Hubballi:The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System Company Ltd., (HDBRTS Co. Ltd) organised a city level workshop in the city recently. The main objective of the workshop was to initiate a dialogue with the officials from different departments about the scaling of the interventions proposed in the city as a part of creating child friendly city under the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge.
In January 2022, the city of Hubballi-Dharwad was announced as one of the 10 winners of the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge (NNC) hosted by the Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in collaboration with the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) and with WRI India as the technical partner. The challenge aims to support city agencies and their partners to adopt an early childhood development focus in the design, planning, and management of cities.
Under phase-1 of the challenge, the DULT and HDBRTSCo.Ltd, took considerable steps towards making the Hubballi Dharwad BRT system more responsive for young children and their caregivers (ITC). This was done through several interventions such as providing priority seating for ITCs inside the bus, enabling priority access for them at ticket counters and a pilot implementation of pram sharing at Hosur Interchange to make travel convenient for families with young children. Capacity building sessions were also conducted with POS operators, marshals and drivers to encourage positive behaviour towards young children and families.
In the phase -2 of the challenge, more interventions to make the city a welcoming space for children and their caretakers are planned to be taken up that includes creation of vibrant public spaces around the BRT, setting up of play areas and providing caregiver responsive features, creating children’s park and amenities at anganwadis and healthcare centres.
The city level workshop helped to sensitize officials from different departments about the specific needs of infants and caregivers in a public space and the importance of creating a safe, accessible, inclusive, and nurturing environment for them. The workshop included specific activities curated for the officials to understand each other’s role in making public spaces children friendly and facilitated discussions on the various ways in which different agencies could work in unison to find long term sustainable solutions.
Officials from the Directorate of Urban Land Transport presented the work Bengaluru and Hubballi Dharwad has done to demonstrate early childhood interventions in public space and amenities. Officials from WRI India presented strategies and case studies for neighbourhood level planning, greening for climate resilient neighbourhoods and toolkit for public space design.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Bharath S, Managing Director, HDBRTSCo.Ltd said, “The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge gave us the opportunity to look at our work from the young children and family friendly lens and to go beyond providing basic infrastructure and focus on making cities inclusive. We should together work to incorporate young children and caregivers friendly public spaces in neighbourhoods in Hubbali-Dharwad along the transit corridor and plan towards creating systematic change in neighbourhood and city planning in future.”
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Gopal Krishna, Municipal Commissioner, Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation said, “The city level workshop has given us an opportunity to get an insight on the needs of young children and caregivers. Developing cities to support young children and caregivers needs a holistic approach. It is not only the responsibility of urban planners and designers but each and every stakeholder in the city needs to play an important role. It is important that different stakeholders work collaboratively towards achieving this goal. “
Speaking at the event, Mr. Prakash Paul, Senior Advisor, Bernard van Leer Foundation said, “The foundational years of a childhood that is from 0-5 years are extremely vital as they impact future developmental outcomes. A caring and nurturing environment are therefore the building blocks for shaping healthy adults in the future. Urban development needs to incorporate the specific needs of young children and caregivers to shape safe, inclusive, healthy, accessible and playful neighbourhoods.!”
Know more about the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge:https://smartnet.niua.org/nurturing-neighbourhoods-challenge/web/
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