Smart Cities India Foundation holds a seminar held in Bengaluru
A seminar on “Smart Urban Planning for 21st century” organised by the Smart Cities India Foundation was held in Bengaluru on Thursday. The seminar was aimed at beginning a new conversation on understanding the loopholes in our preset urban planning systems and processes, and how it can be planned better for the future.
The day-long seminar also included thematic panel discussions that addressed the dynamics of mutual engagement between government, industry and civil society in urban planning. The seminar saw heads of parastatal organization, urban planning and development experts along with real estate heads and deliberate on issues like land housing, real estate, low cost housing to urban planning and sanitation.
“The Revised Master Plan for 2031 for Bengaluru will bring in visible improvement in the city. The plan is a significant move towards a better tomorrow for the state of Karnataka. It is all possible with the support and efforts of the state government,” said Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Development while addressing delegates at the seminar.
Representing the state government at the seminar was Mr. K.J. George, the Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning besides Urban planning experts and other stake holders.
Speaking about the seminar, the Director of the Public Affairs Centre (PAC) G Gurucharan said, “Bengaluru has seen a sharp decline on the livability index and in the quality of life. Unless, the state, the civic body, the market and the community work in tandem, an impending crisis lies ahead. We need to adopt better governance structures and this seminar is one such forum to explore alternatives’.
Echoing the sentiment was Chairman of Smart Cities India Foundation (SCIF) and Director Governing Council, PAC Dr A. Ravindra, “The master plan approach used for better planning of cities has not worked for India, and hence we need to explore other strategies whereby the economic, social, environmental and institutional aspects of urbanisation can be integrated”.
Speaking on the occasion Mr M R Jaishankar, Founder Member, Smart Cities India Foundation (SCIF) and Chairman & Managing Director, Brigade Group said, “I believe the only way Bengaluru can sustain is developing the peripheral cities. Additionally, if we develop places like Mysuru and Mangaluru which is closer to Bengaluru the substantial growth of Bengaluru will be better and a lot of problems that we are facing will be resolved. As far as the Master Plan is concerned it is not clear and not well thought of. While the Central Govt is talking of making housing affordable and housing for all by 2022 and giving directions to the various state governments to increase the FSI so that more area can be built on a lesser land area since land is a primary contributor to the cost of housing, the present Master Plan has reduced the FAR by 40% across which means housing going forward will become much more expensive than today.”
“Lastly, I am firmly against the layout business because an Arkavati layout with nearly 2000 acres will be able to accommodate 10,000 people. Same thing if it is vertically developed, better parks and playgrounds can be accommodated in about less than 500 acres. And with acquisition of land being expensive the cost will ultimately be passed on to the citizens and make housing also more expensive,” averred Mr Jaishankar.