The International Conclave on Urban Transformation held in Bhubaneswar wasn’t merely an assembly of professionals—it was a pivotal forum for championing inclusive development and sustainable urban planning. This seminal event, a first for Odisha, signified a crucial phase in the state’s progressive agenda to evolve cities into havens of growth and prosperity. Drawing over 400 participants from 11 countries and 20 Indian states, the conclave served as a confluence of diverse thoughts and cultures, united by the shared ambition to cultivate urban landscapes that are equitable, habitable, and resilient.Isha Basyal, the Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Global Water & Sanitation Center (GWSC), represented our commitment to fostering international collaboration and the exchange of knowledge as one of the distinguished delegates.

People-Centric Urban Transformation at the Forefront in Odisha

The resolve of the Odisha Government for a transformation centered around its people was unmistakable. The Chief Minister, in his inaugural address, highlighted the state’s vision for creating inclusive cities where community empowerment is central. He remarked on the profound impact of urban transformation efforts not just on infrastructure but also on the urban way of life.

Odisha’s innovative ‘Drink from Tap’ mission exemplifies such transformative initiatives, ensuring that access to clean drinking water is a given for every citizen. The conclave was not only a platform to showcase these strides but also to inspire similar actions across different regions.

The Pillar of Visionary Leadership

The Chief Minister’s speech underscored the importance of forward-thinking leadership in steering developmental policies. His articulation of the 5T framework—emphasizing transparency, technology, teamwork, time, and transformation—as the cornerstone of community-led urban development, illustrates the forward momentum of Odisha’s governance.

The Sustainable Path Ahead

The conclave underscored the need for durability in developmental projects, with discussions centered around the longevity of initiatives like ‘Drink from Tap.’ The presence of key officials, including the Housing and Urban Development Minister and senior bureaucrats, reaffirmed the state’s commitment to enduring and sustainable solutions.

Reinforcing GWSC’s Dedication to Global Progress

For GWSC, the conclave reiterated our mission to engage with thought leaders globally, share valuable insights, and support initiatives that promote essential services like water and sanitation. Isha Basyal’s involvement symbolizes our continued dedication to these goals. While the curtains have closed on the conclave, the dialogues it has initiated are burgeoning. GWSC is eager to contribute to and support the Odisha Government in its laudable journey toward a transformative urban future.