Bhubaneshwar Lights the Path

Design For, With and By Children – 2  

The Urban95 initiative by Bernard Van Leer Foundation asks, “If you could experience the city from 95cm – the height of a 3-year-old – what would you change?” This question should be asked by all placemakers, planners, designers and decision-makers and the answers will ensure safe, accessible, comfortable and legible cities for not just children but for all.

Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, is today considered the lighthouse city for child friendly initiatives. After initiating several initiatives, the administration realized that the city needs a set of guidelines that ensure child-friendly public spaces not just in the design process but also in the implementation, management and maintenance of public spaces. The guidelines would ensure uniform development, equitable distribution and safe access to public spaces for all. The processes that typically happen in silos, will work cohesively with the guidelines as an overarching umbrella for the project lifecycle of a public space.

Bhubaneswar currently is in the process of statutorizing the first-ever city-specific Child-Friendly Public Space Design Guidelines which takes into consideration the challenges and opportunities specific to the city. Placemaking India’s Gujarat Hub leader, Devshri Shah, was part of the team that set the process in motion and shares her insights in this podcast.