Pune: PMC conducts tactical urbanism project forarecreational space for young children and families

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Pune, 28th September 2022: As part of the Urban95 initiative, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and with the technical support of Egis Indiaexecuted an intervention at the Ex Mayor Lt. Bharat Sawant Palm Garden in Vishrantwadi. This is the seventhprojectto be carried out under the phase II of the Urban95 Pune programme.The initiative is aimed atmaking public spaces and urban neighbourhoods accessible and safe for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers (ITCs).

This tactical intervention aimed toprovide outdoor recreation opportunities to young children and their caregivers along with family members. In addition to being a neighbourhood space for daily outdoor play, this area will also serve as a picnic spot for schools and balwadis.The space has been designed to supportearly childhood development in young children and boost their physical, cognitive, socialand emotional development through a variety of play activities, equipment and installations.The public space will also be a comfortable, safe and enjoyable outdoor resting area for caregivers while the children engage in interactive play activities.

The intervention was inaugurated on 22nd September 2022 by Mr. Sunil Tingare, Member of Legislative Assembly (Local MLA),in the presence oflocal leaders and residents of the neighbourhood.Ex-Corporators, who are former urban local body representatives, and the Bernard van Leer Foundation team were also part of the inauguration andthe intervention.

The activity received an overwhelming response from the residents of Pune on the first day itself, especially from the key stakeholder group of infants, toddlers, young children and their caregivers. More than500childrenin the age group of 0-6 years, 20+service providers, and representatives from NGOs, ICDS deptand community-based organisationswere part of the intervention. This tactical intervention was also visited by office bearers from the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) alongwith PMC officials, IAS officers, Mayors, Deputy Mayors other policy makers and decision makers from nine cities across India. This activity will further support Pune in being a lighthouse city and a pioneer inITC-friendly cities in India.

Mr. Sunil Tingare, Member of Legislative Assembly, said: “This concept of Urban95 is very unique and this programme has certainly added useful features to the facility, making this space a child- and family-friendly recreational space. This will provide an interactive opportunity for children and their caregivers and significantly benefit the local residents.”

Ms. Sheetal Sawant – Ex- Corporator, Pune Municipal Corporation, said:  “We had initiated this park with the intention of developing a space for all age groups. This has been well complimented with the concept of Urban95, an initiative by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and Pune Municipal Corporation which is technically supported by Egis India Consulting Engineers Pvt Ltd. The children of upto 6 years of age have the maximum potential and opportunity for brain development, andkeeping this in consideration this garden provides a stimulating environment for the children and their caregivers. We hope to have many more such interventions in various parts of the city, making Pune a lighthouse project for other cities in the country.”

Ms. Rushda Majeed, India Representative, Bernard van Leer Foundation, said: It gives me great pleasure to be part of the inauguration of thistactical intervention. The PMC has created an interesting journey for children and their families– one that starts at the entrance of the park and goes all the way till the kids’ play area located at the end of this park – complete with interactive play elements and learning opportunities along the way. It was a wonderful experience to see so many children gather here and wait eagerly to go inside the park. I wish the Pune Municipal Corporation, Urban95 team, and technical teams involved in this programme all the very best for this intervention and many more to come.

Mr. Arvind Pasula, Project Lead – Egis India Consulting Engineers Pvt Ltd.,said:We are currently involved in this interesting project under the Urban95 programme of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and we work closely with PMC as technical partners. We arealso providing technical assistance for 13 permanent projects and 6 pilot projects.Today,I am here for the inauguration of the tactical intervention at Ex. Mayor Lt. Bharat Sawant Palm Garden, and I am happy to be part of the team dedicated to making Pune city friendly for infants, toddlers, and caregivers.”