Flyovers have always seemed to be the obvious solution to reduce traffic congestion on the roads and to ease traffic flow. Major cities across India have strived to build more infrastructure in terms of metros, flyovers and expressways. Have these efforts paid off? What has been the impact on quality of life? These are real life problems that pose an interesting platform to enable teens at the Young Writers' Club Program at Talking Circles to think, observe, seek more information and share their thoughts in the spirit of learning and progress.
All the teens from the Young Writers' Club program at Talking Circles, are accustomed to traffic congestion in the cities they live in. They also understand the connection between vehicle emissions and it's impact on the environment and global warming. Last week, the teens participating in the Young Writers' Club at Talking Circles, took the following questions head on for an invigorating group discussion.
How does traffic congestion and long commutes impact quality of life?
Have flyovers and expressways helped in some way or has the problem worsened?
Could the problem be solved differently?
If flyovers and expressways have strapped a city of its greenery, logically speaking, flyovers must be eliminated. But is that a feasible option?
We observed a picture taken in Seoul, South Korea. The picture showed an elevated expressway that was constructed over the famous Cheonggyecheon River, in the 1970s. By 2002, more than 170,000 vehicles used the road every day. As the road deteriorated, so did the ecological conditions of the river. Economic life in downtown Seoul also began to suffer. However, in the 2000s, a transformation took place. This transformation was barely intuitive but helped improve quality of life tremendously.
Thinking about a transformative idea first before discovering the facts We talked about what it would be like to live in these high raised buildings and how dry and depressing this place looks sans any greenery. The young writers brainstormed and came up with ideas to make amends to this area.
Offer better public transport
Make owning a car super expensive
Encourage people to grow more balcony gardens and plant more trees.
The realisation that allowing for motor transport to become easily available has lead to poor quality of living in cities dawned upon the group. Reversal is possible. Thinking out of the box and cooperation helps make up for mistakes.
Today, this area is completely transformed. The expressway has been broken down and the Cheonggyecheon River, restored to its former glory. Quality of living has improved with a lot of greenery being restored and walkways been provided making it easy for people to reach different places by walk rather than use a vehicle. Flora and fauna are flourishing in the area and so has economic activity.
Anticipating potential problems
The young executives put their heads together to analyse various perspectives in this transformation and discussed at length the benefits and disadvantages thereof. A chief worry in everyone’s mind was the issue of proximity and convenience. Can everyone walk to buy stuff and how easy it is to carry stuff. Should we move to online deliveries completely? But that has adverse effects too. For one, it steals the joy of shopping argued some while the others chose to vote for convenience and keep offline shopping for rare occasions only. Drawing lessons from the last two years of the pandemic All the young writers shared their experiences of online shopping and drew ideas from their own experiences to devise solutions for any potential problems that may arise in making shops accessible mainly by walk.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program offers spoken and written communication skills development course for the 12-14 age group.
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