The future of metropolitan India lies in the creation of completely new urban centres, coupled with development of satellite towns around existing metros as one cannot run away from the fact that development is bound to happen, said experts in urban development.
“And given that the traffic scenario and the spiraling prices, making real estate prohibitively expensive while the existing shortfall in homes is 25 million, this is the only way to take away pressure from the metros,” felt the experts in an interaction with the press in coastal Varca on Thursday.
This and the general themes with special emphasis on public transport, energy solutions as India is moving from an industrial age –on for the past 100 years – towards a sustainable age that could go on for the next 100 years, were the underlying and direct topics to be discussed at the third edition of GIREM, the flagship Urban Planning and Real Estate Leadership Summit, officially inaugurated on Thursday evening by the deputy director, tourism, Ms Pamela Mascarenhas.
“Development will happen. And townships and energy consumption are the next big things,” Mr Shyam Sunder S Pani, president, GIREM and ED Triple Tree said.
“Urban India is faced by huge issues like pressure on housing and civic infrastructure like water and garbage. And these need immediate and long term sustainable solutions.”
His colleague, an architect, Ms Naresh Narashiman, principal architect, Venkataramanam Associates, concurred, pointing out that it is important to note that all development is not good development and argued that “you are noticing some of the dark side of development in parts of Goa. It is important that quality of life and cultural heritage are not compromised.”
He, however, rued that it was sometimes difficult to balance the two in India.
“It is important to have both satellite cities as well as totally new hubs. As there is place for infrastructure left in most of the present cities too. And many have reached even 4 tier,” he argued, pointing out: “25 million homes is the current shortage in the country. And what the pace of increase in urbanization really means is that whatever we see in our cities today will double and existing cities will not be able to take the migration from rural areas any longer.”
This year’s GIREM will have as the focal theme ‘Power the future’ and the three-day event will have urban planners, industry experts, end users and even bureaucrats brainstorming on how to deal with myriad issues that confront urban planning.
GIREM 2010 places special emphasis on the corporate end users of commercial spaces in the country addressing their needs and concerns.
“We will be talking about sustainability, townships, tall buildings, energy management and waste management,” Mr Pani told media in his interaction before the inaugural.
FM Zone, with 350 members across India and an entity that brigs all managers across the board together, is associated with the summit.
Topics during the three-day summit will include – development inclusive environment, sustainable townships, urban waste management, SEZ – pains and gains, project management, as well as a discussion on a model real estate (regulation of development Act).