A team of mentors comprising two international experts and one domestic expert selected by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) are in the city for brainstorming discussions, sessions and field visits on the maturation and implementation of the ambitious City Investments to Innovate Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) Project.
The team will stay for five days and discuss the CITIIS project with the officials of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL). While the international mentors include Alfred Peter and Jean-Baptiste Peter, the domestic expert is Seetha Raghupathy. Today, the BSCL General Manager (Administration) Saroj Kumar Swain explained the project in detail and the team undertook site visits to various proposed project locations.
It is to be noted that the CITIIS Project under MoHUA is all set to make the Temple City a better place in near future. Bhubaneswar’s B-Active (Be-Active/Bhubaneswar Active) project selected under the category of Public Open Spaces has the vision to maximize the use of the city’s assets – it’s beautiful parks, streets, waterways, heritage temple precincts, public and school playgrounds to provide opportunities for equitable recreation and promote healthy activities for all citizens.
BSCL has already received Rs 79.3 crore for the implementation of the B-Active Project. B-Active also doubles up as a platform to empower citizens to co-create and manage their neighbourhoods and open spaces, revitalize its waterways, tanks and streets and act as sponges for capturing, storing and cleaning its water systems. It also opens up possibilities to reuse its landscapes as productive spaces for urban agriculture and reclaim public spaces to engage in cultural, arts and social activities and thereby raise the profile of organised sport & active recreation.
Launched in July 2018, the CITIIS program aims to foster sustainable, innovative and participatory approaches to build projects within the Smart City Mission. Under the CITIIS Challenge, 15 projects were selected through a challenge process from 67 Smart Cities out of 100 such cities across the nation.
Thus, Bhubaneswar is a part of a unique experimentation laboratory that will highlight and address specific issues faced by SPVs across India in introducing innovative approaches for developing Public Open Spaces.
Besides financial assistance, selected Smart City SPVs will be provided technical support in the form of tailor-made mentorship (expertise), over a period of three years. This support is managed and coordinated by a Programme Management Unit (PMU) at NIUA in New Delhi. CITIIS is financed by the French Development Agency and the European Union.