Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge launched in India

Published November 19, 2020

The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge will support Indian cities to implement neighbourhood-level solutions to enhance the physical and psychological health of young children (0-5 years old) and their caregivers.

Open to over 100 cities, the Challenge aims to build on and scale up the experiences of pioneering global and Indian cities that have incorporated an early childhood lens in city planning, design and management.

The Challenge was launched earlier this month by India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in collaboration with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and technical partner WRI India. At the launch, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, said:

‘By enhancing the primary public domain of young children and their families to be safer and more stimulating for early childhood, the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge can help lay the foundation for more robust social and economic development outcomes in Indian cities for decades to come.

Families are challenged by inadequate public transport, as well as food, healthcare and childcare ‘deserts’. Thoughtful urban planning and design can play a major role in addressing such challenges and in giving children a good start in life.

This includes walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods that cater to the basics a young family needs within 15 minutes on foot; lively, green public spaces close to home that offer amenities for caregivers while allowing small children to explore safely; safe transport routes and transit systems that make it easy, affordable and enjoyable for families with young children to travel; and healthy environments with safe levels of air quality and low noise pollution; and lastly a vibrant community life that supports family well-being.’

Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, Joint Secretary & Mission Director Smart Cities Mission Kunal Kumar, and Director Rahul Kapoor were also present at the launch.

An ongoing webinar series is building the capacity of cities to participate in the Challenge. The first webinar – Why Young Children & Their Families? – was held last Friday. You can apply to attend the upcoming second and third webinars on November 20 and December 4 respectively.

See the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge website for further details about the Challenge, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.