INTERNATIONAL AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE
The conference is open to individual and group paper presentations. Those willing to present their papers are invited to submit their proposals from November 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019. The selected proposals will be communicated to their authors between December 2018 and February 2019.
Homo sapiens, “the wise human”, will become Homo sapiens urbanus in virtually all regions of the planet (UN-HABITAT VIII). By 2030 all developing regions, including Asia and Africa, will have more people living in urban than rural areas. Africa and Asia together will account for 86 % of urban growth in the world over the next four decades. Africa’s urban population will increase from 414 million to over 1.2 billion by 2050 while that of Asia will soar from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion. Huge increase in urban population is expected in, India, China, Nigeria, the United States and Indonesia with addition of 497 million, 341 million, 200 million, 103 million, and 92 million, respectively (UN News 2012).
India, for example, was 63% ‘urban’ in 2015 — more than double the urbanization rate estimated by the 2011 Census. There was 56% of Rural-Urban migration and almost same reclassification of rural settlements into urban, during 2001-2011.
The role of cities will be decisive in leading the world towards its sustainability. The goal of urban development should not only be to have a sustainable city; rather it should have cities that contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals within their boundaries, in the region around them and globally (May Hald 2009:43).
The huge influx of population to cities will lead to deficit of resources, more built-up activity resulting in land-use and land-cover unbalance, degraded quality of life and social dissociation. India is facing its worst-ever water crisis, with some 600 million people facing acute water shortage. The Niti Aayog (Nodal think tank and decision-making agency) 2018 report, based on study of 24 states out of 29, says that the crisis is “only going to get worse” in the years ahead. It also warns that 21 cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020 despite increasing demand. This would also threaten food security as 80% of water is used in agriculture.
Multiplicity of concerns and systems makes the inter-relationship of Man, Nature and Built-up intricate. Combination of preventive, curative, adaptive methods along with preparedness is the call of the time. Approaches like socio-ecological systems and Nature-Human coupled systems should be followed to mitigate issues. Decision-making and approaches should be case-specific and time-tested. This must concern all levels of built-environment, from small scale buildings to mega cities.
Hence, the general impression of economic rise of Asia (with 7% annual economic growth for India) raises questions: how does it impact environment in general and built environment (buildings and cities) in particular? How do the stakeholders (from end-users to decision-makers) deal with the persisting internal movement of people, urban poverty, increasing demand for energy, rising consumerism and waste generation, striking contrast between skyscrapers and surrounding slums, affirming demand of individual and collective identities, stressed resources and services, environment distress, existing historical and colonial heritage and many more related concerns?
The session invites presentations on, but not limited to case-studies of decision-making, action taken with specific approaches and mitigation methods for making built environment and cities sustainable, resilient and safe. Works referring to country specific policies, international co-operative efforts are welcome. (Alka Bharat, Professor, Physical planning, Architecture, Environment and Human Rights, Department of Architecture and Planning, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, India)
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