Nurturing Neighbourhood Challenge: Significance, Benefits and Process details
The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge has been launched for Indian cities to propose and pilot neighbourhood-level improvements in their public spaces, mobility, access to services, and data management so as to enhance the physical and psychological health of young children and their caregivers.
With the passage of time, the programme would enable city leaders, managers, staff, engineers, urban planners, architects etc to incorporate a focus on early childhood development into the planning and management of Indian cities.
Who can apply?
The challenge will be open for the 100 Smart Cities, the cities that have a population of more than 5 lakh and State/Union Territory capitals. Municipal Corporations, Development Authorities, Smart City SPVs, Urban Transport Agencies, etc can also be participatory organizations in the programme.
Why in News?
The Union Housing and Urban Affairs, HUA Ministry has recently launched a challenge for cities that involves developing and implementing initiatives to improve the quality of life of young children, their caregivers and families.
Significance of the Challenge
- As per the Ministry's statement, the three-year challenge will help cities to “re-imagine parks and open spaces.
- It will improve access to early childhood facilities
- It would help in the adaptation of public spaces with early childhood-oriented amenities
- It would create easily accessible, safe and walkable streets for young children and families
The process to be followed
November 2020 to January 2021: The application process would be conducted during this time. The cities and participants would need to present their proposals at this time.
February 2021- July 2021- 20: Cities would be selected and provided with technical support for their plans.
Phase 2: This phase would be launched from August 2021 to July 2023 and would basically include the selection of 10 cities by an independent jury to receive further technical assistance and capacity building support for the next two years.
Currently, India is challenged by inadequate public transport, food, healthcare and childcare ‘deserts’. This programme would introduce thoughtful urban planning and design which in turn would play a major role in addressing the above-mentioned challenges and giving our children a good start in life.
The programme would lead to a walkable, mixed-use neighbourhood that can cater to the basic necessities of a young family within 15 minutes on foot. It would bring about a lively, green public space close to housing societies that would offer amenities for caregivers and let youngsters explore being safe. Once implemented the transportation routes and transit systems would be safer and easy to use.
The programme would also lead to a healthy environment with safe levels of air quality and low noise pollution. If the programme is implemented with success a vibrant community life would be introduced that would support family well-being of many Indians.