BHUBANESWAR: In its bid to put children at the centre of urban agenda, Bhubaneswar Development Authority launched a ‘child-friendly smart city centre’ (CFSCC) here on Friday.
The Centre will assess the existing infrastructure and recommend necessary changes and implementation of new facilities to accommodate the needs of children.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Housing and Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singhdeo said rapid urbanisation has led to mushrooming of slums and there is limited scope for development of children. The CFSCC will be an agency dedicated to meet the requirements of children in an urban environment, he said.
BDA has taken up the project in association with National Institute of Urban Affairs and Bernard van Leer Foundation which signed an MoU with the State Government on Thursday for the CFSCC. Bhubaneswar will become the first Smart City in India to have such a specific centre for children, BDA Vice-Chairman Krishan Kumar said.
He said every month, the City will host lecture series by eminent speakers from various fields of urban development like technology, heritage and conservation, planning, designing, landscaping, architecture, mobility, solid waste management and citizen-centric activities of participatory approach.
The lecture series will also include topics and developments relating to models on sustainable living, ease of doing business, tourism and development handicrafts, Kumar added.
Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi Jagan Shah moderated a panel discussion on ‘Urbanism and transforming Bhubaneswar into a child-friendly Smart City’. Executive director, Bernard van Leer Foundation Michael Feigelson stressed on how planners and city designers should view the city from the eyes of a child so that the effectiveness is transformed into action in urban settings.
Eminent architect and Dean, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Noida Ashok B Lall said, “The urban planners have neglected many groups during their planning execution in the past, but now the inclusiveness has come to stay and we can have better designed urban centres in India.”