High-Level Convening and Roundtable Discussion

As a preparatory activity to the TA, ADB supported the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), GoK and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) in hosting a virtual High-Level Convening and Roundtable Discussion for policy and decision makers in Bengaluru, with an aim to:

  • Highlight the importance of a common city vision, land use-transport integration and a multimodal transport system, for urban revitalization and transformation

  • Learn from global best practices and experiences

  • Explore approaches to planning and implementing TOD and MMI, and addressing challenges encountered

  • Highlight the importance of good governance and robust regulatory and implementation frameworks

  • Build consensus on the need, and roadmap, for enabling TOD and MMI in Bengaluru.

THE EVENT

The High-Level Convening, conducted on the 26th and 27th of August 2021, convened leaders and domain experts from cities around the world, and key stakeholders from government, civil society and private-sector businesses in Bengaluru. The event was also attended by other ADB partners from India and abroad, involved with metro rail development, TOD and MMI implementation.

 

The Roundtable Discussion, conducted on 31st August 2021, convened technical experts from different Indian cities, department heads of government agencies in Bengaluru, along with select technical/operational staff from these agencies. The three-hour sessions on each day had talks or presentations by invited speakers on select themes, followed by a moderated Q&A discussion with the panel. A brief overview of each session is given below.

Day 1 (26th Aug): Visioning Session – City Vision, Challenges and Opportunities

This session engaged key government and non-government stakeholders in Bengaluru to dialogue on the vision for the city, challenges and opportunities, and perspectives on TOD and MMI. The vision of the ADB TA project and its objectives were also presented. In addition, the session showcased the inspiring story of Bogota’s revitalization through long-range, visionary ideas for transformation and the lessons for Bengaluru.

~ Experience of Bogota, Columbia

Speakers:

4 heads of government agencies

8 non-government/citizen representatives

1 international leader

1 ADB regional head

 

Participants: 363

Visioning Session - Key Takeaways for Bengaluru

  • Rapid growth has posed several challenges, in the form of haphazard sprawl, severe traffic congestion hampering mobility, strained essential infrastructure and environmental degradation, leading to poor quality of life in Bengaluru.

  • The vision for Bengaluru is of a sustainable, livable, accessible and equitable city that is globally competitive. A city providing green, safe, reliable and affordable mobility.

  • Key priorities identified for the city include: a walkable city based on pedestrian-first philosophy; an integrated multimodal public transport system serving all categories of people; universal access to basic services; public open spaces/greens and water bodies. Prioritize and support bus transport which will continue to play a central role.

  • Emphasis was placed on the need for: rational, evidence-based decision-making and data-led planning and governance; public participation and collaboration in city building processes; an empowered authority for coordinated planning and implementation of TOD and MMI.

  • Organizing city growth – in the right place and in the right way – is the most crucial aspect for quality of life, competitiveness and efficient mobility. Effective land use-transport integration, land management and good urban design are key.

  • Development strategies should enhance the quality of the public realm and amenities - through government-led interventions and enabling regulations.

  • Building consensus among stakeholders and persistence over time are crucial for success. Bold decisions need to be taken for the larger public good.

  • While TOD and MMI are crucial for maximizing the benefits from investments in mass transit, they are complex to plan and implement. The ADB TA project aims to build institutional capacities for effective delivery and achievement of desired outcomes, towards realization of the city’s vision and long-term goals.

Day 2 (27th Aug): Technical Session - Planning and Implementing TOD and MMI

Through case examples, this session presented exemplar approaches to successfully planning and implementing TOD and MMI at the city and project levels. It also discussed the challenges, opportunities and key lessons for Bengaluru from various initiatives around the world.

~ Experiences from London, Mexico City, Seoul, examples of other Asian, European and American cities

Speakers:

5 international domain experts

 

Participants: 245

Technical Session - Key Takeaways for Bengaluru

 

General

  • A shared city vision and goals should be supported by an integrated plan with synchronous strategies and effective delivery mechanisms. Engage various stakeholder groups and institute a collaborative process for visioning, planning and city building.

  • Set desired targets and define the bundle of (sectoral/cross-sectoral) strategies to achieve them.

  • Given the strong forces towards deconcentration, a proactive approach is needed to plan and manage growth in the city-region, in ways that aggressively advance sustainable models of urbanization.

  • Encourage compact, higher density development, supported by public transport, to enable higher efficiencies and productivity. TOD helps achieve good densities without congestion, and decouple economic growth from resource use. 

  • Green urbanism superimposed with TOD can significantly reduce emissions and support the goal of low-carbon mobility and development.

  • Government should leverage market forces favoring TOD, by creating enabling planning-design and regulatory frameworks, as well as good examples (catalytic projects) to emulate.

