Kohima wins Real Play Challenge 2022 under ‘Places where play heals people’
Dimapur, Nov. 19 (EMN): Kohima won Real Play Challenge 2022 under ‘Places where play heals people’ category from among 94 entries received across 41 countries on Friday, for creating caregiver and children-friendly public spaces.
Real Play Challenge 2022 is a global challenge that encourages cities to adopt playful placemaking to respond to critical urban issues and awards inspiring cities and urban practitioners that successfully create such spaces.
Besides Kohima, two other Indian cities — Warrangal and Indore — also won the challenge under ‘Places where play unites us all’ and ‘Places where play supports climate action’ categories respectively, making it the first time for Indian cities to win in three categories, according to an update from World Resources Institute (WRI) India.
All the three winning cities developed their projects as part of the national Nurturing
Neighbourhoods Challenge (NNC), which was launched in 2019 in collaboration with the global
Urban95 initiative to create children and caregiver-friendly neighbourhoods.
Despite the lack of land available for public spaces due to its hilly terrains, the Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL) and Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) “to repurpose an unused roadside tract into a compact and vibrant pocket park” through crowdfunding and co-creation exercise, said the update.
It added that these agencies are “in the process of developing more such pocket parks across the city, along with making their Primary Health Care (PMC) centres more welcoming to young children and adults alike”.
“Indian cities have tremendous potential for devising innovative and strategic solutions for public space development in urban settings. The work done Kohima, Warangal, Indore and Rourkela is highly commendable and the fact that a global platform such as the Real Play Challenge is recognizing our efforts is highly motivating,” Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, was quoted as saying.
“The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge aims to support city governments in India to build a healthy, safe and playful environment for young children and their families. The initiative includes incorporating play in urban life in innovative ways and transforming public spaces to make them safe, fun, and accessible for young children, thus supporting a child’s long-term health and well-being. We hope other Indian cities get inspired and actively seek to transform their public realm through a young children and caregiver-friendly lens,” said Rushda Majeed, Chief Programme Officer, Bernard Van Leer Foundation, during the occasion.
K. Theunuo, CEO, KSCDL, also said, “Kohima is delighted to be a winner of the Real Play Challenge 2022. We will continue to identify small pockets of land and create shared public spaces and pocket parks for people in neighbourhoods across Kohima. We further plan to replicate play spaces around facilities supporting healthy early childhood development and create safer streets for young children and families.”