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Don’t ignore small and medium sized cities

Small and medium cities (defined as having a population of less than one million) are the most ignored areas of our country while statistics show that they are expanding much faster spatially than large...

Realtors should adopt ESG code faster

Environment, social and governance, though basic issues, often have been overlooked by all of us including the government and corporates. However, ESG is becoming an increasingly a hot topic with increased investor activism and...

We need to plan climate friendly smart cities

Though cities have major share in our GDP, they are also major contributors to climate change, as various urban activities are sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some estimates suggest that cities are responsible...

Conserving heritage should be part of our city planning

Recently UN-Habitat identified multi-hazard vulnerabilities, urban sprawl, weak urban mobility and “green-blue break” as pressing issues for the city of Jaipur which is UNESCO listed world heritage city. However, we should note that these...

We need to have heat action plan

The whole country, especially the North and Central India are reeling under extreme hot temperature disrupting the normal life. Intense heat waves (4.50C to 6.40C above the normal temperature) can be dangerous to human...

We need forests for our own survival

Forests cover 31 percent of the Earth’s land surface (4.06 billion ha) but what is disturbing is the fact that the area under forest cover is shrinking, with 420 million ha of forest lost...

Increase urban vegetation to save from heat waves

Though in most parts of India winter had withdrawn by late February and summer had started early, heat started becoming unbearable only from April onwards. In Northern cities like Delhi air had been blowing...

Towards disaster proof development

According to the latest Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, disaster events reported per year have increased significantly in the last two decades. While there were relatively more disaster peak years in the...

Equitable transformation in cities needed

Urbanization in India will be dominated by two factors, viz., population and infrastructure growth. Though the rate urbanisation was snail-paced initially, it has started accelerating and indications show that it may become rapid soon...

We need to bring behavioural changes to achieve climate change objectives

Our fight against climate change can be successful only when we bring about behavioural changes in ourselves. Behaviour change by individuals and households requires both motivation to change and capacity for change. Motivation for...

We need to move towards water sensitive urban design

Population increase inevitably requires the necessary expansion of urban areas which can result in increasing pressure on our natural resources like water. Sustainable urban development solutions, such as water sensitive urban design, can help...

Human-induced climate change making life miserable

The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has noted that since AR5, climate risks are appearing faster and will get more severe sooner. Impacts cascade through natural and...

We need to tackle the rising cost of building materials

Realtors have been complaining about the abnormal rise in the prices of building materials in the recent weeks. According to a realtors’ body, the cost of construction has gone up by 20-25 per cent,...

Mumbai sets ambitious target to become net zero 

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, two decades earlier than the target set by the central government. This makes it the first city in South Asia to...

RERA needs to introspect

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA Act) which came into effect on May 1, 2017 had a noble objective of reducing and eliminating mal-practices and any abuse caused to home buyers....

We need to focus on implementation of Green laws

The study conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) brings out some disturbing facts. According IPCC study, the world is now nearly 1° Celsius warmer than at any point of time in...

Beef up the monitoring system

The recent incident of partial collapse of a tower at Chintels Paradiso housing project in Gurugram, Haryana has cost few human lives, rendered some homeless and has made many to live under constant threat...

There is need to streamline city planning

Rapid urbanisation will eventually lead to majority of the people in the country migrating to cities. Therefore, we have to have policies that ensure well being of the people who live in cities. Our...

Urban development should not cause more slums

The world is urbanizing at a rapid pace. Already more than half of the global population lives in cities, and this number is expected to increase to two thirds of the global population by...

Managing the post COVID cities

Since its emergence late in 2019, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered what is considered the worst public health crisis in a century, with outbreaks spreading to virtually every corner of the globe. The COVID-19...

FM deals with some futuristic issues in the Budget

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman presented her fourth Budget in a row (which is no mean achievement) and preferred to keep it short. The budget speech was short but that doesn’t mean that the FM...

Follow fundamental electrical safety requirement to ensure fire safety

Recent series of fire incidents in Mumbai’s high rises seems to have alerted the authorities to take some proactive steps which, they believe, if implemented may help to increase fire safety in the buildings. As...

Let’s learn lessons from others’ mistakes

Kuwait is OPEC’s number 4 oil-exporter, home to the world’s third-largest sovereign wealth fund and a nation with just over 4.5 million people. And more importantly, its one of the hottest countries on the...

Development should not be at the cost of human life

Air pollution is a silent killer. The air pollution levels in India are among the highest in the world, posing a heavy threat to the country's health and economy. Almost all of India’s 1.4...

Thinking beyond Covid

People are entering the new year with high hopes and many expectations. Such expectations may vary from individual to individual but there is expectation which is common among all of us is that the...

