The West Bengal government’s Green City Mission and other green building programmes offer an excellent opportunity for early action which can lead to resource savings and lesser environmental impacts, but only if it adapts sustainability guidelines and performance monitoring benchmarks says Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the New Delhi-based research and advocacy think tank. CSE recently conducted a workshop in the city on this issue, in association with the Institute of Town Planners of India, West Bengal Regional Chapter.
West Bengal has embarked on its Green City Mission and is offering incentive programmes for green-rated buildings. It is critical to ensure and monitor that these green initiatives are leading to real resource savings and minimizing environmental impacts, said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE, while addressing the workshop.
Cities are high-growth areas and need robust urban planning principles and technical and administrative preparedness to curb the environmental fallouts of aggressive building construction and urban expansion. Cities will have to focus on compactness of urban form, architectural design and efficient technologies for energy efficiency, appropriate choices of building material, operational management, and strong monitoring. Otherwise, new habitats can become unliveable and environmentally unviable, Roychowdhury added.
Titled Green Cities Mission: A Dialogue on Urban Sustainability, the workshop, held on March 10, had brought together a large body of stakeholders to deliberate on the sustainability norms, rules and guidelines for buildings and built areas to be integrated with the building clearance process as well as to look at specific issues and strategies of energy efficiency, water and waste management, construction and demolition (C&D) waste, and role of green areas in built environment.