The need to have planned development, ways to decongest cities and create better living and working spaces were discussed at a panel discussion, organised here on Friday by Business India Exhibitions on “The Many Shades of India”.

Architect Philip Fowler of Fowler & Fowler Associates spoke on the way Indian cities had been planned. He drew parallels between New Delhi, Paris and Washington. “We are looking at new modernism with a global concept and rising from hamlets, villages, towns and metropolis to megapolis.”

Architect M. Bhuvanasundar of Sundar Sundaram Architects said architecture of India was rooted in its culture. Social and cultural spaces should be incorporated while planning a city.

Architect Geetha Karthikeyan of Karthi Geetha Associates said earlier buildings in the country were influenced by its climate. The structures had large court yards and pools. She suggested use of some of the age-old technologies that responded to the area's climate. Local materials and the new ones should be used in harmony and the buildings should have a reference to the area where these was located.

Architect Siddarth Sankar of Sankar & Associates said urban landscape in India was pre-dominantly horizontal growth with mixed land use. Vertical growth could be a solution.

Architect Arun Prasad of Arun & Associates suggested development of satellite towns to decongest cities. The focus should be on infrastructure development. Large-scale developments should have the inputs of architects, he said.

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