Another year is over but no signs of pandemic abating

Compared to December 2020, this year’s year end will be much more subdued as the emergence new variant – Omicron is already making headlines and in all probability we may start the new year...

Make cities walking & cycling friendly

All these years we have been living under a firm belief that a rich city (meaning a city with wealthy people) is one in which we see vacant footpaths and crowded roads. This is...

Waste management is a big task at hand

As urbanisation expands and that too at rapid pace, the stress of providing quality urban service delivery on ULBs/authorities continues to rise. Therefore, it is crucial that these authorities are supported beyond financial assistance...

Continue with PMAY(U) scheme

Ensuring roof over head (especially for the poor) has been a perennial problem in India. Almost every government in the last 25 years or so have announced ‘Housing for All’ scheme but nothing much...

Let’s make our cities child friendly

A measure of a city’s vibrancy is often the presence of children and families. We, therefore make children a priority while planning the city development. Further, under the UN Convention on the Rights of...

Use nature-based solutions in city planning

There is a rush amongst cities to sign up for climate pledges and chart out climate action plans – rush is due to fear of being left out rather than concerns about deteriorating environment....

We need to find out more sustainable way to cool cities

Though it’s estimated that global temperature would rise by more than 2 degree Celsius by 2100, warming may not be uniform all over the world and it may vary from region to region. Its...

A heart-warming pledge to fight global warming

India’s commitment to become Net Zero by 2070 at COP26 Summit in Glasgow is encouraging not only because India is the second largest nation in the world in terms of population but also is...

Further delay in our action may take us to point of no return

As the goal of the built environment is to create safe, comfortable habitats that facilitate individual and community health and wellbeing, addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies is also within the remit of all...

Urban heat island is our cities’ biggest enemy

The population of urban areas, particularly in developing countries like ours, is growing at fast rate due to continuous immigration from the countryside in search of better employment opportunities. The continuous increase in population...

Lessons to be learnt from China’s real estate collapse

Recent news pouring in from China indicate that country’s real estate sector is on the verge of collapse which will have an impact not only in that country but also all over the world....

Use the Covid-led opportunity to promote green houses

Roof over the head is one of the basic needs of the humans and more so in a developing country like India where large chunk of the population, especially in urban areas lives in...

Guard against human greed

The race to net zero is becoming a big business with many pensions, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, and foundations declaring their intent to have net-zero portfolios by 2050 or sooner. Though the task at...

Stormwater harvesting in cities can solve multiple problems

Floods are becoming quite common in our cities now a days. But its should be noted that floods in our cities are mainly caused by the uninformed manner in which cities are interfering with...

Cities need to protect and promote culture and creativity sectors

We all know that both cities and the culture and creativity sectors have been hit particularly hard by the current COVID-19 pandemic, with large cities often containing the greatest share of jobs at risk....

Making cities really liveable

Quality of Our urban services delivery in the water, waste, and energy sectors is poor, to say the least. This is mainly due to legacy systems, inadequate funding, and restrictive policy and regulation. At...

Protect children from climate change effect

India is one of the youngest nations in the world (in terms of average age of the population) and has the second highest population in the world. It is in this context that the...

We need to act before things go out of hand

Recent reports point out that Indian Ocean is warming at a higher rate than other oceans due to which India may witness increased heat waves and flooding, which will be the irreversible effects of...

Water scarcity looming over urban India

Water scarcity has specifically magnified for most of our Metro cities and especially for cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Pune with depleting groundwater levels, widening of water demand and supply gap and rising...

Prevent encroachments in and around heritage sites

Encroachment in and around the monuments and archaeological sites has been one of the most debated issues and almost in every session of the Parliament our elected members invariably ask questions about the heritage...

Policy initiatives needed to promote smart homes in India

The government has set a very ambitious target of transforming 100 Indian cities into smart cities in next few years. But the fact is that the full potential of smart city cannot be reaped...

‘Global war(n)ming’ bells are ringing

Monsoon has covered almost the entire nation and it has already started (as usual) playing havoc with human lives and property. Some of the cities like in Mumbai life has come to a standstill...

Don’t let the cities to fail

Words like livability, sustainability, mixed use and walkability have become too fashionable in urban development and planning. Though these concepts have noble goals their usage in Indian cities are mostly restricted to plan documents...

We need to device alternative to city master plans

The city master plans are supposed to make proposals/schemes for the provision of various facilities and ensure that the basic amenities/services are in place and in that process they are also supposed to guide...

Adequate housing to poor is the need of the hour

Economists have long been urging to give more emphasis to adequate housing as they recognise it as an important component to public health and social justice. Poor housing quality and lack of access to...

