I attended the workshop at Sonnet today, after being exempted from the High Court where I had to appear first thing in the morning.
I learnt a lot. Some things that stuck:
(1) We must follow an alternate path for development. We must recognise that the city system is a living organism, and planning must aim to re-inforce the natural fluxes (water, sun, wind etc). For example, streets must be laid keeping wind direction in view.
(2) Walk to work: socially acceptable compact city form must be developed.
(3) Energy efficient, climate resilient city design
(4) Comfort of public space (no rushing from one air conditioned zone to another ac zone in an ac vehicle). Linear green and blue open spaces (I also thought of Shantiniketan's Chhatimtala).
(5) Behaviour change (cycle for poor, car for rich: change mindset)
(6) Freight transport management
(7) RRR (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), PPPP (Public Private people Partnership)
(8) French drain (perforated drainage pipes to allow groundwater recharging) & permeable pavements
(9) Congestion tax to subsidise cycles
I also made a few remarks.
It was a pleasure meeting Jeffry again: I thought what he said made sense. It was gratifying to note that even Dr Johannes Flacke was in the audience: I knew he'd be flying back to Germany today. Interacting and hearing Prof Misra and other speakers were also great.
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In the evening, I was in a lively panel discussion at the Palladium Lounge. It was organised by Young Indians / CII. I remembered that I attended one event of CII/Yi last year too, when I was in the Election Commission. It was great meeting Dr Kedia once again.
This time we talked on Innovations in Urbanisation. I thought it went off well. At the end (after saying a lot of other things including citizen behaviour change, I suggested that we should launch a campaign "Amaar Kolkata" (My Calcutta). I thought it struck a chord with the audience