Bengaluru pedals for Smart Commute | WWF India

Bengaluru pedals for Smart Commute

Posted on
25 March 2017
Bengaluru: WWF-India today organized the One Planet Cities Pedalathon, a cyclothon-walkathon to raise awareness about and inspire people to adopt smarter and greener choices of commute as part of the One Planet Cities initiative held in conjunction with Earth Hour 2017. Flagged off by the Hon’ble MLA Mr B.N. Vijayakumar, the event saw participation from about 400 residents from the city.
One of the impacts of fast paced growth in cities such as Bengaluru has been on the demand for urban transport, leading to traffic congestion and pollution. Besides need for infrastructural improvement and improved public transport system, there is also a need for individual action to enable a climate smart future for the city.  The One Planet Cities Pedalathon was thus a call for action for citizens of Bengaluru to understand the need for ‘smart commute’ choices and adopt transportation methods like cycling, walking, using public transport and electric vehicles, and carpooling whenever possible that will allow them both convenience and be a positive step forward for a greener and sustainable lifestyle.
The “One Planet Cities Pedalathon” is WWF’s initiative to promote sustainable mobility as part of its One Planet City Challenge platform. First established in WWF-Sweden in 2011, the challenge (earlier named the Earth Hour City Challenge) aims to mobilise action and support from cities in the transition towards a climate friendly future and demonstrates how sustainable cities can be a hub for creativity, ambition and innovation in climate action. In addition to the regular engagement with the cities, the initiative also looks at a deeper engagement with the citizens for awareness generation and mobilizing action.
The city of Bengaluru has recently joined the One Planet City Challenge, which was first introduced in India in 2012, and has seen participation of over 20 cities since then. These include - Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gandhinagar, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kota, Nagpur, Nashik, New Delhi, Panaji, Pune, Rajkot, Shimla, Surat and Thane.
Flagging off the event, the Hon’ble MLA, Mr B.N. Vijayakumar stressed on the importance of cycling and said how significant this mobility choice is. He spoke about how the development of dedicated cycling tracks in the city and shared his vision to see many more cyclists on the road.
Many corporate employees from Bengaluru joined the pedalathon including participation from Volvo Group.  Speaking at the inauguration, Mr Kamal Bali, Managing Director, Volvo India said, “Climate Change is one of the biggest challenges facing all of us today, and more importantly our children and our future generation. We truly appreciate WWF-India’s initiative to mobilize youth to be problem solvers as part of the ‘One Planet Cities’ Program and the pedalathon event being held today here in Bangalore. To be a climate problem-solver is everyone’s responsibility. At Volvo group, we are proud of our global partnership with WWF. In India, we have been promoting the public transport agenda, motivating citizens to leave behind the personal vehicles, and making sure that we are doing more with less.“
Speaking about the event, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India, said, “Earth Hour has been engaging citizens on solutions related to energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Sustainable mobility is particularly essential for a rapidly growing city such as Bengaluru. WWF-India thus aims to spread awareness on the role of sustainable transport initiatives in urban areas and the consequent benefits in terms of environment and health.”
The One Planet Cities Pedalathon was held with Earth Hour this year, asking individuals across the country to be Earth Hour Superheroes and undertake five simple actions as a part of the campaign. Ranging from switching off for the hour on March 25, 2017 between 8:30-9:30pm to using solar appliances in their daily lives, one of the actions also involve individuals pledging to take public transport for a week as a positive step to help mitigate climate change. Celebrating a decade of climate action, people from more than 7000 cities across the globe are set to take a stand against climate change by celebrating Earth Hour 2017. In the last ten years, Earth Hour has gone from being a token switch-off event to becoming the largest voluntary movement ever witnessed in history. As the planet continues to witness climate records being broken and the need for greater ambition and commitment accelerates, Earth Hour is mobilizing individuals, communities and organizations globally to do their part to help change climate change.

About Earth Hour:
Earth Hour is WWF's global environmental movement. Started in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in over 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action. Celebrating the eleventh edition of its signature lights out event in March 2017, the Earth Hour movement continues to harness the power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action and the power of the individual to change climate change. For more information, please log onto
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