TERI School of Advanced Studies organizes “Urban Development Conclave” for present and future cities


New Delhi: TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS) organised the first-of-its-kind academia and practitioners led ‘Urban Development Conclave’, to generate awareness and engage in discussion the status of present cities and potential of future Indian cities towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, a commitment to ensure adequate, safe and affordable housing for all, sustainable transport systems, safeguard natural and cultural heritage and reduce environmental impacts of society.

Present on the occasion were Dr. P S N Rao, Director, School of Planning and Architecture Delhi, Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor TERI SAS, along with policymakers, academia from architecture, engineering and planning institutions, early career professionals and practitioners pursuing sustainable urban development projects in various parts of the country. The conclave was organized under three key thematic areas — Design-led solutions for smart and inclusive cities, Redevelopment, place-making and resilient cities and Advance tools and technology for smart built environment.The key speakers reflected on the role of the existing development regime, barriers and potentials for achieving SDG 11 in Indian cities.

In her address, Dr Leena Srivastava emphasised that TERI SAS is dedicated to contribute towards creating a shared knowledge base that facilitates making cities inclusive, sustainable and smarter. “Urbanisation is a challenge and the aim is to look at how India’s cities of the future can meet the demands and requirements placed on them through smarter approaches. We need to change the way we live, work and invest in cities that will only continue to grow. That is why it is vital we provide the next generation with the skills and understanding to become leaders in the design and delivery of sustainable city strategies.”

Dr. P S N Rao, Director, School of Planning and Architecture Delhiin his address emphasised that India for present and future smart cities needs a participative and inclusive approach towards planning, and it is through multiple stakeholders who understand the real-world urban development and management problems, can provide plausible sustainable solutions towards urban development.

Dr. Shaleen Singhal, Professor TERI SAS raised consciousness amongst architects, engineers and planners for designing and planning infrastructure with due diligence as even the single line drawn on paper can have everlasting impact on the experience of citizens and environment. Existing challenges for managing urban development are many and as we continue to grow these will increase. Architects, engineers, geographers, planners and sociologists need to collaborate to address the existing issues of urbanization and be ready for future challenges like disasters, said Ar. Deepty Jain, Lecturer TERI SAS.

India is witnessing consistent growth in urbanization (2.7% annually Desa 2015). It is expected that by 2025, India will be more than 50% urbanized (U.S.Energy Information Administration 2013). Urbanization in India is bringing with it enormous challenges of degrading infrastructure supply, inadequate housing, inequity, increasing pollution levels, declining health, increasing vulnerability and so on. As per Census (2011), India is likely to add 315 million urban populations to the existing base of 300 million persons by the year 2040. Addressing these issues requires aligning existing development and policies with SDG11. The existing policy regime in India identifies cities as engine

of economic growth. The government has adopted various policies and schemes like AMRUT, HRIDAY and Smart Cities Mission to fund urban local bodies. The aim is to upgrade and improve infrastructure, conserve identity and use smart technologies for optimizing resources, better service provision and better quality of life.

The inauguration was followed by the first focused panel discussion on ‘Design-led solutions for smart and inclusive cities’ moderated by Dr. Abhijit Datey from TERI SAS with panel members Ms. Anjlee Agarwal, Founder Samarthyam who spoke on Designing for all: barrier free environment, and Mr. Pradeep Sachdeva, a leading Landscape Architect who focussed on ‘Renewal of Heritage Precincts- A Challenge’.

The second panel discussion was on Redevelopment, place-making and resilient cities moderated by Dr. Bhawna Bali from TERI SAS with panel members Ms. Prathama Dolas from GRIHA who spoke on Instituting green concepts in existing buildings and Dr. Divya Sharma, Senior Consultant and Portfolio Leader, Urban Policy and Planning – Oxford Policy Management Limited(India office) who gave expert remarks on Climate Resilient Cities – the need of the hour.

The last panel discussion was on Advance tools and technology for smart built environment moderated by Dr. Nithiyanandam Yogeswaran from TERI SAS with panel members Mr Rajendra Kumar, a leading architect who spoke on Urban Dynamism of Indian Cities and Global Examples and Ms Ruchi Varma, Program Manager, Open Cities Institute, Community Systems Foundation who spoke on the role of data for sustainable urban development.

The expected outcome of this event is to create a cadre of informed academicians and students as agents of change for sustainable urban development, fostering the Smart city revolution in India. The event saw participation from 100+ candidates, representation from 15 academic institutes and 11 organizations both government and private working in the areas related to urban development.