CHENNAI: How is industrial development alone enough? Should we not also have socially-targeted designs? — This was the key message brought out by an International conference on Sustainable Technologies in Building and Environment, on Wednesday.
With a thrust on areas like planning, designing and operating sustainable buildings and infrastructure, the conference saw dialogue on the frontier of sustainable growth with not just economic, but also social and economic benefits. Inviting experts to speak on the subject the conference hosted by Sathyabama College of Engineering, also presented 170 shortlisted papers under the theme, received from all over the world. The conference was inaugurated by R Ramanathan, Director (Projects) of the Chennai Metro Rain Limited (CMRL) among the presence of dignitaries and students. “There is a lot of cosmetic development these days, like flyovers, over-head bridges, road-widening etc. But it doesn’t solve the problem of developing a sustainable system for our city,” he said.
The later speakers also emphasised on the need for a shift to having overall social development in our infrastructure, than just giving more thrust to industrial development. Arivudai Nambi, who heads Vulnerability and Adaptation at World Resources Institute stressed on the need for climate to benefit in this long-harped on process as well. “We can adapt to low carbon cement, and develop green-buildings. Though more expensive, it has multifaceted benefits in the social, environmental and economic spheres in the longer run” he said. Pointing to the Old Mahabalipuram Road as a reference, where the college is situated, he remarked, “We need more sustainable eco-friendly infrastructure, not just big buildings.”