Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Happy City New Town

Tomorrow, we will have a workshop with IIT at Eco Island on Happy Cities. We are requesting IIT's Reiki Centre of Happiness to help New Town become a Happy City. Here is an extract from their public note:
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Can we make cities happy?
While making individuals happy is a challenge, making a community happy is even a greater challenge. Can we make a city happy? The trajectory from individual happiness to the happiness of a city is long and complex. Similarly, it is fundamental to ask the question, is happiness enough, without focusing on ‘meaningfulness’ and’ engagement’? Is reduction of unhappiness equivalent to increase in happiness? Are happiness and well-being the same? Another fundamental issue in the context of urban built environment becomes the relation between subjective and objective well-being. Without looking at the relation between happiness and well-being, between subjective and structural parameters, and between the individual and the community, any attempt towards making a green city happy can become futile.

In order to grapple with these questions and come up with tenable solutions, Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness has teamed up with Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design. Together, they will explore subjective wellbeing, community infrastructure, and other key issues with the help of NKDA and HIDCO, Kolkata. Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Director IIT Kharagpur and Mr. Satinder Singh Rekhi, Honorary Chairman of the Centre, the two inspirations behind the Rekhi Centre,  join hands with Mr. Debasis Sen, Additional Chief Secretary to Govt. of West Bengal, CMD, WBHIDCO, Chairman, NDITA and Chairman, NKDA, on 16th March 2017 at  UTSARI  Glass Hall , Eco Island, New Town,Kolkata to make this event happen . Along with them is an array of eminent scholars and personalities such as Prof. Lilavati Krishnan, subjective well-being expert from IIT Kanpur (currently at IISER Bhopal), Prof. Manas K. Mandal, Rtd. DG, Life-Sciences, DRDO, Distinguished Professor, IIT Kharagpur, Architect P. R. Das of ‘City Centre’ fame, and other experts from Ministry of Happiness, Government of Madhya Pradesh, and from IIT Kharagpur.  Mr. Jonathan Ward, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S Consulate, an eminent critic in his own right, will also join these experts.

This workshop proposes to look at these issues with special focus on the green city of New Town in order to develop a road-map for:
1. Assessment of stakeholders’ quality of life, subjective well-being, needs and aspirations
2. Assessment of community facilities and infrastructure
3. Assessment of New Town in terms of other smart-to-be cities
4. Development of recommendations and guidelines including training protocols for changing mind-sets
5. Pilot implementation and assessment through pre-post measures

Through a series on presentations, discussions and interactions, the workshop aims to achieve insights into certain concrete deliverables that can be used to move forward in realizing the aspiration of a green happy city that takes care of the aspirations of both the individuals as well as the community. It looks like the time has come to make happy New Town happier.

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Clippings:
Khabar 365 dt 15 March 2017

Millennium Post dt 15 March 2017

Millennium Post dt 15 March 2017

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