Our Neighbourhood is Your Neighbourhood Too - A Participatory Planning Approach for Improvement of Low-Income Settlements in Puducherry
The proposed project titled, ‘Our Neighbourhood is Your Neighbourhood Too - A Participatory Planning Approach for Improvement of Low-Income Settlements in Puducherry,’ envisages to make Puducherry a Smart and Sustainable City through a combination of interventions aiming at enhancing the social, urban, and financial inclusion of low-income settlements in the city.
The project aims to address the following concerns being faced by the city.
- Challenge identified in Citizen participation: Absence of direct and effective communication between various stakeholders, lack of ownership towards community assets due to unequal citizen representation.
- Economy and Employment: Exclusion, especially of low-income groups from economic opportunities.
- Low financial literacy: Physical Environments in low-income settlements, existing social and physical infrastructure is of poor quality, poor quality housing, need for new low-cost housing to meet need for re- housing slum communities. Need for innovative solutions to provide assistance to low-income communities, currently living in temporary housing on private lands.
- Capacity of Delivery Agencies and Beneficiaries: Inadequate human resources within Puducherry Slum Clearance Board (PSCB) to address intersectional nature of slum improvement projects, poor inter departmental coordination, inadequate capacity of beneficiaries to monitor receipt and utilisation of funds.
The project aims to address the above challenges by solutions oriented towards citizen participation, ICT- enable provision of government services, promotion of economic activity and employment, up-gradation of public spaces in low-income settlements, and a dedicated knowledge and design centre.
The project objectives include:
- Amplifying Community Voices : Innovating how unheard community stakeholders can be better empowered by voicing their needs, supporting and multiplying community debate and urban sociability, and hence help utilise funds where they are needed the most.
- Catalysing Community Resources: Innovating an integrated financing mechanism to streamline deployment of multiple funding streams strategically and effectively towards social housing, community initiatives and projects.
- Leveraging Community Environments: Improving shared community assets such as physical and social infrastructure and public open spaces - and co- creating new assets where they are needed the most.
- Capacity Building: Augmenting the existing technological and social capacity, and inter-departmental coordination of lead delivery agencies such as the PSCDL, PSCB and other government departments to improve their effectiveness in achieving their goal of a Slum Free Pondicherry. Simultaneously, building the capacity of beneficiaries to monitor receipt and smarter utilisation of funds.
- Participatory planning
The project envisions equal representation of several social groups and communities, and will actively involve of at least 50 percent of the women from the project communities.