The Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited today signed an MoU with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to take forward in Odisha the ‘New Urban Agenda’ adopted a month ago by the UN member states at Quito, Ecuador.
The Quito Declaration stresses upon re-addressing the way cities and human settlements are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed and managed, in order to reduce inequalities; promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; and achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, said a press release.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation-UNFPA collaboration envisions a smart city with special focus on the needs of young people, girls and women, it said.
To promote safety and security of girls and women, specially in urban slums, safety audits and community engagement programmes are on the anvil, the release said.
At a special function organised for signing the MoU, Odisha’s Tourism and Culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda said having won the coveted Smart City Challenge, Bhubaneswar now needs to live up to the expectations of the people.
What will be the benefits of this MoU ?
- UNFPA’s expertise in analyzing population data will help plan and deliver services that are equitable and sustainable.
- A range of innovative interventions will help look beyond a brick and mortar blueprint to factor in people-centric interventions and to name a few, are The Citizen Connect programme, Support My City volunteer programme and Neighbourhood Watch programme.
- To tap the demographic dividend, a youth-centric and youth -led integrated social intervention will be implemented in educational institutions of Bhubaneswar, with several earmarked for the slums of Bhubaneswar Town Centre District Area.
- The MoU also looks at addressing issues and needs of women and adolescent girls, including safety, gender-based violence and barriers to access health services.