We need to revisit our parking policy

Along with rapid pace of urbanisation and bulging mid-income group population, India has seen an exponential growth in its vehicle population which comes with attendant issues like pollution and scarcity of parking space. In...

We have a lot to learn from the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the extent of our vulnerabilities and inequalities, especially in urban perspective. Cities have been at the forefront of the crisis, as indicated by the scenes of enormous suffering, job...

We need to manage spatial growth better

A building is no longer just a structure with four walls and a roof but often considered as an edifice that gives identity to the city itself. With middle-income countries with high and growing...

Remove bottlenecks on the path of urbanisation

Even though the size of India’s urban population is significant and larger than the population of the United States of America, for its level of income, urbanization appears to be low in India. As per...

We need to act on our promises

Energy sector is the backbone of our economic activities and at the same time is the source of around three‐quarters of greenhouse gas emissions today. Therefore, energy sector holds the key to averting the...

We need to draw our post Covid action plan

Covid-19 which has already been declared as global pandemic by the WHO has affected the normal lives of citizens world over and disrupted their work, causing severe physical, social, and economic distress. In India,...

Create more opportunities in cities

Our future is urban. More than half of the 1.4 billion residents of India are expected to live in urban areas in next few years. Further, our country already has some of the largest...

Our future in cities

Cities account for most of the GDP generated in the country. Meanwhile, they are also responsible for most of the carbon emissions. Further, COVID-19 has made cities seem less attractive as the density and...

Provide stamp duty concessions to Green buildings

Since last few years real estate (especially residential segment) was passing through rough patch and Covid-induced lockdown almost hit a final nail on the coffin with many companies reporting zero revenue for some months...

Some states becoming more vulnerable to climate change

According to recently published report, “Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework” states in eastern part of the country like, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh and...

Let’s not goof up with NUDM

In February this year Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with Ministry of Electronics and IT launched the National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) that aims to create a shared digital infrastructure for urban...

Let’s make our cities liveable first

As India is marching towards becoming the largest country in terms population in the world, every town or city in the country is also growing in terms of its population, housing, traffic and so...

Public participation in development programmes is necessary

With Budget session of 2021 coming to an end, now all eyes will be focused on implementation of the budget proposals, especially the ones relating to urban development. Though some segments of urban development...

Our decarbonisation efforts can help economic recovery

Energy efficiency improvements are vital to global decarbonisation and can directly support the green energy transition by reducing the magnitude of required capacity investment. According to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) statistics, carbon emissions...

We need to take a holistic view of our climate change challenges

Whenever there is a spotlight on issues of sustainability or the urban climate crisis, it is usually the metros that are at the centre of it though the situation is no better in rest...

Its time to evaluate the efficiency of our urban programmes

The rise in the concentration of urban population in recent years vastly outpaces the capacity of local city administration catering to the needs of the people. This challenge is being faced by all the...

Give extra push to urban mobility

In 2020, when the Budget was announced, Coronavirus was just a local problem of China. But in last one year we all know how the local problem of China became a global problem and...

Let’s aim to achieve our economic & environmental goals together

Year 2030 will be an important year (and hopefully a memorable one) – it will be the year by which we have to fulfil our commitment towards climate change under Paris Agreement and also...

PMAY-U slippages should be avoided

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) like its rural counterpart has a noble objective of providing houses for the homeless poor. Under this programme, 1.12 crore houses are aimed to be constructed and that too...

Unorganised labour force to get more benefits

The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman, in her budget speech has indicated that gig, building, and construction-workers are likely to get benefits like health, housing and insurance. The government will launch a portal that will...

Budget – Good job, but could have been better

Going into the making of the Budget 2021, India’s economic condition was precarious as the nation had to spend all its resources in combating the deadly pandemic. So, it was foolhardy to expect anything...

Budget should lay foundation for the new decade

Year 2021 is important because of many reasons. It’s the first year of the new decade and the steps we take now will decide our fate during this decade. Also, 2021 is important because...

We need to learn from Singapore’s experiment on housing

Housing is a basic necessity and in India we are struggling over the years to fulfil this basic need. Housing for all has been the noble objective pursued by governments after governments both at...

Make most of the post pandemic opportunity

Now the city planners will have double challenge – to design city to combat pandemic like Covid-19 and also climate change. Healthcare had neve been a factor, at least in India, in the city...

Challenges and priorities of year 2021

Year 2021 has arrived and along with that new hope has emerged. Availability of vaccines for Covid is a good news but at present only date and year have changed with the challenges of...

Year 2020 was a bad one but taught us some lessons too

At last, year 2020 is coming to an end. The year will be remembered for the devastation caused by the pandemic as millions of lives were lost and many suffered due to disruptions caused...

