“If you look at the town planning regulations of say 1930’s, ground coverage of 30% was the maximum allowed thus the buildings of that period and the cities in general had similar % of built area, which is now reversed in the name of controlling the urban spread of settlements. I always wondered how the latter was more dangerous than loosing open and un-interfered nature!? Now the present calamity rekindles my question”, says Ravindra Gundu Rao, Ravi Gundu Rao and Associates
Earth Day 2020 theme is Global Waste and Climate Action. Can Gender equality play a role?
Global waste: In my observation, we have reached considerable gender equality in Waste Generation and therefore can and shall play a huge role and hopefully before it is too late!
Climate change: With high rises, felling of trees, removing of lakes and forests, and destroying nature’ reserves, we are going to piping designated hell; all know it and yet like the flies running towards fire, in search of known and guaranteed disaster. The quality of thinking of our leaders, town and rural planners, quality of education we receive, and our own intellect in making our choices in all above, is reflected in today’s situation.
Tree plantation? or planting what?
I think we as co-existing animals that consume much more than other members of the animal kingdom must plan our rapidly urbanised living where about 70% or more of earth’s surface shall be left untouched, which will take care of much of the problem. Then work towards lower consumption and aim to up the scale to about 85%. If you look at the town planning regulations of say 1930’s, ground coverage of 30% was the maximum allowed thus the buildings of that period and the cities in general had similar % of built area, which is now reversed in the name of controlling the urban spread of settlements. I always wondered how the latter was more dangerous than loosing open and un-interfered nature!? Now the present calamity rekindles my question.
We have been continuously reading about air pollution in metros of India and the government measures to control…
We have lost the ambition with a death wish, with wrong people leading us and Planners have turned political aides with their technical brain and their professional mores switched off/sold. If there is an odd exception, he/she will not be allowed by the system to stay in relevant position for long.
Which project gave you the biggest break in this profession?
Recycling Ahilya Waada, Maheshwar, MP
Maheshwar projects that I have been involved since 1997 and continue to do so have given immense satisfaction for several reasons. Great friendships found, happiness of users, economic sustainability it provides for itself, some recognition from a far away home from home, proving the power of weak traditional materials, above all, being a part of a significant cultural history of the land in a seamless manner. All happening without a plan as a part of a larger serendipity!
Do you have any role model whose traits you often follow?
Geofrey Bawa, Nari Ghandi, B.S,Bhooshan, (all three for their spontaneous relation with nature B.V. Rajgopal for his simplicity of approach to architecture and education, B. Shivram – my ex boss for his ability to inspire without trying to, and score of others including modern masters like Hadid, Foster, Corea and others.
Having come this far, what next?
Will leave it as I did most of the time, for serendipity that has served so well. Ambition being a part of future of education, writing (an activity that has eluded my conscious effort), who knows, even a few more good projects on the lines of Maheshwar experience!