On the occasion of being included in the list of UNESCO smart cities, a triumphant Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu addressed the media on the honour. The UNESCO smart cities is one that awards cities across the world with the honour in a number of categories. The categories span from design to layout and many other such factors on which the future of the cities and their development also depend. Heritage also plays a very important role in the choice of a smart city. For Srinagar, the honour is particularly close to its heart because it has been recognised in the art and craft section, which is why it has been hailed as one of the creative smart cities by UNESCO.
The sustained efforts of various organizations has led to this honour, as per Mayor Mattu, who also attributes this big win to the artisans that render much beauty to the already scenic valley. Being able to rise above the conflict and showcase what the valley and its people really have to offer, is bound to have a positive impact and an encouraging note for all the artisans and the art work that they so diligently produce. Formerly known as a mere tourist attraction, the art of Kashmir and Srinagar in particualr has now been elevated to a different height and level with this recognition accorded to the entire city.
The most important thing that will create a positive social impact with this news is the inclusion that Srinagar has managed to garner. Much like the Hunar Haat held earlier in the day in India where inclusion seemed to be the main theme, this honour brings Srinagar at par with global cities that are known for art, design and a rich heritage. Being a part of the UNESCO smart cities also comes at an opportune moment, since the UN Secretary General recently gave an address on how inclusion is an important part of peace.