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Location: Gurgaon, National Capital
Region, Haryana, India
Population: 0.8 million
Metro: 24 million
Extent: 1 km
Area: 1,000,000 m²
Right-of-way: 45 m
Context: Mixed Use (Residential/Commercial)
Cost: 1,000 USD (operation and branding)
Funding: Private institutions and corporations
Speed: N/A (car free)
Raahgiri Day is India’s first sustained carfree citizen initiative that was developed to encourage pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized modes.
Raahgiri Day began in Gurgaon (National Capital Region, Delhi) on November 17, 2013 and was expanded to the entire city of New Delhi and adopted in 36 other Indian cities under the same or similar names. Roughly 350,000 people have participated in these events since.
Dedicated stretches of roads are blocked to motorized traffic and allow only pedestrians and cyclists for 4–5 hours every Sunday.
Raahgiri Day has been chosen as one of the 24 most inspiring stories for “Pathways to Green Cities” by the Global Advisory Committee of the Earth Day Network. The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has documented Raahgiri Day as a best practice in urban transportation in Indian cities.
Several streets in the neighborhood are temporarily pedestrianized to allow residents and visitors to perform and participate in a series of recreational activities.
Street closures are repeated at regular times and locations to establish use patterns.
Road Safety. More than 140,000 people annually die in India due to road accidents, the majority of whom are pedestrians and cyclists who are not respected on the roads.
Air Pollution. According to a WHO report, more than 62,000 premature deaths occur each year in India due to air pollution.
Physical Inactivity. The WHO report also estimates that more than 43,000 premature deaths occur annually in India because of physical inactivity, largely due to unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Inclusive Development. Many urban areas are becoming exclusive as there is no formal mechanism to facilitate interaction between different sections of society. The outcome of this segregation is manifested in social unrest.
Raahgiri Day is the result of active contribution by founding partners and citizen groups, media outlets, resident welfare associations (RWA), schools, NGOs, private organizations, recreational groups, and others. These groups immediately connected with the idea, and helped spread the word in their communities.
Ministry of Urban Development, High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Gurgaon Municipal Corporation, Gurgaon Police, Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Police, Bhopal Municipal Corporation
Private Group and Partnerships
Many private institutions, corporations, global brands, media companies, cycling/walking/running groups, dance/ music academies, yoga/aerobics/dance institutes
Citizen Associations and Unions
Local residents associations, citizen groups
Nonprofits and Institutions
Raahgiri Foundation [lead] EMBARQ India, Duplays, IAmGurgaon, Pedal Yatri, and Heritage School
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.