Seminar on inclusive urban prosperity, 10th November 2014 in Chennai

9The first seminar on inclusive urban prosperity was organised by Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and NIUA K-Hub team on 10th November 2014 in Chennai. This was part of the 3rd anniversary of MCCI’s Sustainable Chennai Forum. NIUA was the Knowledge Partner for the seminar. The event brought together key stakeholders such as MCCI, British Deputy High Commission, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Corporation of Chennai, Department of Geography, University of Madras, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, ITDP India, Madras Institute of Development Studies apart from members of the Madras Chamber and active citizens representing various walks of life. The aim of this seminar was to deconstruct the idea of inclusive prosperity and invite critical comments that can shape the action research leading to formulation of policy tools.

Lessons learned and Relevance to K-Hub

  • The keynote address of Dr. Gora Mboup, Author of UN Habitat City Prosperity Index-2012 informed on the role of well-designed streets in making cities prosperous and inclusive.

  • Mr. Vikram Kapoor, Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai shared the details of various schemes towards making city more inclusive and supportive whereas Dr. Chitra Sampath, Chief Planner, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority discussed about the planning strategies of CMDA.

  • Prof. Kala Sridhar and Dr. Benjamin Solomon called for radical thinking in planning urban spaces especially when the plans have direct impact on the lives of urban poor.

The seminar was used as an opportunity to identify and engage with the key stakeholders in the city of Chennai which will be one of the case study city for the inclusive prosperity framework. Dr. Ajith Kaliyath, Environmental Specialist, K-Hub presented on ideating inclusive prosperity and sought inputs from the participants. The idea of inclusive prosperity attracted wide range of stakeholders to the discussions. The lead role taken by the city based Chamber of Commerce enhanced the impact of the event. The responses from the seminar was very positive and many speakers and participants agreed that there is an urgent need to address inclusiveness of urban space through appropriate policies and plans. Since achieving prosperity through planned urbanisation is one of the aims of ongoing urban sector initiatives of Government of India, this seminar was useful in facilitating a dialogue among key drivers of urban prosperity.