West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), along with Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur will hold a workshop on Future Cities on January 11, 2017 at Utsani Glass hall in Eco Island, where Professor Joy Sen of IIT Kharagpur will lead the IIT team.
A high-level meeting was held between Debashis Sen, chairman of HIDCO, Prof Sen, Partha Ranjan Das, a consulting architect, Sukrit Chatterjee, chief architect New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) and Sayanti Chatterjee, architect NKDA on Sunday in this regard.
The concept is to identify problems faced by Greenfield cities during the transition phase, which can sometimes be as long as three decades or more. Many areas of Salt Lake are yet to be developed.
The lakes began to be filled in the mid-1960s and the first couple of structures came up all the way back in 1975, four decades ago. Since the city is still expanding, the challenge is to think of the future and create an urban habitat that will fit into the city’s needs a hundred years later.
The core idea is to be sustainable and tech-savvy, smart and green, economically vibrant and inclusive. Due to lack of planning and foresight, balanced growth in India has become a distant dream. Most of the new cities have been developed on the model of satellite town with predominance of residential land use.
A classic example of hectic development without planning is the development of vast areas of Behala and its adjoining areas which started developing in the mid 1980s. Water bodies were filled up and high-rise buildings came up on narrow roads where during emergency, fire tenders could not enter.
Three major issues that will be addressed are: how the existing towns and cities in transition can provide reservoir of employment for its unprecedented sprawling population; how the future new cities and town will grow in view of the existing ones and what shall be ‘new’ in terms of employment generating infrastructure and facilities keeping in mind the greening of environment and innovative engineering in future cities.