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Mission for Application of Technology to Urban Renewal & Engineering (MATURE)

To evolve a process of urban renewal by the use of appropriate technologies and knowledge for better environment and life, Government of India and UNDP launched the Mission for Application of Technology to Urban Renewal & Engineering (MATURE) project in 2001. MATURE is a unique experiment in the field of urban renewal initiatives in India wherein the focus is on application of technology and to make urban populace not just mere beneficiaries but partners in the urban renewal process. Besides, it also addresses the issues of small towns and other blighted areas and not just inner and old cities or slums as has been the case for all urban renewal activities in India till date.

Under MATURE, demonstration projects have been implemented in different cities / towns in India with representation from hills, coastal areas, plains, mega cities and small towns with technology interventions in the areas of water & sanitation, transportation, solid waste management, GIS systems, energy etc. appropriate for each of these chosen locations.

Mission Statement

Develop a ‘vision document’ for the urban renewal plan of the identified towns, cities or sites.
The 'vision document' will be drawn out keeping in view the profile of the city/town, its regional importance, demographic profile, existing development plans/Master Plans, housing status, trade and commerce, physical and social infrastructure, environmental issues, financial resources, land use pattern, urban growth, social and economic status, energy, public transport, etc. This document will facilitate future urban renewal interventions.

Evolve a design for urban renewal interventions, keeping in view the physical infrastructure, the environment and the overall quality of life.
This will involve the whole process of management of physical infrastructure and technology interventions in the areas of digitised information collation, storage & retrieval system, urban hydrology & modelling, water supply & sanitation, drainage, energy, transport, waste management, environmental conservation, building materials, spatial planning, hazard zonation for earthquake, landslides, industrial pollution abatement, etc., as applicable to each location.

Establish linkages between different sectoral technologies for integrated and sustainable urban development.
The Mission will bring about a close association among different agencies dealing with different technologies. For example, the integration of efforts towards better water supply & sanitation with that of sewerage, drainage, conservation management, etc.

Forge partnerships among community, NGOs, civic bodies, government departments, corporate sector and converge resources available for social and physical interventions. The key to this is sharing of information on good practices between project initiatives on the ground amongst the main stakeholders. A platform will be established to link managerial capability and technical expertise from relevant agencies with active community groups. Innovative strategies will also be developed for community participation.

Implement demonstration projects in identified sites based on available best practices and innovative approaches such as Slum Networking.
The process of developing a strategy for each of the demonstration project will involve the following: Selection of a site and the corresponding community.
   Consultative process among communities, civic bodies and other agencies.
   Selection of partner organisations, namely, NGO/Municipal body.
   Community participation for self-help for saving, micro-credit and physical works.

Demonstrate the role of women, highlighting gender issues in habitat engineering.
The gender dimensions involved in S&T application towards the improvement of living environment is well established. MATURE aims at bringing these aspects to the forefront, with a view to derive maximum benefits from such S&T interventions. The emphasis will be to reduce the drudgery and to improve health and environment and  to utilise technology tools for providing opportunities for income generation leading to equity and social justice.

Develop a Master Urban Renewal Plan to serve as a guide for future interventions.
The Master Urban Renewal Plan will lay down basic principles governing urban regeneration within the broad parameters of an existing Master Plan, with modifications if needed. This will serve as a guide for urban planners to design urban renewal plans for a specific city or township.

Generate bankable project proposals through convergence of existing resources.
Based on the lessons learnt from the Mission, project proposals for future interventions in selected towns/cities would be formulated. The resources mobilised could be a combination of community financing, corporate/state financing, donor assistance and use of traditional and economic strengths specific to the settlement.

Establish core competence for knowledge management in urban renewal practices.
This will enable the creation of expertise for urban renewal interventions and enable capacity building at local and regional levels within NGOs, CBOs, civic bodies, government departments and research and academic institutions for field level implementation.

Document the central themes and lessons learnt and disseminate through various processes such as awareness sessions, print and electronic media.
The information base will emerge from the first-hand experience of the demonstration projects. Through a scientific assessment of the lessons learnt in the demonstration practices, the Mission will contribute to orienting the processes of policy formulation for urban development.