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C&D wastes present massive opportunity for circular economy

Estimates suggest that the average generation of construction & demolition (C&D) waste in India works out to approximately 12 million tonnes per year. Experts are of the opinion that India will see the scale...

Saving the planet from future disasters

World is facing the stark reality of increasing disasters, climate change and environmental degradation. As a result, communicating about reducing and avoiding the creation of new risk, is more important than ever before. Cascading...

Global sand scarcity is staring at us 

Sand is an essential building block of human life (as a commodity used in infrastructure, electronics, etc.), of life support functions (ecosystem services) and for maintaining biodiversity. Achieving the SDGs will require the building...

How to mitigate urban emissions

According to the latest report by International Panel on Climate Change, in 2020, total urban emissions (including CO2 and CH4) derived from consumption-based accounting were estimated to be 28.5 ± 0.1 GtCO2-eq, representing between...

Bus depot designing may throw new opportunities for architects

In most of the cities in India Public Mass Transit systems is the most neglected public services. Lack of knowledge about their significance, poor condition and lack of funds with local governments – all...

Multiple challenges ahead to make buildings net zero

According to UN report, global direct and indirect GHG emissions in 2019 from buildings and emissions from cement and steel use for building construction and renovation were 12 GtCO2-eq. Emissions from these sources include...

As Covid threat starts waning climate risk back in focus

Climate change is increasingly affecting marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems and ecosystem services, water and food security, settlements and infrastructure, health and wellbeing, and economies and culture, especially through compound stresses and events. Regional...

PMAY (U) enters crucial phase

Like in any other part of the world, urbanisation is happening in India, of late quite rapidly. At current rate of growth, urban population in India is estimated to reach a staggering 575 million...

Steps need to be taken on war footing to become net zero

Mumbai city’s decision to become net zero by 2050 will require some behavioural transformation by the Mumbaikars. Though any change faces resistance (at least initially), creating awareness among the citizens about the need for...

Mumbai to become net zero by 2050

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, has recently signed the C40 Cities Deadline 2020 commitment, that aligns with the Paris Agreement, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero by 2050. The decision...

Govt proposes new building construction environment management rules

There was a time when environment was not considered as an integral component of development process, but it is now being universally acknowledged that for development to be sustainable, it must factor environmental concerns....

Will East European conflict derail our economic recovery?

Escalating geo-political tension between Russian and Ukraine is having global ramifications. Many Western nations (NATO countries) have announced sanctions on Russia which will not only cripple its economy but also will have its impact...

Better legal framework needed to tackle encroachments at heritage sites

India has a rich and diverse historical cultural heritage which is reflected in the numerous historical sites and monuments existing across the country. Some of them are recognised by UNESCO, some by the central...

Challenges in India’s Museum management

India is a land of rich cultural heritage and museums are a wonderful medium through which they can be propagated. 1000+ museums that we have should be used for not just showcasing and preserving...

Omicron affects business but marginally

There are signs of Covid Attack 3.0 abating as many states have started relaxing localised lockdown norms, much earlier than one would have anticipated. But the pandemic is withdrawing not before disrupting the normal...

Budget brings out some hard facts

Budget 2022-23 is special one – not because the Finance Minister delivered her shortest budget speech but because it delved into some of the long term challenges of the country. Nobody in this country...

Cement & building materials sector may get boost from the budget

The uneven recovery post the pandemic raises questions about the sustainability of demand and consequently the strength of economic recovery. Due to the kind of economic condition we are in, the fiscal policy tends...

What to expect from the budget?

We are in the second half of January and the countdown for the Budget has begun. Along with that people’s expectations from the budget too will start rising, especially in view of multiple issues...

Will the Budget-23 give boost to EV charging infrastructure?

As India embarks on its ambitious journey towards sustainable mobility, a robust charging infrastructure will play a pivotal role. With the growing number of EVs, the need for development of large network of charging...

