Society management

How to design a sustainable futuristic society? Architects share their points of view

Technology rules the world. Today, with machine learning and robotics setting new standards and the smart device revolution influencing everyone, therefore, when we imagine a future city, it’s nothing less than a close-up. VFX from a sci-fi movie. Whether the imagination becomes fruitful or not is a question, but the predominant concept that needs to be incorporated in the future is a sustainable smart city.

To deepen the concept, the Architecture, Design and More (ADM) summit of AnimationxlXpress organized a round table on the theme “Design in / for / with society. The prominent panelists included Yasaman Esmaili, principal architect of Boston-based Studio Chahar; PVP College of Architecture, Pune urban planner and director architect Prasanna Desai; Kumar Consultants, Architects, Founder and Principal of Bengaluru, Leena Kumar; National Institute of Urban Affairs, professor in New Delhi Debolina Kundu. The panel was moderated by the School of Architecture, CHRIST, Director of Bengaluru, Director of Design and Professor Vijay Narnapatti.

Understanding the people who live in the city is essential to transforming the quaint town. Today we living in a society dominated by the growing middle class which was not there in the last century according to Kundu. And this emerging class is also informed and aspires to have a better quality of life. Due to the heterogeneous characteristics of society and way of life, the standard of living and the idea of ​​an ideal city vary from person to person. She pointed out that today there is a lot of gentrification where the slums are being evicted from the city so that they do not gain a foothold in the center of the city. At the same time, “we have a growing demographic dividend (a growing young population) that needs to be nurtured and skilled. If we are not able to provide education, a healthy environment and jobs, then the demographic dividend will turn into a demographic catastrophe, ”Kundu added.

Another important trend highlighted by Kundu is that the emerging youth population is choosing to live in nuclear families rather than joint families and hence there is a high demand for housing and it will increase even more in the years to come.

At the same time, in developed countries, especially in the southern regions, an increasing trend of the elderly population can be observed. It is true that the type of home a young person will need may not be the same for an older person. Over time, life expectancy has increased and the priorities for house features are different depending on the age group and it will increase further and so architects need to think carefully when designing and planning cities to suit them. demographic needs.

“According to the 2011 census data, there is an increasing trend towards the periphery, which actually means that the population is moving from the heart of the city to the periphery. These are the people who commute to the center of town and then go back there, ”Kundu said.

For a better future, it is essential to have more engagement with society, policy makers, Niti Aayog, stakeholders involved in the process, the program management unit, etc. “Unless and until a dialogue is established between them and society as a whole, things will not work in the way they want. When ideas are formed, they can be shared and discussed and that also brings exposure to the process, ”Kundu said.

On the one hand, it is necessary to tap into customer requirements when designing a project, and on the other hand, it is also important to tap into the economic and health standards of the city. “If we are talking about society and people, I will put the basics of health first, followed by the economy. Cities must become healthy, livable and pleasant and the economy goes with it ”, Desai shared.

When projects are designed according to requirements, families benefit from their lives. Desai cited an example from BSUP project where each house was made according to the needs of the family within the framework that was put in place. Each house is occupied and has not been resold either. Currently everyone is staying there.

Desai added, “There are policies but they need to be implemented. Popular participation is low and when it comes to projects, popular participation is extremely superficial. Someone has to get involved so that people get involved in the projects. He also shared that many NGOs are involved for the fundamental rights to drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, etc. while that is the job of professionals. When it comes to discussing projects, the involvement of people and their professionals is crucial.

Getting people involved means having time. There are projects that have to happen overnight, and people don’t get involved overnight. Desai cited an example where during Jnnurm BSUP’s slum upgrading program, every evening for almost two to three months, we would sit with the slum dwellers and try to negotiate with them. While the local company will announce that construction will start within the next 15 days to a month, but it took a full year before construction actually started. Negotiation is a long process, people’s participation is a must and then the levels of acceptability increase. First we have to make people feel confident. Policies are currently made first, and then people’s participation occurs.

Kundu also shared, “The people at the center of policy planning assume real importance, but when we look at the policy in Indian government programs or at the state level, we find that people’s participation is a pillar. important for such interventions. The GOI passed the 74th Constitutional Amendment Law in 1992 to decentralize urban governance and also to bring the participation of people at the center of local governance to the formation of committees. Jawaharlal Nehru Urban National Renewable Mission went further and tried to mandate the formation of area sabhas below the committees. The Praja Foundation 2020 study said that what was expected did not happen. There is actually a disconnect between what we want and what is actually happening on the ground and this is one of the big hurdles that we have to overcome. “

Also, if we really want to study the health of a nation, it is essential for us to study the institution of a nation and that will tell a lot of stories about the country. If we look at the institutes, we get to know how the profession is doing in society.

“The role of an institute is to bring people together, to find common ground on what is really an important aspect of planning, and that can be a very strong point for spreading ideas if we look at planning.” , Kumar added.

Appropriate sustainable infrastructure includes everything from major design calls to decoration. Decoration comes second and design comes first because perfect design can solve many of the problems we live in, while decoration enhances the beauty of the place and makes it more livable. So when a client comes with a low budget to build a home, this is where professionals should focus on the basics of sustainable housing rather than interior design.

With the wonder of design magic, anything and everything is achievable. “We live in a much more connected world and the way we can be connected and share data has transformed the thinking of people all over the world. It has also changed the idea of ​​fairness and people are more aware of their rights. It is important to involve more people while planning a society in which they can live ”, Esmaili highlighted.

The panelists also stressed that rather than creating a smart city, it is important to enable a city with smart features enabled. Professionals should also focus on how to reuse water, turn old furniture into new, use solar and wind power, etc. for a future picturesque town.