A Chennai Corporation official said that around eight roads and streets have been shortlisted for the ‘happy streets’ project. “Eight roads will include Second Avenue in Anna Nagar. Apart from this, a few roads in KK Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur have been selected,” the official said.
Even though the project would be implemented by Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL), roads and streets would be handed over to corporate firms and event management firms to organise art and cultural events.
The civic body had organised car-free day events in Besant Nagar near Elliot’s Beach on Sunday mornings by blocking vehicles so that residents can participate in music and fitness activities. “Similarly, we will block the roads selected for the ‘happy streets’ during early morning hours of every Sunday. If the selected road has center median, we will block traffic on one side and conduct events on the other side. We believe that this will not affect the traffic as there would be no significant traffic on Sunday morning hours,” he said.
Some of the events that the Chennai Corporation has planned include music events, games, fitness events and art competitions. The civic body also has plans to extend the ‘happy streets’ project to the entire city to promote non-motorised transport.
Plaza of possibilities
Founder of Nam Veedu Nam Oor Nam Kadhai, Thirupurasundari Sevvel, and her friend launched an initiative called Pedestrian Possibilities where they will be organising interactive music sessions, workshops, sensitisation programmes. “Our aim with Pedestrian Possibilities is to utilize spaces like this for people to come together and explore different forms of art. Around 60 people participated in the recent event we conducted in collaboration with Chennai Smart City and Meel Foundation,” said Thirupurasundari Sevvel. Keeping in mind the theme of the pedestrian plaza, minimal lighting was used. The team behind the initiative is planning to curate more participatory events in the coming months.