Bhubaneswar’s B-Active project to improve public open spaces

Thu, 2019-03-28 16:56 -- SCC India Staff


To empower citizens to co-create and manage their neighborhoods and open spaces, the Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd (BSCL) is developing B-Active project. The project aims at improving the quality of life of citizens by developing public open spaces. It includes development of parks and playgrounds, streets, non-motorized transit, smart PODs, youth engagement programs and heritage area development among others.

At the micro-level, the B-Active project intends to bridge gaps and overcome challenges observed during implementation of several of Bhubaneswar’s Smart City Proposal components related to public open spaces, listed as under:
- Lack of an enabling framework to maximize use of public open spaces;
- Local capacity building constraints in programming and activation of formal public open spaces;
- Use of technology to better monitor these valuable city assets and improve citizen participation;
- Tools for co-creating and co-managing the public infrastructure investments; and
- Inequitable spatial distribution of parks at the city scale.

• To revitalize waterways, tanks, streets that would act as sponges for capturing, storing, and cleaning its water systems
• To reuse the landscapes as productive spaces offering opportunities for interaction with nature through urban agriculture
• To reclaim public spaces for cultural, arts, and social activities
• To raise the profile of organized sport and active recreation in Bhubaneswar

The project aims at addressing the challenges faced in prioritizing public health as an integral component of the smart city transformation. The B-Active project addresses the challenges created by the lack of access to sports facilities and active recreation in Bhubaneswar, including the lack of a supporting institutional framework to manage recreational, cultural, and open spaces assets and activities associated with it.

As per the existing inventory of parks and open spaces prepared by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), there are no parks in 19 of 67 wards in the BMC area. Nearly 60 per cent of the city area is under extreme to moderate urban flood risk. The B-Active project has been proposed to address this urgent issue. The SPV has a strong team already in place for deploying smart solutions with a technology Program Management Consultant (PMC), engineering PMC, and a Master System Integrator. Working together, these agencies will be able to provide the necessary skills and expertise required to implement the B-Active project.

The B-Active project intends to promote universal accessibility not only through its physical infrastructure investments, but also through participatory activities and ICT initiatives for persons with disabilities, through collaboration with local, national, and international NGOs. The project incorporates the concepts of resiliency based planning in its five city assets, viz. streets, water, parks and open spaces, playgrounds, and heritage.

The project shall include social innovations like living classrooms, youth leadership programs, technical innovations parks, open space master plan etc. The projects will be bundled to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.