Mumbai

Experts bat for responsible development

Dikshu C. Kukreja

Dikshu C. Kukreja  

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Political influence on the architectural sector also discussed on first day of FOAID

The first day of the Festival of Architecture and Interior Designing (FOAID) 2019 witnessed a discussion on the need for responsible development and planning in the architectural sector on Friday.

The FOAID was kicked off at MMRDA Ground in BKC and the discussion was held between Dikshu C. Kukreja, principal architect of CP Kukreja Architects, and Patrick Schumacher, principal architect of Zaha Hadid Architects, London.

Patrick Schumacher

Patrick Schumacher  

The two-day annual festival provides a platform to architects and designers to come together through ideas, opinions, and exhibitions, and the first day saw participants from all over the world.

“Climate change is a crucial issue and one of the reasons for it is that we have allowed cities to expand. As a result, a lot of energy has been spent in terms of transportation, construction, natural resources etc. While densification is an important aspect, sustainable balance should be taken into account. The solution doesn’t lie in over-densifying the city. There is a limit to it,” Mr. Kukreja said.

Mr. Schumacher, citing examples of the streets and vehicular congestion in London, said buses and taxis running on diesel have to stop plying as they cause disturbance for pedestrians.

The two experts talked about the political influence on the architectural sector.

“The narrative here is to keep the politicians out and come up with more private initiatives. We should rely on community leaders, landowners, civic leaders, and leaders of business. They should be in power,” Mr. Schumacher said.

Mr. Kukreja brought up the importance of a community-based decision on architectural motives. “We should have a voice in the shaping of our cities. Collective decision based on community participation is the model we need to follow in the 21st century. It is working well for countries like Scandinavia and Canada.”

Citing the example of Aarey forest being affected for the construction of a Metro car shed, Mr. Kukreja said people’s concerns are not taken into consideration while planning development projects. He also recommended interest groups who can conduct discussions on responsible development and come up with ideas and concerns.

Mr. Kukreja stressed the need for eliminating architectural planning on the basis of aesthetic values. “While looking over responsible planning, beauty becomes too cosmetic. Development needs to be responsible. The main agenda is to ensure livability.”

Mr. Schumacher said, “We always navigate the spaces by intuition, which we feel stimulated or attracted by. I think aesthetic values have shifted. But I don’t think we can absolutely dismiss this aspect.”

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 9:03:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/experts-bat-for-responsible-development/article30119882.ece

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