Urban planners from the Delhi-based School of Planning and Architecture have examined the Smart City Mission and have come up with concepts that can boost social inclusion by innovative solutions to address the problems of people living in slums or in impoverished urban quarters.
Among the neglected sections are the homeless, often part-time workers and migrant labour. Keeping their needs in mind, Mridula Garg and her team have reimagined night shelters as dormitories that could change into multi-utility centres, Times of India reported.
“By day, the night shelter can become a public space where people can congregate or where vendors can put up stalls,” explains Garg. “Since a lot of people who sleep in these shelters are employed at construction sites and similar places, it could also become a labour chowk where people can come and hire daily wagers.”
Another project focuses on helping rag-pickers earn a livelihood by selling products made from waste. It is also an effort to develop entrepreneurial skills among rag-pickers. “We can develop centres where rag-pickers can be trained to make the most of waste. A street vendor’s cart or a kiosk, for example, can easily be made out of waste material,” said Aditi Singh, Assistant Professor, Industrial Design.
Another concept aims to make women the custodian and facilitator of all water-related activities. Water is recycled and used in the toilets there. The urban planners have also designed special trolleys that women can use to transport drinking water, laundry, and other heavy materials. An area for playing and learning for children who accompany the women is incorporated into the design.