House registrations in Mumbai rise on MoM basis

Monthly house registrations in Mumbai during December decreased 51% YoY to 9,681 units. The decline was mainly because the stamp duty rate was at its lowest level of 2% in the same period last...

We may have to change the way we do business in 2022

You can’t expect people to be patient anymore – no matter in what sense you are using the word “patient” – either as adjective or as noun. Two years are too long a period...

Retrospect 2021 – Some milestones crossed, many to follow

It has been nearly two years since we have gone into a sort of hibernation. Though lockdowns have been relaxed and streets no longer give deserted looks, we still live under the threat of...

Retrospect 2021 – Recovery amidst uncertainty

In 2021 it was two-track recovery as was in the previous year with large/organised players recovering earlier and faster from covid-shock while small/informal players lagging and losing market share to larger ones. This is...

It’s the time to create waste-wise cities

With mere 18 percent waste treatment capacity in 2014, India’s waste management efficiency was extremely critical and posed huge challenges towards the environment. From 18 per cent waste processing capacity in 2014 to 70...

Will Covid play spoilsport again?

When everything seemed to be rolling back to normalcy, the monster of Covid-19 has raised its head once again sending shivers down the spine of government as well as public at large. As the...

Our future lies in Design for Disassembly

Natural resources are not unlimited in supply and conserving them should be one of our priorities. One of the ways to conserve them is through recycling the used material wherever possible. There are lot...

Hurdles on the path of green building

Series of global events (in most of which India is at the forefront) in the recent past underline urgency among the global leaders to transform how we develop and manage the built environment. Many...

Do tall buildings increase city’s temperature?

Tall buildings are the signs of economic prosperity and technological superiority. The tall building is the most dominating symbol of the cities and a human-made marvel that defies gravity by reaching to the clouds....

Net Zero – Clock has started ticking

The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, on 1st November made a bold statement at COP26 Summit in Glasgow according to which by the year 2070, India would achieve the target of Net...

Why we fail to tackle/avoid fire accidents?

Although fires have long been part of the built environment, they are becoming more frequent, more widespread, and more intense nowadays. Many point to the increased population (in cities) and cluttered construction as the...

We need to move fast on ECBC implementation

Rising crude oil prices, shortage of coal and the adverse effects of increased use of fossil fuel on climate change have once again turned the focus on ‘Energy Efficiency.’ Energy efficiency provides considerable potential...

Architecture education in India

Architecture education in India is evolving, both in terms of number of institutions offering education as well as the number of students graduating themselves every year. The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), launched in...

A Quick-Fix for multiple issues plaguing our cities

Even after spending billions of rupees year after year most of our cities or most of the parts of all the cities are characterised by subhuman living conditions. Most of our cities, even after...

Does urban planning education need a revamp?

It’s a well-accepted fact that while urban planning is essential to solve the pressing urban problems of the 21st century, the professional planning practices in place have not always been able to keep pace...

Urbanisation in India is confronted with multiple issues

When we think about Indian cities the issues that occur to our mind are lack of availability of serviced land, traffic congestion, pressure on basic infrastructure, extreme air pollution, urban flooding, water scarcity and...

Recovery is visible but some dark clouds are looming

It has been nearly 18 months since we have gone into a sort of hibernation. Though lockdowns have been relaxed and streets no longer give deserted looks, but we still live under the threat...

The ‘Supertech’ judgment clears many doubts 

Recently delivered judgment by the Supreme Court in Supertech case is a landmark one that straightened many curved lines and also gave clarifications on several issues. The SC bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud...

Is ZLD next destination in our urban planning?

Wherever man and animals exist, they are bound to create wastes, both solid and liquid. Though, of late, much noise is being created about the management of solid waste in cities, treating the liquid...

Are cities a better place to live in?

It’s a well-known fact that today more than half of world’s population lives in cities (urban areas). According to some reports, cities are home to 55% of the world’s population. This number is increasing,...

