Thiruvananthapuram:Kerala came out with a draft design policy which stresses on making all tourism destination across the state women, children and pedestrian friendly and proposed a set of comprehensive suggestions to give a distinct touch to the state’s physical assets to enhance their utility and aesthetic appeal.
The draft policy, drawn up by the three-day design policy workshop, was presented to Tourism and Public Works Minister PA Mohamed Riyas as it concluded here on Saturday.
The workshop, ‘Design by Future’, held at Craft Village at Vellar, near Kovalam, was a joint initiative of the Department of Tourism and Public Works Department.
The draft design policy was presented to the Minister by Prof Praveen Nahar, Director of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary KS Srinivas presided over the function.
The draft design policy that emerged from extensive deliberations by top experts factors in Kerala’s traditional design concepts while imbibing new trends and foreseeing the future needs, to be applied while creating and preserving public assets, mainly focusing on tourism and public infrastructure.
It also lay down a set of best practices to be followed while designing physical assets such as roads, bridges, streets, street furniture, signages and public spaces, which are crucial in enhancing experience of tourists.
Among the highlights of the draft policy are recommendations for creating special tourism, heritage and ecological zones and setting up Kerala State Culture Fund.
The other suggestions include considering auto-rickshaw as a product and drivers as ambassadors of tourism and lighting, integrating technology in communication and public spaces, creating design awareness at all levels, special package for traditional art performance spaces, craft design centre and Kerala brand for arts and crafts, mapping of craft communities and centralised data management tool for tourism and PWD.
Lauding the Tourism and Public Works departments for the initiative, Riyas said the government is determined to consider the recommendations made by the experts and a follow-up meeting with experts and officials will be held in March.
Saying that he is overwhelmed by the response on social media about the plan to bring in a design policy, Riyas said good suggestions of people from all walks of life will be considered while finalising the policy, which will be implemented this year itself.
Srinivas said the turnout for the workshop was phenomenal as it was the first such initiative by two departments.
Kerala Tourism Director PB Nooh said through nine various sessions at the workshop, the experts contributed immensely for the framing of the draft Design Policy.
KTIL Managing Director Dr Manoj Kumar K and Former Dean of School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, Prof K T Raveendran, were also present at the function.
The workshop was attended by around 200 delegates, including officials and representatives of Kerala Tourism and PWD.