Pune, February 24, 2020: Taking a lead in promoting children and family-friendly spaces within the city, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), with the support of the Bernard Van Leer Foundation (BvLF), technical partners, Taru Leading Edge, and Ecofirst Services Ltd. and SMEF’s Brick School of Architecture, implemented a tactical U-urbanism intervention at Sonawane Hospital, Bhavani Peth. One of the known medical facilities in Pune, the Sonawane hospital’s outdoor waiting area was transformed into a playful, child and family-friendly zone on February 22, 2020.
Hospitals can often be stressful and dull places for families. The aim of this intervention was to provide engaging, comfortable, safe and playful outdoor space for young children and their caregivers, such as their parents, grandparents and other brothers and sisters when they visit the maternity hospital or wait there. It showcases the impact and importance of having children-friendly spaces as part of the infrastructure and services that cater to babies, young children and their families, maternity hospitals and health clinics being amongst them.
The intervention included creating clean outdoor spaces, with shaded, playful seating areas, painting floor, and wall games that focus on the cognitive, social and physical development of young children as well as the provision of alternate parking spaces. The local community, particularly, families along with their babies and toddlers took advantage of the space created for them in large numbers with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. Children from Brick School of Architecture, Hospital and Health Department staff, Bhavani Peth Ward officials, actively aided and participated in the creation of the child and family-friendly waiting space.
Dr. Ramchandra Hankare, HOD, PMC- Health Department said, “We are very pleased with the outcome of this intervention having witnessed the enthusiasm from the participants. We will continue to promote the development of playful, safe and accessible spaces for young children in new and existing hospitals, especially where there is a high footfall of young children and caregivers.”
Pune Corporator, Hon’ble Archana Patil said, “Children focussed interventions like these are very important for the development of the society. I am thankful to PMC officials, BvLF and all stakeholders for conducting such interventions in the city.”
Pune Corporator, Hon’ble Manisha Ladkat further noted, “I am pleased to see families and children participate with great enthusiasm for this intervention. We should encourage more of such activities that focus on young children and caregivers to promote holistic development and increase safe, accessible spaces for them.”
Rushda Majeed, Representative India, Bernard van Leer Foundation, said, “With each intervention, Urban95 aims at conveying the importance of having clean, green public spaces that benefit babies, toddlers, and their parents and other caregivers. We are grateful to the Pune Municipal Corporation for taking this initiative forward so wholeheartedly. The intervention conducted at Sonawane Hospital is an excellent illustration of simple measures to improve the everyday lives of young children and their families.”
PMC is supported by BvLF in the municipality’s aim to make Pune a child and family-friendly city under BvLF’s global Urban95 initiative.