 

TOD and MMI - Planning and Design

  • TOD is not a one-size-fits-all. While TOD and MMI principles are universally applicable to all geographies, the strategies to deploy them successfully are not. These strategies must respond to different development contexts and local area characteristics.The organization of densities at strategic locations along transit networks and the design of the urban environment in station areas, play an important role in enabling the shift to sustainable transport modes.

  • Identify opportunities for renewal and densification; areas with development potential, based on the availability of land, transport and other infrastructure. Distribute densities/FAR provisions based on public transport accessibility levels.

  • TOD is a tool to create great walkable and cyclable neighborhoods, served by high-quality public transport. Prioritize road space for space-efficient and sustainable modes.

  • Bring more space into the public realm and enhance the pedestrian environment to create ‘place value’ and support higher densities.

  • Mitigate displacement/gentrification in station areas and plan for inclusive development and access.

  • Leverage data and technology for effective planning and implementation of MMI.

  • Integrate a well-planned bus network to complement the rail networks, for maximizing the potential of the public transport system.

  • Ensure universal, safe access by feeder modes and integration at the station hub, and smooth traffic flows - through right location and careful design of infrastructure/facilities. Balance its placemaking and logistical/utility functions.

 

TOD and MMI - Implementation

  • Disincentives for private vehicle use (parking management, congestion and pollution charges) help move the economics towards public transport and are key to its success. They also support realization of TOD objectives.

  • Synergize TOD and LVC to achieve desired outcomes and generate revenues. Devise regulatory mechanisms and incentives to enable private sector participation in the delivery of public amenities.  

  • An empowered unified authority is needed to anchor the whole process of operationalizing TOD and MMI for urban transformation and drive integration and coordinated action. 

  • Building institutional capacities and resources for data-led, integrated planning and management (across sectors, scales), and good governance, is crucial for success.

Day 3 (31st Aug): Roundtable Discussion - Operationalizing TOD and MMI in Bengaluru

This session provided an opportunity for government agencies in Bengaluru to discuss – with each other and a panel of technical experts – key priorities and challenges with operationalizing TOD and MMI in Bengaluru. In this context, the approach, initiatives and experiences of Bengaluru and other Indian cities were deliberated upon.

~ Experiences from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru

Speakers:

Speakers:

14 heads of government agencies

6 technical experts/technocrats from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad

 

Participants: 173

 

Key Takeaways: Aligning Vision for Regional Growth

  • Continuous dialogue, capacity building, availability of financial resources and value proposition for different stakeholders.

  • Integrated, strategic planning at the city/regional level by an empowered authority – providing oversight, technical and financial support – aids in inter-agency coordination.

  • Embedding core concepts, such as TOD and MMI, into the statutory planning and regulatory framework (i.e., into sectoral/cross-sectoral plans at different scales) and standardization of procedures for planning and implementation.

Key Takeaways: Infrastructure Response

 

  • Infrastructure requirements in TOD Zones may not increase proportional to FAR/density. They should be gauged judiciously based on anticipated growth, deployment of measures to manage demand and maximize the efficiency of built-in capacities. TOD parameters should be adjusted based on the optimum holding capacities of different areas.

  • Service provider agencies would need to reallocate or mobilize additional resources and work in coordination with other agencies. Private sector participation in infrastructure improvements can be leveraged, though funding support from the government would also be needed.

Key Takeaways: Enabling TOD and MMI through policy and regulations

 

  • TOD: Planning authorities should undertake a comprehensive visioning and planning exercise for transit corridor(s) across the city, apart from preparation of guidelines and regulations which are incorporated into statutory plans. Various assessments and station area typologies should guide the phasing strategy (identification of priority nodes/clusters/corridors) and preparation of TOD Zone Plans (enabled through statutory provisions).

  • MMI: Data openness and technology are important enablers for MMI. A common platform for different agencies involved with transport/mobility in the city is needed - for consensus building, policy formulation and coordinated implementation.

Key Takeaways: Institutional Setup and Finance

  • Appropriate sources of revenue, including from LVC instruments, should be identified, harmonized and channelized into a dedicated Urban Transport/TOD Fund. The establishment of such a fund, with clear mechanisms for revenue-sharing, ring-fencing etc., which can serve as a reserve for investment over time, is crucial for TOD implementation.

  • To effectively address Bengaluru’s challenges and achieve the envisaged transformation, a paradigm shift in approach is needed. Central to this is a ‘One Bengaluru’ approach - to work across multiple agencies and offer integrated solutions.

 

 

Setting up an empowered authority with financial powers, for coordinated planning and implementation of TOD and MMI (across all stages), is crucial for success. Standard protocols are needed to align the functioning of different agencies.