Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 3:
After being ranked highest in the Smart City challenge, the Odisha government today entered into an agreement to develop the capital city a child-friendly city and address various issues emerging out of rapid urbanization.
The state government partnered with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) which will invest in and work along with the government for three years (2015-2018) to address the various issues emerging out of rapid urbanization and to assist the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) in developing an advanced and effective planning and management framework, that would be beneficial to the city and its population.
Notably, BvLF has funded National Institute of Urban Affairs, (NIUA) 832330 Euros to set up a Child Friendly Smart City (CSFC) center here which would be responsible for capacity building of town planners and staff of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA).
“The resources developed in the Child Friendly Smart City Center (CFSC) center will cater to all the cities and municipalities,” said G. Mathi Vathanan, Commissioner cum Secretary, Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
CFSC center would help in developing a knowledge driven and future-compatible planning, management and governance frame work which takes into account children’s participation and perspective in the planning process. Simultaneously, the capacities of town planners, engineers and municipal staff will be built to address the challenges in the future.
“The CFSC center would ensure that all city master plans and zonal development plans have child-friendly components, provision for development of child friendly design and infrastructure, and a dedicated amount allocated for children in the Municipal budgets. This practice will benefit both directly and indirectly, nearly 1,000,000 citizens and 80,000 young children of Bhubaneswar city” said Dr Krishan Kumar, Vice Chairman, BDA.
“Having children’s needs and aspirations at the core of the city development will be beneficial to the entire city. This partnership will set an example to other cities to follow as we address the challenges of rapid urbanization,” stated Dharitri Patnaik, senior country representative, BvLF, present at this event.