Director of Mumbai Center Speaks at Urban Institute in India
The Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, Rachana Sansad celebrated its annual day on Oct. 26, 2013. On this occasion Nirupam Bajpai, director, Columbia Global Centers | South Asia was invited to deliver the key note address.
An exhibition show casing the students work was also inaugurated by Bajpai on this occasion. The students work varied from baseline studies of urban centers to comprehensive development plans and to vision plan for Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and regional plans for regions like the Nashik District (15,000 sqkms). The Institute’s present batch of 2nd year students is in the process of doing a Regional Plan for the entire Marathwada region comprising of 8 districts and 64,000 sqkm. A 12 minute movie to introduce the region has been made by the students and was also shown to Bajpai and the dignitaries present on the occasion. Some of the thesis works of the passing out students were also put up which covered topics like: Cluster redevelopment in Island city Mumbai, effects of FDI on physical planning, branding of cities; to name a few.
Bajpai's key note address focused on the challenges of sustainable urban development and was received very well by both the students and faculty members present. It was followed by a very enriching Q & A session which lasted for nearly an hour. In his address, Bajpai emphatically stressed that since India will add hundreds of millions of people to the urban economy in the years and decades ahead, India’s cities needed to be safe, efficient, pleasant to live in, supported by infrastructure (water, sewerage, electricity, transport, etc.), and able to create jobs which are globally competitive, etc. Sustainable cities mean: walk able, mix used areas, public transport, urban planning, public health and other services, and climate resilient especially coastal cities. He stressed on the need for citizens participation and role of the community and civil society to help realize the true meaning of democracy.