Prof. K.T. Ravindran spoke at Bhubaneswar at the Launch of NIUA’s (National Institute of Urban Affairs) new center at Bhubaneswar on child friendly Smart Cities. It was attended by officials of the government, Bhubaneswar Municipality, NIUA, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Holland and the Minister for Urban Development, Orissa.
In line with the Government’s ‘100 smart cities mission’, the child-friendly smart city (CFSC) will soon be a reality as a facilitation centre has been opened at Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) office on 4th
March. BDA signed an MoU with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), which will provide funds for the CFSC.
According to 2011 census, 75,237 children below six years are living in Bhubaneshwar. But the infrastructure is inadequate to cater to the needs of children. The BDA sources said the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District, an area spread over 3.9 sq km in city, will be the focus area for implementation of CFSC. The major components of the three-year project are creation of playgrounds and public spaces for children, building traffic signal posts and zebra crossings near schools, setting up of public kiosks and other sources of information on public services, creating child-friendly public transport system and designing neighbourhoods according to the child-friendly city norms. Baroness Julia Neuberger, board member of the BvLF, expressed that Bhubaneswar in future will be a model for the rest of the world.
Prof. K.T. Ravindran, Dean Emeritus was at the event and spoke about how child friendly smart cities can be an excellent move for the future as like all of us, children need safe places in which to live, learn, explore, and play. With his rich background in landscaping and architecture, he enlightened the audience on the importance of green open play spaces, clean environment, health services and adequate public transport, all of which are essential in creating child friendly smart cities.