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Children must be given chance to plan future cities, says India’s Union Minister for Science and Technology

New Delhi, India, 19 January 2007 – India’s children should be given a chance to plan future infrastructure requirements of cities so that town planners and policy makers could adopt their designs to make environment friendly cities, Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said today.

“Children have enormous potential to know what they want for the future of their cities and government and civil societies should give them a chance to explore their creativity,” he said.

Inaugurating the “Future Cities India 2020 Competition”, which was launched last year by his Ministry in partnership with Bentley, Sibal said “the goal of future cities of India is to draw the attention of the country’s young minds on the infrastructure requirements and engage them in the development of solutions to real-world problems”. “We hope to nurture budding talent in our great nation, while inspiring the creation of infrastructure to help us sustain our vigorous economic growth,” he said.

In the competition students from eight Delhi schools participated to develop the model of future cities with the focus on designing the Commonwealth Games village. “We gave them the opportunity to plan the Commonwealth Games village. Their idea could be adopted by architects and town planners when they are designing the village. The one positive thing is that they have planned an environment friendly city,” Sibal said.

He said from next year the competition will be expanded in the entire country. “We don’t want our infrastructure and planning to be inclusive. It should be for those 50 per cent of the population that lives in the slums,” Sibal said.