In India, children between the ages 0-4 make up 9.7% of the population of India (2011 census). Much of this population is or will be living in cities over the next decade. This demographic of infants, toddlers, and young children under the age of five accesses its physical surroundings through and in interaction with their caregivers. We must therefore focus on retrofitting or creating Indian neighborhoods such that they encourage young children and their families to spend more time outdoors.
Spatial planning is uniquely poised to make major positive impacts in the short, medium and long term to the conditions of our neighborhoods. A neighborhood can furnish a rich world of imagination and adventure that nurtures a vibrant creative life for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers. Furthermore, by far the most efficient way to improve well-being is to systematically build and maintain health–first infrastructure and services close to where families live.
Focusing on the needs of Infants Toddlers and Caregivers (ITCs) in the planning of Smart Cities is part of what can fulfill the initiative’s stated goals of sustainability, inclusion, health, and safety. Investing in this population and helping them build the capacities to participate in future economic growth and the cultural life of India will undoubtedly be the best investment for a sustainable future.
With this objective in mind, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ India Smart Cities Mission intends to launch comprehensive package of urban design measures to support the health and well-being of infants, toddlers, and their caregivers at the neighborhood level. The package equips the city level planning and engineering official with the tools that they would need to create a holistic neighborhood where families will thrive. It will also equip city managers with the language and rationale of child development, to enable officials to make sound decisions on their own and to be able to defend their thinking in front of an audience. It is divided into the following five sections:
Child Friendly Neighborhood (CFN) Sector Framework documents are intended to be used by city managers, municipal commissioners, CEOs of smart cities SPVs for development & integrated planning. These framework documents will help develop capacities of these officers to better understand this sector in terms of policy perspective, designing, financing, technology and overall development.
Your feedback and suggestions over the draft ITC sections (access the document here) would be invaluable for us. We request you to provide your feedback/ suggestions/ recommendations on this consultation paper, here, by 24h January, 2019.