Creating EV charging infra is a tricky issue

India being one of the prominent supporters of the global [email protected] campaign, which targets to have at least 30% new vehicle sales be electric by 2030 has an uphill task to create sufficient infrastructure...

Is land use change causing climate change?

Here is one global phenomenon that is not going to show any bias based on gender or economic/social status, location or age and is going to impact one and all the same way. Yes,...

It’s time not to let construction waste to go waste

The biggest problem about the construction and demolition waste in India is that we do not know how much waste we generate every year. In the absence of any conclusive data about the waste...

India facing multiple challenges in protecting its monuments

Last one week or so has been very good for Indian heritage lovers as the UNESCO inscribed both the nominations from India on its World Heritage List. In fact, since last few years, India...

Smart homes are the way forward

Union Power Minister, Shri RK Singh recently said that building sector is second largest consumer of electricity after industry but it is expected to become the largest energy consuming sector by 2030. But looking...

Economy is set for a faster recovery

With most of the states readying themselves to face the possible third wave we could safely assume that the second wave is now under control. But that doesn’t mean that life could roll back...

Making cities responsive and responsible

Nearly two years have passed during which majority of the people were confined to four walls for most of the time to avoid the spread of pandemic. They have been living in fear and...

The ‘E’ factor is gaining credence among the private sector

The term ‘Environment’ has been the most neglected (and often the most hated) term among the business community. But the tides are changing – changing for the better. The industry seems to be realising...

Are we becoming brand conscious?

One of the most important factors an Indian consumer look out for while shopping is the value for his money – maximum value for minimum cost. Only those companies who have been able to...

Post pandemic we may have to devise new design rules

Social distancing rules, movement restrictions, cluster lockdowns and the associated increase in working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic are having an impact on the way we live and behave and going forward some...

To become liveable our cities may have to grow skywards

As cities grow in population, they need floor space which can be made available by expanding outward, inward, upward, or—more usually—along all three margins to varying degrees. Low economic demand for land and floor...

Economy’s condition is bad but not hopeless

Recently announced GDP figures have thrown some surprises giving fresh hopes of quick recovery of the economy which is undergoing lockdown 2.0 due to second wave of Covid-19. Though the first wave and the...

EV charging infra is a new business opportunity with huge potential

Indian unit of Amazon has recently announced that it would deploy 100 electric three wheelers in seven cities in India. Not to be left behind, its competitor, Flipkart owned by Walmart has also announced...

Making buildings ‘net zero’ is the next challenge

Presently all our resources and time are deployed to fight the Coronavirus which has already killed lakhs of people world over. With the successful invention of vaccines and medicines to fight the pandemic we...

Will construction sector get derailed by steel price surge?

Construction sector in India is very important not only because of its share in our GDP but also its being the second largest employment provider, that too largely for unskilled labour. Last year when...

Is 3D Printing the future of construction?

Recently a small house measuring 600 square feet in Chennai was inaugurated by our Finance Minister (virtually). Though the news on the face of it looked strange but it conveyed the significance of the...

Will rural India help the economic revival?

Urbanisation is the in thing today and India too is not an exception to this trend though the rate (of urbanisation) is much slower here as compared to that in China. Today, in India...

Let down by lockdown

So, lockdown has come into play in Maharashtra and also in some other states while the whole country is shivering under Covid-19. In addition, many countries have issued negative travel advisories to their citizens...

NUDM – The good, bad and ugly side of the new mission

The National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) launched by the government in February this year like any other government programmes has ambitious goals. We have a long history of launching programmes for the public good...

Why our slum rehabilitation programs failed?

As per 2011 census, 377 million people (31% of the total population) in India lived in cities and of these, 65 million (27% of the urban population) lived in slums. This challenge (of sizeable...

Will the second wave disrupt economic recovery?

It has been more than a year since India went into nationwide lockdown. Though since then the lockdown restrictions have been gradually relaxed, life has not yet become business as usual for most of...

