India's years of walking dangerously - a sobering video

Just how bad can walking environments get?

Answer: Very bad, as demonstrated in "Where are we to walk?" a 9 minute video from Pune in Maharashtra, India. 

Parisar explains who was behind the film:
The film was conceptualised and shot by Susan Michet, an American student intern during her time in Pune in May 2009. The Alliance for Global Education funded Susan's stay and work in Pune, Janwani provided the office space and infrastructure, while Parisar provided the inputs regarding the content of the film. We also acknowledge Hema Gadgil's contribution of her voice-over to the film.

After watching the film, do you have any ideas for our Indian friends? What can turn this around? Do you know of a city where things got this bad but which has since created a walkable city? Do you see redeeming features of Indian cities that offer some hope and which can part of the solution?

For more on (un)walkable cities in Asia (especially South Asia) see also:


  1. Dear Prof.,

    Most of the Indian cities are like this. To be honest, walking on the foot-path in most of the cities is, at times, more dangerous than walking on the road. You never know when you may find yourself in a pothole, or in a drain flowing underneath...

    As the video rightly points out, city planning authorities do not give priority to walkways into their agenda (neither in their discussions, nor in the plan document). Walkways are often lower in the list of public works, and not much attention is given to their construction.Often walkways are constructed to cover storm-water drains or for the purpose of covering the ditches/excavated pits for laying cables.

    At present, there is a nation wide urban renewal program (a Centrally sponsored scheme) under implementation, that covers 65 cities (with more than 1 million people). None of the cities in their plan document have mentioned walkways as a separate project or have given priority to foot-paths and walkways for urban pedestrians. Rather, a lot of emphasis is being given to adding capacities in terms of roads, inner-city lanes, road-repair and improvements, but hardly any emphasis on walkways and foot-paths.

    Great video..may I take the liberty to share with my friends.


    Kumar(MPP 2008-10)

  2. Thanks Kumar for the extra insight on Indian cities. All the best, Paul

  3. A great video. But unfortunately this covers a very well know problem which is very obvious to all Indians yet nothing is done. Privatization offers the only glimmer of home in building good public infrastructure. In a country that is riddled by too much corruption, honestly it is hurculean effort to mend the pedestrian infrastructure. Again, a great video which I will post on facebook to share among friends.


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