The AWARD

Volvo Research Foundation, the Volvo Educational Foundation, the Dr. Pehr G. Gyllenhammar Research Foundation awarded as a Centre of Excellence in the area "How to cope with the complexity of urban transport problems" for work on "Sustainable Urban Transport in Less Motorised Countries: Research and Education"

VISION

The shared vision of researchers at TRIPP/IITD is to produce knowlege in Future Urban Transport (FUT) that addresses the unique issues of Less Motorised Countries (LMCs).  Sustainable growth of LMC urban areas requires an integrated interdisciplinary approach which incorporates their special needs.  Our experience suggests that work in LMCs for sustainable FUT will need a very innovative combination of current and future international knowledge with local findings.  This knowledge will have to be produced in India within the socially doinant forms prevalent here.  The professionals at TRIPP/IITD will set up a system of research which responds dynamically to include a heterogeneous set of practitioners collaborating on problems defined here in localised contexts but integrating international concerns in an internaionally consistent format.  To do this work we plan to set up systems for local knowledge producing mechanisms which aid researchers in responding to demands of society.  Such systems are in a very nascent stage of development here, in particular, and internationally in general.
The TRIPP/IITD researchers will develop new and appropriate tools of analysis and technological solutions for tackling the complex problems of safety, pollution, access and mobility.  This process will be aided by the establishmet of a permanent data resources centre needed for research on sustainable transport systems.  We expect to create quality resources needed for integrating hard and soft sciences research.  It is these resources, publications and networking activities that will bring continuity and permanency to activities which also address quality of life issues.  The collaborative structure envisaged with the Sanchal, Hazard Centre and St. Stephen's Hospital also makes this proposal and the establishment of this centre of excellence unique and only one of its kind in the region.  Our experience over the past decade has convinced us that researchers on transportation planning, road and infrastructure design, traffic safety and pollution seldom interact with each other.  They are very often completely ignorant of the fundamental approaches dominant in the different paradigms.  or example, road safety professionals have come to not to place complete faith in behaviour modification in the short term, but the professionals in other streams are largely ignorant of these findings.  The effort at TRIPP/IITD is to experiment with new forms of knowledge generation where there is continuous negotiation between disciplines on one hand and between scientists and society on the other, and where the FUT solutions developed will normally be beyond that of any single contributing discipline, i.e., they will necessarily be transdisciplinary.

OBJECTIVE/GOAL

We want to develop FUT policies and solutions which minimise the adverse health effects of road transport in a manner which is economically, socially and politically viable.  We also recognise that while many of the future solutions will be of an international nature, others will be determined locally.  For example, the safer and cleaner designs of automobiles is likely to take place largely in the HMCs, but research for improved designs of three-wheeled taxis will have to be necessarily done in India.  It is this understanding of our needs and comparative advantages which has guided our selection of themes of work.
Our objective is to develop resources and expertise on the control of adverse health effects of road transport in an integrated a manner as possible and wide dissemination of this knowledge.  This process involves: (a) prevention of pollution or crash from taking place; (b) controlling the effects of emissions and minimising injuries once people use motorised modes and crashes occur; and (c) management of adverse health affects when they do occur.
Research projects: (a) design of road spaces and associated systems/technologies for integrating high capacity bus systems (HCBS) with safe bicycle tracks, pedestrian facilities, road side vendors, commuter information systems, etc. for LMCs; (b) safety and epidemiological research including crash modeling to develop safer buses, three-wheeled taxis, motorcycles and helmets for tropical conditions, and evaluation of pre hospital care systems; (c) development of bus and taxi route optimisation algorithms; (d) estimation of emissions from different vehicles and simulation of different driving cycles; and (e) development of tools for analysis of effectiveness of environmental, safety and mobility policies in an integrated manner.