Experts batted for green energy and sustainable development as an integral part of urban development in the planning stage, during the two-day deliberation session on Delhi’s Master Plan 2041, which concluded Wednesday. Attendees also stressed on the need for technology in future urban planning.
“Cities should not view expansion of road networks as an exercise to accommodate the growing number of vehicles. Every time a local government spends a rupee, it should see if it is supporting the planet and environment. If not, there is no need for promoting it,” said chief resilience officer of Paris, Sebastien Maire.
Bipin Kumar, co-founder of Gaia Smart Cities, a company engaged in providing technological solutions, said, “As urban planners, we have data, but we need more cooperation. We must share this data on common platforms so that everyone has access to it. It should not be that one must file an RTI to get it. This will lead to constant evaluation of services provided by agencies. Data being in public domain will naturally lead to better performance because you know that you are being judged.”
DDA officials, who attended the session, said there were five key takeaways — ensuring local participation in future planning; promoting green energy for transportation in Delhi, including more cycling networks and focus on public transport; adopting innovative exercises for revival of Yamuna; development of unauthorised colonies; and use of technology and data in the formation of the master plan.
“We are also in talks with authorities on developing schools, dispensaries and parks in unauthorised colonies and making them more planned,” said a DDA official.
Jagan Shah, Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs, said planning has to focus on parks and railways as well. C R Babu, a Delhi University Professor, added that DDA’s biodiversity parks have become global models of conservation of urban environmental sustainability and is ready for replication elsewhere.
He said the parks in which schools and colleges are stakeholders serve as an important instrument in recharging ground water and climate control.