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DIC organized a workshop “Dialogue on Participatory Local Area Planning” on 26th June, 2019 at School of Planning andArchitecture, New Delhi. The workshop was organized by Prof. Dr.   Sanjukkta Bhaduri, DIC coordinator and Dean (R). The Guest of Honour was Prof. Dr. D.S.Meshram, President Institute of Town Planners India. The agenda of the workshop was to:
• To have a  brainstorming session on  “Participatory Local Area Planning”
• Launching of the Web portal and Mobile App, “Urban Step”, a DIC project by Department of Urban  Planning, with various  stakeholders related to planning and development, including academia, Government Institutions, Research laboratories, etc.

The Dialogue was attended by around 100 people in all including  representatives from Delhi Development Authority (DDA),Urban Local Bodies (ULB), Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO), Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI), National  Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER)) and other organizations, in the presence of whom the launch of the “Urban STEP” (Smart Toolkit for e-participation) Web Portal and Android App was done by Prof. Dr. D.S. Meshram.

The portal is live as a pilot project for 2 wards, Chittaranjan Park (under South Delhi) and Naraina (under North Delhi) as pilot case. This can be taken forward for other wards too. The iOS application would be launched soon. The portal and application provides a tech-based platform to bridge the gap between the ward level stakeholders and the administrative  authorities. It would enable redressal of Grievances, Suggestions, Queries, Data Updation,Discussions and Feedback for and by the stakeholders. Prof. Dr. Sanjukkta Bhaduri informed that the  application endeavors to bring all the concerned agencies and authorities on a single platform. It also helps to generate information of the ward. It is an innovative project under DIC so as to  ensure citizens engagement in the Local Area Plan.

The workshop included a panel discussion where different perspectives on local area plans were discussed including Interface of Participatory Local Area Planning and Master Planning. There was  an “Open Dialogue Session” on the challenges of implementing policies on ground, primarily because of lack of participatory approach. It was discussed that web based applications can be a  way forward for an effective participation in local area planning. The event concluded with a way forward for enhanced outreach of the portal and the App.