Sumit Kaur, a former UT Chief Architect, and Kapil Setia, Chief Architect, Department of Urban Planning, presented a summary of the Master Plan-2031, notified by the UT on August 15 this year.
Speaking vociferously over the city being slum-free according to the plan, Sumit offered very little perspective while reasoning the development of rural areas surrounding the city, which would evidently amount to the urban development within the city. “Though Corbusier was averse to the idea of industrial areas, we are planning to develop the Industrial Area III at Mauli Jagran,” she said.
Rahul Mehrotra, who teaches at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, presented his vision of the city as he compared it to Mumbai and the grids made for habitation at Kumbh Mela. He questioned the basic idea of modernisation and urbanisation as defined by the Smart City Mission. “Are smart cities the elite phase of modernism,” he asked while referring to the issue of Chandigarh’s periphery, especially villages.
He stressed that the green infrastructure and the way to use it without spoiling the genetic code of the city held the key and that one had to find a balance between urbanisation and traditional infrastructure and functionality of the city’s architecture.
Jagan Shah, director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs, shared that the Smart City Mission was based on the mixed land use to discover the potential of sustainability.