BANGALORE: A conference which took place in Raheja Towers recently was on the theme, ‘To draw our attention towards the unplanned and haphazard planning taking place in Bangalore and many other cities in India and in the world’.
Sheila Sri Prakash, an architect and planner of Indian origin and founder of Shilpa Architects in Chennai gave a brief introduction into the historical background of our country and how today, city planning should take place without tampering these historical aesthetic values. She spoke about the ancient town planning, the cultural superpower which India was and the earlier joint family system which India had. However with the changing times these aspects have not been taken into our growth study is what she purported.
Sheila, in the course of her presentation gave an insight into the Design Innovation Council World Economic Forum. Shiela threw light on how a city should develop keeping in mind the different spheres. Sheila also spoke about the Reprocity Design Index concept which she has come out with. The index prescribes parameters and metrics surrounding the sustainable design to factor the environment, sociology and economics. According to this, if a design has to be formulated, then it should be done by an interaction with all the stakeholders of the system i.e, if a plan has to be brought up, then it should be done by consulting the government or the transport or the young and the older generation. This would enable the plan to be successful as it would cater to the needs and demands of all.
Further, she stressed upon the need to have public spaces which would stimulate thinking.
“A comparative analysis has to be done while developing any city. If it is called a silicon valley then there is a need to analyse what are the things which silicon valley has, but Bangalore does not and likewise there is need to analyse what are things which Bangalore has and Silicon valley does not. This comparison would enable Bangalore and other cities to develop and have a proper town planning,” she said.
The main problems in Bangalore which Sheila pointed out were that of urban congestion, lack of social infrastructure and unsustainable urban infrastructure. “The shops are found haphazardly and there is a lack of proper planning in the city. Also, there is need for proper planning as it would help the cities from the problem of over population in the future,” she said.
Lastly, she explained about her project YOWDEE. “The project aims to address the need for high quality and well designed single family homes around the world. The project would provide customisable and standardised good for home designs for free to millions of middle class Indians who already own a small piece of land and aspire to home ownership. There is an urgent need for a proper town planning in Bangalore and in many of the major cities in India. The haphazard development and the congestion of the shops has to be replaced by proper planning,” she said.