India’s first “Child Priority Zone” inaugurated in Udaipur

School children present at the inaugration ceremony of Child Priority Zone in Udaipur
School children present at the inaugration ceremony of Child Priority Zone in Udaipur

The project, created under the first phase of the Urban95 programme, was inaugurated by the city’s mayor

Udaipur : Mayor Govind Singh Taunk inaugurated aChild Priority Zone (CPZ) developed by the Udaipur Municipal Corporation as part ofthe Urban95 initiativein Hanuman Park, Ashok Nagar. The event was attended by several officials including Deputy Mayor Paras Singhvi, Rushda Majeed,India Representative of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and Executive Engineer Shashibala.

The mayor regarded the development of CPZ as an innovative step toward the development of the city and added that such zones will help parents spend more time with their youngchildren amidst nature. Further, this will encourage children to engagewith their peers in anoutdoor environment and reduce their screen time.

Deputy Mayor Paras Singhvi, on behalf of the corporation, described this as an important milestone for the development of the children of the city. He said that Child Priority Zone’s Development in Ashok Nagar would bring a positive change in the behavior of the parents, and they would be able to give more time to their children. With the future success of this experimental project, the Deputy Mayor also proposed to expand the project to other parts of the city.

Ms.Majeed noted that one of the major objectives of Urban95 is tofocus on the holistic development ofchildren in the age group of 0 to 5, including through play, access to early childhood services, nature, parks and playgrounds, and neighbourhood-scale interventions. She said, “Under the CPZ, various innovations will be done not only in the park but also in the surrounding streets and areas to encourage parents to bring young children outdoors and allow them to play and experience their surroundings for their maximum development.”The park will have pavements, child-friendly paintings on the pavement and side walls, cycle stands, sand pits, swings, and a walkway.

The CPZ was inaugurated by children who cut the ribbon in the presence ofthe Mayor and the Deputy Mayor. The children from Einstein Kids School made their hand prints on the walls while enjoying the games and swings in the park. Corporation Executive Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Junior Engineer,and ICLEI South Asia team and Ecorys India also attended the event.

In the first phase of CPZ,rumble stripsand zebra crossings were marked, and traffic guidelinesand information boards were installed to control the traffic. A cycle stand was built at the gate of Hanuman Park. The walls of the roads were painted in vibrant colourswith the aim of enticing the children and motivating them to explore and learn. To promote greenery, saplings were planted at various places. A special play area for young children will soon be developed in the park. Based on the feedbackreceived, it is proposed to develop the entire area under the second phase.

Child Priority Zones are an area of 600 meters periphery, focusing on the infrastructural development to provide pollution- and traffic-free green walkways to young children and their parents to avoid any kind of challenge while going to places like schools, Anganwadi, hospitals, etc.

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