Inaugurating a two-day conference on 'Building smart child-friendly cities in India for 21st century' here, Naidu asked urban planners, architects and all stakeholders to aim at creating an enabling environment for children for their all round development.
Noting that urban planning in the country aims at general objectives like infrastructure development, sanitation including solid waste management, Naidu said, "Time has come for city master plans to incorporate specific chapters to meet the needs of young children."
He stressed on the need for providing adequate open spaces and play centres to nurture creative faculties of children.

"Inclusive and children sensitive urban development strategies are the need of the hour," he said.
The Minister observed that deficient urban planning leads to adverse impact on children, particularly, those from the weaker section.
"These include poor behavioural and academic outcomes, high risk of diseases, inadequate early brain development, high risk of diseases, impaired physical development and  skills, deprivation of adequate parental care as they go out for long hours in search of livelihood," Naidu said.
Naidu also expressed concern over disproportionate appropriation of urban space and opportunities by the rich at the cost of the poor and the same needs to be addressed to all  stages of urban planning and execution.
"Of the 158 million children in the country, about 26 per cent which means 41 million live in urban areas and 8 million of them in slums."
The conference is organised by Bernard Van Leer Foundation and supported by Urban Development Ministry, National Institute of Urban Affairs and School of Planning and  Architecture.

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