Electric buses with no emissions will run in Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. The suggestion by the master architect of Amaravati — UK-based architects Foster and Partners — to use only eco-friendly, non-polluting public transport, especially buses, was approved by the government on Wednesday. Unmanned electric buses will run on roads of Amaravati administrative city with dedicated stops, said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu after a meeting with Foster and Partners at Vijayawada.
He added that only electric buses and vehicles will be permitted to ply in the city to avoid pollution. Based on the suggestions that were received earlier, Foster and Partners and architect Hafeez Contractor, the Indian partner to contribute local design ideas, came up with a broad plan. Foster and Partners made a presentation titled “Amaravati-The People’s Capital – Building a Sustainable Vision”. The presentation highlighted the need for integrating green and blue spaces. It said the city would consist of 51 per cent green, 10 per cent water, 14 per cent road and 25 per cent building footprint in the new capital,’’ an official said.
Foster’s representatives said public parks with natural landscapes and plants would come up in the city. They suggested that educational buildings and institutions should be distributed and priority should be given to local materials and products to facilitate growth, development and jobs. Under the concept of “Building Civic Pride: The People’s Capital” , they said government complexes should be open to all, cultural buildings should be integrated within green and blue areas, city squares and urban squares should be inclusive and attractive. They suggested that canal sides should be used as public areas. With regard to sustainable energy use, Chris Bubb of Foster and Partners said that energy consumption demand should be reduced by 40-60 per cent and solar energy should be used.
For sustainable water usage, the representatives suggested rainwater harvesting and stormwater management should be introduced. They also proposed that recycled water from sewage treatment plants should be used for irrigation. To promote Andhra Pradesh’s culture, heritage and arts, the representatives said the architectural heritage should be represented in the arrangement and format of buildings and spaces.
Integration of local arts and culture of all 13 districts was being considered. Amaravati would not just be a modern city but will emerge as a smart city. Ideas were also given for safeguarding environment and to make Amaravati a walkable city. Natural walkable environments, streets and courtyards with greenery and shading were mentioned. The architects suggested that passive building designs should be considered. Vehicle-free zones was another suggestion that Foster and Partners suggested. They stressed dedicated bicycle and pedestrian routes and use of canals for water taxis.
Chris Bubb, Rob Harrison, Rob Seymour and Harsh Thapar from Foster and Partners said they had studied a number of cities in the world to understand the arrangement of buildings and that they have included all those studies, ideas in the plan that they presented Wednesday. Hafeez Contractor, Nishant Gupta from the office of Hafeez Contractor, Achyut Watve from JW Consultants were also present at the meeting.