Bhubaneswar: In order to understand various child friendly interventions and public facilities being created in Bhubaneswar as part of the smart city project implementation, Dr. Ali Al Azzawi, City Experience Advisor, Smart Dubai Office today visited the office of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and several of the project locations including the recently inaugurated Saheed Nagar smart parks, Bhubaneswar Operations Centre and Shanti Nagar slum in Kharvel Nagar. This visit is part of the research being done by Dr. Ali Al Azzawi exploring certain projects in cities across the globe that contribute to the happiness of the citizens, especially children of the city, for inclusion in an upcoming report he will be submitting to the smart city sub-council under the United Nations. He has been visiting several smart cities across the globe for preparing this report and observing the difference of context in project implementation in different parts of the world.
Senior officials of BSCL including GM (Operations) Bijay Kumar Swain, Company Secretary Ajay Kumar Majhi along with Gender and Youth experts, planners and engineers briefed Dr. Ali on the various child friendly and social interventions undertaken by BSCL under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar projects. During his visit to BSCL office Dr. Ali was taken through a presentation on various components of child friendly smart Bhubaneswar plan and some of the already implanted as well as planned projects in this regard by Urban Planners of Bhubaneswar Urban Knowledge Centre (BUKC), an extension of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). In an elaborate presentation, BUKC Urban Planner Vipul Mahule explained about how BSCL and BUKC are working closely to incorporate child friendly design aspect into all public facilities and infrastructure being designed and implemented in Bhubaneswar.
Dr. Ali also visited the newly inaugurated Bhubaneswar Operations Centre to understand the round the clock operations of the centre for effective delivery of citizens services including traffic management, emergency response management, transit operations etc. Later in the day, Dr. Ali visited the Saheed Nagar smart parks, specially designed by BUKC as child friendly smart play cum activity spaces and also interacted with some of the park users. While appreciating the concept of interactive play spaces adopted in the development of the parks, he appreciated that the authorities and BUKC team conducted multiple consultation as well as hands on co-designing sessions with the children in the process of finalizing the design of these parks.
This was followed by visit to the Shanti Nagar slum in Kharvel Nagar area, wherein he interacted with young peer leaders from the slum, who have been trained under socially smart Bhubaneswar initiative, being jointly implemented by BSCL and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and implementing partner Humara Bachpan Trust.
Today’s visit was coordinated by IIT Kharagpur Prof. Priyadarshi Patnaik, Coordinator of Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness, who is also a member of smart city sub-council under the United Nations. Rashmi Ranjan Behera from IIT Kharagpur accompanied Dr. Ali during his visit to Bhubaneswar. Mr. Behera is also part of the research team of IIT Kharagpur working on Happiness Index project in New Town Kolkata project as well as in the state of Madhya Pradesh.