs and global aspirations.

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