Corporatisation of public services should be considered as an option

As the urban areas are the places where most of the Indians are going to live in the coming years India has to improve its urban areas to achieve objectives of economic development and...

Improve governance at ULBs level

It’s true that governance is the weakest and most crucial link which needs to be repaired to bring about the urban transformation so urgently needed in India. Funds required for urbanisation are huge and...

Incorporate green energy into urban planning

Nearly 55% of the global population lives in urban areas and this ratio is bound to increase as the pace of urbanisation in highly populated countries like India picks up. Since most of the...

Future urban design should consider social planning too

Urban Design is nothing but understanding, organizing, and shaping relationships between buildings, streets, open spaces, landscape elements, and natural features. However, outbreak of Coronavirus and subsequent impact on human behavioural pattern may add one...

Corporates need to take GHG emission problem seriously

Procurement of renewable energy is one of the faster, relatively economical and more importantly, is the easiest solutions to tackling carbon emissions and as such they have become the natural choice of various agencies,...

Code on Social Security should ensure proper utilisation of BOCW funds

Last week, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment notified the draft rules under the Code on Social Security, 2020 inviting objections and suggestions from the stakeholders. The process was delayed by at least...

Water scarcity is staring at Indian cities

Water is one of the basic necessities of life and it is increasingly becoming scarce not only in India but all around the world. However, in our country the problem is very severe as...

We need to strengthen our antiquities protection system

We have been regularly hearing our rich antiques being regularly auctioned abroad and we are unable to do anything about it. It’s true that administrative negligence and lack of maintenance have led to many...

Prepare cities for bigger role

Cities, migration, and trade have been major catalysts of progress in the developed world over the past two centuries and these stories are now being repeated in the developing world’s most dynamic economies. India...

Promote circular cities

Reducing our carbon footprint should not be restricted to some segments of the economy but should go into everything. Products must be built to last a long time, to be repaired and from materials...

City planners should take parking woes seriously

In India, as elsewhere, one of the signs of the progress is the increasing number of vehicles on roads. Increasing vehicle population come with their own set of problems and now a days the...

We should not divert our focus against global warming

If the coronavirus has diverted our resources and attention from global warming it doesn’t mean that everything is fine on climate front. Some important facts like Siberia seeing its warmest temperature on record this...

We need to be careful while using GIS

As urbanisation becomes increasingly necessary to achieve global economic growth use of modern technologies to attain the ultimate goal is becoming rampant. Geographic information system (GIS) is one such technique which has been increasingly...

Urbanisation is no panacea for all our ills

Urbanization is a modern phenomenon and results in progressive concentration of population in urban unit. In India too urbanisation is taking place and of late quite rapidly. Though only 1/3rd of India’s population now...

We need climate smart cities

Cities in India (and also in many of the developing economies) often lack the capacity to quickly develop measures that respond to climate change, thus leaving residents – especially those at the bottom of...

It is time to convert waste into gold

One of the biggest crimes we are committing on our future generation is by letting the Construction and Demolition waste to really go waste. Of course, there is no conclusive data as to how...

Urbanise with human face

Crisis is not a new thing for our cities – be it Mega city or tier 4 city – all have gone through various crisis  in the past. Every year floods come and go...

We need to revitalize smart city programme

Smart Cities Mission was started on 25th June, 2015 for promoting 100 cities in the country in four different rounds for core infrastructure giving decent quality of life to the citizens for core issue...

We deserve better healthcare facilities in cities

According to a survey conducted by a well known property consultant recently the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to affect people’s choice of residence and its location in the coming days. Other things remaining the...

We need to develop education system to be come ‘Aatma Nirbhar’

Last week the Union Cabinet cleared a new National Education Policy (NEP) proposing sweeping changes in school and higher education. Present National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. Therefore, more...

We need to bring construction workers into mainstream

With cost savings and rapid time to value through efficiency and scale in mind, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and complete automation were discussed in Board Rooms of many companies as a long-term goal and vision...

We need to have long term vision for our cities

Every year Cities in Motion Index (CIMI) ranks cities around the world on the basis of various parameters and this year too they have published the ranking top cities in the world. As usual,...

Let’s aim at labour intensive economic growth

According to Periodic Labour Force Survey (2018-19) 24 % of the workforce is engaged in regular wage salaried jobs offering a steady flow of income and a mere 2.2% in regular salaried jobs with...

COVID-19 should not undermine efforts to fight climate change

Presently the whole world is grappling with the pandemic COVID-19 and containing its spread. However, that should not undermine our fight against climate change and the pace of our efforts to tackle the problem...

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