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IIT Kharagpur and National Institute of Urban Affairs collaborate to Build Accessible, Safe and Inclusive Indian Cities

IBEF:  February 04, 2021

IIT Kharagpur has signed an MoU with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) for 'Building Accessible Safe and Inclusive Indian Cities' (BASIIC). The objective of the partnership is to establish a common city planning system that will be more open and inclusive for different parts of the population with age-friendly disability-friendly initiatives.

Prof. Virendra K Tewari, director, IIT Kharagpur said, “India is a young country with a 1% rate of population growth (as of 2019). Such development, together with its current status, will generate a unique opportunity in India for housing and urban planning. In addition, it is important to create new designs, frameworks, standards for cities serving broader populations and people with diverse needs as we shift towards a more inclusive approach.”

He further added, “According to the NIRF, the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT Kharagpur is recognized as the best school in the country in the field of architecture. In implementing its mission statement and achieving the comprehensive objectives to create sustainable living standards for everyone, we are proud to work together with NIUA.”

Through the Formulation and Implementation Guidance for the Urban and Regional Development Plan, NIUA identifies new emerging aspects such as regional development, inclusive planning, sustainable habitat, land use and transport integration at the planning stage, Service Level Benchmarks, principles of disaster management, and reforms of governance.

Prof. Subrata Chattopadhyay from the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT Kharagpur, said, “IIT Kharagpur will propose a model for universal cities, following a comprehensive analysis of the various acts, guidelines and design standards in the relevant field and reviewing global best practises and international standards, to ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, the elderly and parents with children, can participate in society and have access to the built environment, transport, services, etc.”

He also emphasises the need for seamless connectivity for everyone throughout the city and the entire travel network for safe and autonomous movement.

The proposed architecture will be instrumental in the sectoral assessment of existing cities in terms of protection, accessibility and inclusivity, as well as in the development of cities in Greenfield. The methodology will cover segments on (i) infrastructure, facilities and services, including water, electricity, sanitation and solid waste (ii) outdoor climate, (iii) livelihoods, (iv) urban mobility and public transport, (v) IT connectivity, digitalisation and participation by people (vi) recreation and tourism.

Prof. Haimanti Banerji from the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT Kharagpur, said, “Owing to the existence of sensory, attitudinal, cognitive, physical, and economic barriers, individuals of different abilities and the elderly often experience prejudice and discrimination. The framework, by emphasising on the process of audit, ground-level data collection, study, planning and planning, would seek to crystallise potential pathways for planning accessible, sustainable and inclusive cities in India. The model would seek to achieve urban inclusiveness, via "participation," "appropriation," and the development of "value" in the form of the urban life of its disadvantaged community.”

The researchers continue to work on a variety of such development initiatives, including affordable housing, creative building technology, decent living and productive involvement of the trans-generational population.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.