Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: A two-day workshop on "Chandigarh Urban Observatory" was inaugurated this morning by a high-level panel comprising Prof. Arun K. Grover, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University (PU), Shri Anurag Aggarwal, Home Secretary UT, Dr. Manoj Arora, Director, PEC University of Technology, Mr. David Lelliott, British Dy. High Commissioner, Dr. Javed Agrewala, Director IMTECH and Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Director, Chitkara University delivered special addresses.
Mr. B. Purushartha, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh shared his vision for Chandigarh Urban Observatory. The first day witnessed presentations from invited experts from Academia, Industry, Law and Civil Society. Group discussions were held on issues that are essential for developing a Chandigarh Urban Observatory as ' pulsating entity' taking cue from the Home Secretary's vision.
An urban observatory facilitates monitoring urban dynamics at the local level. It is typically a network of local stakeholders responsible for producing, analysing and disseminating data on a meaningful set of indicators. Under the UK-India Joint Network on Sustainable Cities, 8 UK Centres of Excellence led by University of Nottingham and 8 Indian institutions led by National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) are working on the possibility of establishing urban observatories in a few Indian cities. One of the ideas that have emerged through consultation among the network partners is the institutionalisation of city level systems for efficient
Data and information resources produced by the local network are used to support decision-making and formulation of evidence based policies. The recent global debates have highlighted the need for a coherent urban strategy and investment plan as one of the key criteria for any region to attract global capital. The Observatories can also make these cities globally visible especially as the Government of India is supporting major urban sector investment through new generation urban missions. The local partners in Chandigarh are Panjab University, Chandigarh Administration and affiliated institutions from Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster.
On account of its sustained engagements with Nottingham city as well as being part of the Smart Cities Mission, Chandigarh has been identified as one of the potential cities to establish an Urban Observatory.
In order to deliberate upon the scope and institutionalization of Urban Observatory for Chandigarh, a two day workshop is being organised by the Joint Network in partnership with Panjab University and Chandigarh Administration. In the workshop, presentations are being made by scholars and practitioners from UK and India.