Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting initiative that seeks to develop a hundred locations into citizen-friendly, sustainable cities that offer their residents top-ofthe- line infrastructure and a superior quality of life through smart solutions that are both clean and green. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area of the capital has been chosen as one of the 20 locations that will be financed and developed in the very first round of restructuring.
But what does this development envisage? And is it along the lines of what Delhi’s citizens want? Most especially, what do tomorrow’s citizens want? For, the dreams of our children colour the contours of tomorrow. Unlike the jaded views of adults, the awareness of children has an intense simplicity that is born out of innocence about the world around them, but is far from unmindful of its concerns, needs and solutions. Indeed, given their access to technology, new learning methods and enhanced travel opportunities, children today have a ringside view of, and very definite views on, how the modern world works.
Tomorrow’s Delhi can only exceed the achievements of today if it harnesses the power of how children imagine its future. On its fifth anniversary, The Sunday Standard asked children from across the National Capital Region what sort of city they want to grow up in. The answers from Delhi’s GenNext—fresh, firm, funny, touching—provide the perfect template for the city’s future. It’s a dream future that is free of pollution and traffic chaos; that promises safety in schools and on roads, and offers quality education and sports. It’s a city with large, green spaces, clean playgrounds and toilets, free Wi-fi, and, most importantly, without anyone littering or urinating on the streets. It’s time to listen to the Voices of Tomorrow.
Read Stories of Anniversary Special, #Voiceoftomorrow: