Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge 

Context: The Urban Affairs Ministry recently announced the names of the 25 cities selected for the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge under the Smart Cities Mission.

  • The shortlisted cities would carry out projects for making early childhood-friendly neighbourhoods.


  • The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge is a 3-year initiative hosted by the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, in collaboration with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and WRI India.
  • The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge aims to incorporate a focus on early childhood development (0-5-year-old children) in the planning and management of Indian cities.
  • Its ultimate objective is to include solutions in smart cities that enhance the quality of life of young children and promote the health and well-being of both the young children and their caregivers.
  • It was launched on November 4th, 2020.
  • All Smart Cities, capitals of States and UTs, and other cities with a population above 5 lakhs were eligible to participate.
  • It is a 3-year initiative that aims to work with Indian cities and their partners to pilot and scale ways to improve public space, mobility, neighborhood planning, access to early childhood services and amenities, and data management across city agencies.
  • It will also build a platform for peer-to-peer learning and sharing best practices between cities.
  • Reasons for Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge
  • Urban design and city planning play a crucial role in shaping the early years (0- 5 years) of a child’s life – the period most vital for a child’s long-term health and development.
  • Urban environments also impact caregiver’s behavior and their capacity to nurture their babies’ development through play, affection, and healthy nutrition.



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