Nepal is one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in Asia, and Kathmandu Valley (KV) with a population of over 2.6 million is its largest urban centre. Because of the growth and the limited capacity to manage this growth, Kathmandu is facing a various challenges, one being the transport management. With the number of vehicles growing at the rate of over 13% per year, there is an urgent need to promote environmentally sustainable transportation system in KV. A recent study shows that around 40% of the travel in KV is done on foot. This can be further promoted by improving pedestrian infrastructures and facilities. Moreover, urban core areas could be plan exclusively for pedestrians. As average travel distances in KV are fairly short, bicycling can be an ideal means of transportation in the city. Furthermore, as a majority of city dwellers cannot afford private vehicles, there is scope to improve the public transport system to make it efficient, affordable and accessible. A few projects are underway to improve the transportation system in KV. Consultation with government and respective projects indicates the need for supplementing these efforts by promoting people-centric approaches to sustainable mobility in close coordination with all stakeholders. Therefore MaYA (abbreviation for 'People-centric Transport Campaign' in Nepali) has been launched to promote sustainable urban mobility such as walking, cycling and public transportation in KV.
The overall goal of this campaign is to promote and demonstrate people-centric approach of urban transport planning in KV, so that citizens including the poor have improved access to safe, affordable, efficient and reliable means of transport, which contribute towards improving public health and reducing poverty. The specific objectives of this campaign are as follows:
UN-Habitat and Clean Energy Nepal in partnership with Clean Air Network Nepal, Cycle City Network Nepal and Nepalese Youth for Climate Action have initiated the MaYA Campaign. This partnership will closely work with the Government of Nepal, municipalities and other transport stakeholders to add values to ongoing initiatives and demonstrate the application of people centric planning processes for policy formulation as well as design and implement sustainable mobility options.