“Build Back Better” is a policy slogan that has had a lot of currency in the last year and in fact was the rallying cry of the 2020 Joe Biden campaign.
For the World Bank, the path to “resilient recovery” follows these steps: (1) humanitarian relief, (2) restoration of basic services, (3) reconstruction and asset recovery, and (4) building back better, to improve existing systems.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also invoked the phrase BBB late last year in the context of post-COVID-19 relief. The OECD encourages governments to respond to today’s global environmental threats like climate change and biodiversity loss as they get back on their feet through recovery packages. Covid-19 recovery and green recovery are concurrent problems that are part of a unified problem. The OECD warns of greater social and economic damage due to neglecting those issues.
“A central dimension of building back better is the need for a people-centred recovery that focuses on well-being, improves inclusiveness and reduces inequality.”
Placemaking India’s proposition is to “Unbuild Back Better,” which puts not so much major physical infrastructure but small-scale interventions, communities and ecology at the heart of recovery.
Our series of blogs, powered by The Smart Citizen, showcases the ideas and heroic work of members and partners before and during the pandemic in India. Many extended themselves with humanitarian relief but some also continued to work strategically towards health, equity and inclusion in the public realm.