We need to start ‘Rain Water Harvesting’ mission

Last week the whole world observed ‘World Water Day’ and in India too several announcements were made to conserve water and provide tapped water to everyone. Though water is a basic necessity it’s a...

Reforms at ULB level is need of the hour

Municipalities or urban local bodies play a vital role in determining the health or condition of our cities and the way the things are managed. Urbanisation to move on the decided path will largely...

Infra fails to catch up with urbanisation in India

India has been a rural economy with majority of its population living in villages. But that may not remain so for long as urban India is fast catching up. In few years (may be...

Will ever development Vs environment debate abate?

Fight between development and environment has been going on since long and the battle seems to be unending. Though both can coexist as has been the case with many countries, in India they are...

We need to act fast to take advantage of opportunities

While COVID-19 has disrupted the world economy it has also has presented an opportunity for India in attracting investment and manufacturing companies. Owing to its liberal FDI policy, strong macroeconomics fundamentals, its democratic governance...

Liberalised geospatial data regime can help city planning

The Government recently announced liberalised guidelines for geospatial data in the country. By liberalizing the geospatial guidelines, the government has taken a crucial decision that may lead to a One Lakh Crore Rupees Geo-Spatial...

Is Singapore’s model of housing worth emulating?

Housing is a basic necessity but creating enough housing stocks is a big problem in a country like ours where population is increasing and urbanisation is picking up pace. Several models have been tried...

Budget 21-22: Execution is key to the success

The first budget of the new decade has laid the road map not only for the next financial year but also for the entire decade. Yes, this budget is different from the earlier ones...

Why steel & cement prices rising?

Recent surge in steel and cement prices, which by no standards a normal one, has surprised many, including many in the government. While the user industries allege cartelisation and price manipulation by the suppliers,...

As expectation run high FM has little options

The economic situation prevailing in India is reminiscent of the one prevailing in 1990 when the country had faced severe foreign exchange crisis. The only difference was then we had a minority government at...

Need to have a re-look at green rating system

Buildings have extensive direct and indirect impact on our environment. This is due to the fact that during their construction, occupation, renovation, and demolition, buildings use energy, water, and materials, generate waste, and emit...

SC verdict on Central Vista project deals with some interesting issues

Central Vista project is much debated project and this debate finally took the project to Supreme Court. SC in its order has touched upon various issues affecting the project. Some of its observations and...

Year 2021 begins with a ray of hope

Every new year begins with new hope and it is more so with year 2021 as we just said goodbye to one of the worst years ever seen by our generation. Of course, there...

Retrospect 2020 – Part II

One of the positive things to have happened in 2020 is the improvement in air quality during most part of the year. The year showed us how and why the air quality deteriorates and...

Retrospect -2020, Part-I

It has been a COVIDful year for us where every action of ours and that of governments focused mainly on tackling the deadly virus and saving millions of lives. Coronavirus, lockdowns, social distancing and...

States need to go for unified development regulations

Recently Maharashtra government came out with Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulations (UDCPR) making it applicable for all municipal corporations, planning authorities, special planning authorities, municipalities and nagar panchayats except for few agencies/corporations/authorities. The...

Decarbonisation in building sector happening slowly

It has been five year since the nations signed landmark Paris Agreement and adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Stock taking after five years of agreement reveals some interesting trends in and...

Is modular construction a solution for air pollution

Recently Central Public Works Department made news when it employed 'Dry Construction Technology' to build two office buildings in Delhi. This may be a major milestone in Indian construction sector as the government’s premier...

Is World Heritage Program becoming ineffective?

Recently, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a presidential decree which in effect turned Hagia Sophia, a 1,500 year building into a mosque. Hagia Sophia is not an ordinary heritage site but UNESCO inscribed...

Businessmen are turning cautiously optimistic

Just a few months ago Indian economy was in shambles – unemployment was at its peak, reverse migration of migrant workers was in full flow and closed factories, mounting death toll due to COVID-19...

