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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Blame The Cities

Speaking on the theme ‘Cities and Climate Change’ on Monday, Urban Designer and Planner and adjunct faculty at RV School of Architecture Brinda Sastry said it was imperative to concentrate on making cities resilient. Incidently, it is also the theme of World Habitat Day on Monday.

The UN General Assembly designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea was to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

“While cities occupy only two per cent of the surface area, they are responsible for 75 per cent of energy consumption and 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions,” she said. To combat this, the cities need to be planned in a sustainable and green way, which can be done by sharing knowledge between government, city planners, civil societies and scientific communities.

One of the examples in making a resilient city is the change in land use pattern. Concentrating and preserving natural environment will help mitigate problems of deforestation for agriculture or construction activities.

“Land use patterns will be important factors in determining the emissions from the cities. Designing multi-transport roads and using building materials that are renewable would go a long way in reducing carbon emission in the long run, Sastry said. India is the second most vulnerable country to climate change, as per the study conducted by Maplecroft, UK-based risk advisory company.

Housing issue for poor
The International Co-operation Division of BMS Education Trust in collaboration with UN Habitat organised a seminar on the occasion of World Habitat Day. Sate Housing Department, Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Co-operation Limited and Karnataka Slum Development Board participated in the seminar.

Prof Dr Ing H R Viswanath, executive chairman, International Co-operation Division, BMS Education Trust, drew attention to the theme - Cities and Climate Change – which had become a prominent development challenge of the 21st century.


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