A Great start to XI Metropolis meet in Hyderabad. Metropolis Congress took off on a meaningful note on Monday with children from across the country making creative presentations on the need to improve housing and public toilets and to eradicate open defecation system. A large number of Indian and international delegates were present at the pre-inaugural session of event that saw 135 international and 857 local delegates registering for the five-day mega meet. Renowned architects and city planners such as Alfonso Govel, architect and founder of the Max Smart Cities from Mexico, Alan Renk, a city planner and architect from France, Tim Campbell an architect from MIT, California, Phillip Weist an entrepreneur from Brussels and Director of India School Subramaniam Sarma were among the panelists who participated in the discussions on the first day.
“Nearly 1,000 delegates register for 5-day mega event”
Discussions on a myriad themes like “Voices of Children”, “Youth Empowerment”, “Housing For All”, “Habitat III and Ubran India” and “Metropolis Hackathon” were held spread over five sessions on Monday. Child participants, who were speaking on the theme “Voices of Children”, stressed the need to address the dangers of mismanaged electrical wiring and transformers in urban areas. They said that lack of open spaces and play areas were the largest impediments for their holistic growth in urban areas. They also cited the growing threat from lack of waste management in urban slums. The sessions on youth empowerment saw active participation from delegates of Massad municipality in Iran, wherein they pitched strongly for a greater involvement of youth while preparing urban policies. Habitat III and Urban India saw discussions about the Indian perspective on urban issues. The Housing-For-All session emphasised on the need for private partnership in housing and infrastructure projects.
The failure to implement several innovative schemes and policies also came up for discussion during the session.The Metropolis Hackathon event in fact was appreciated by both delegates and organisers. Nearly 360 teams of youth from across the country brainstormed on 250 ideas on themes such as Traffic Management, Parking solutions, Disaster Management, Women and Children’s Safety, Cleanliness and Sanitation, Slumdwellers Healthcare and the system of house numbering in cities. At least 20 teams were shortlisted and another 10 were finalised from this session, out of which five would be filtered to work with GHMC and other government agencies.Speaking to media, the delegates expressed happiness over greater participation from the youth.
“There is lot of passion among the youth and they need to be empowered to generate their own employment and ideas to build the future. The idea is to develop products for a global community as a global commodity,” said architect Alfonso Govel.GHMC Commissioner Somesh Kumar said, “We are expecting more delegates to arrive soon. We have pledged to support the idea of this event which is to make sure that the implementation of these ideas happen and benefit everybody.”
Chaos prevails at World Metropolis Congress
Lack of management and planning was visible at the soft opening of the Metropolis meet. The media and press were put through undue hardship due to sudden change in plans by top officials. Journalists were restricted to a media lounge and barred from attending any of the sessions. When questioned, I&PR commissioner R V Chandravadan said this was done in the interest of the delegates’ security as they had received several inputs from the law and order agencies about potential trouble.