India needs to be aggressive in its green building push

India has committed to reducing emissions by 33-35 per cent, increasing non-fossil based power capacity and reducing carbon by almost three billion tonnes by 2030. Further, India with the second highest population, has a...

Is construction sector crawling back to normalcy?

Now the common question that is doing rounds in everyone’s mind is “Is the economy back to normal?”. However, answer to this simple question is difficult to come by as the economic environment has...

How cool homes add to global warming

It’s a common knowledge that as the world temperature is going up every year the need for cooling our living spaces (and working spaces) also is going up. But what we have failed realise...

Is our Master Plan approach of city development flawed one?

A master plan of an urban area is a dynamic long-term planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development. Master planning of a city is about making the connection...

Is NCR development a missed opportunity?

Delhi, the National Capital had been facing unprecedented growth after independence which had been a cause of serious concern to the Central Government because growth also comes with some challenges. Growth attracts not only...

Will ’15 minute city’ concept solve our urban problems?

Just two centuries ago, the world was dominantly rural and cities were exceptions. However, if the present pace of urbanisation continues, in less than a century reverse of this will happen where most of...

It’s a long road ahead for hospitality sector in energy conservation

It is estimated that India has more than 1.9 million hotels across the country and about 90 million hotel rooms. Of course, majority of them are medium and small sized and are below the...

Ambiguities may make proposed social security code less effective

‘The Code on Social Security, 2019’ was introduced in Lok Sabha last year in December and was subsequently referred to the Standing Committee on Labour to complete the examination. The Code is the result...

Despite Q1 dip, realtors are hopeful of speedy recovery

Year 2019 was a difficult year with low economic growth and palpable slowdown in business activity over multiple years resulting in 11-year low GDP growth of 4.2%. Rubbing salt to the injury was COVID-19...

Construction sector contracts by 50% in Q1

What we all were fearing about has come true – India’s GDP has shrunk by 24% in the first quarter of current financial year. Within a matter of few quarters India has transformed herself...

We need to charge up our building laws to promote EVs

The transition towards electric mobility offers India not only an opportunity to improve efficiency and transform the transport sector but also addresses several issues that the country is currently grappling with like mounting crude...

New regulations on architecture education is welcome step in many ways

It is expected that the Minimum Standards of Architecture Education Regulations, 2020 released recently by the Council of Architecture (COA) will go a long way in aligning the architectural education with the National Education...

We need to have an effective Green Building Code

While the lessons learnt from COVID-19 lockdown may not solve our environmental challenges, they will definitely add to the toolbox available for achieving the our decarbonization goals, and underscore the urgency of solving intractable...

Future uncertain but industry hopeful

Cornonavirus is an evil we have to live with, at least in the short term. It cannot be an excuse for our economic under performance any longer. Meanwhile, it’s also true that an economy...

Will REITs provide lifeline to real estate industry?

Though in India the first REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) issue hit the market only in April 2019 (Embassy Office Parks REIT IPO), the concept has been in vogue in the financial world since...

Sand shortage is a global problem

Sand is an important ingredient in concrete and is also widely used in the making of glass, electronics and even in shale gas fracking. Its estimated that sand is the most-consumed natural resource on...

Slum rehabilitation won’t reduce urban density

Slum rehabilitation is attracting lot of attention especially after the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country. Though slums might have fuelled the spread of pandemic but are not responsible for its outbreak. Still slum...

Will COVID-19 prove to be gamechanger for e-commerce?

COVID-19 is playing havoc with human lives not only in India but all over the world. Not only lakhs of lives have been lost, the pandemic has pushed the world economy into one of...

Are these green shoots real?

Recently the Prime Minister, Mr Modi in an interaction with the Chief Ministers of the states said that Green Shoots in the economy are visible meaning the economy is on the path of recovery...

Overhauling of ASI is needed

India has one of the largest volumes of and diversity in heritage in the world. India has 38 heritage and cultural sites declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. We have 3,691 monuments in...

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