Monday, May 7, 2018

A Call To Remember For Urban Planners and Related Fraternity

Human settlements were built then. Human settlements are built now. But what has changed immensely is the nature of intervention - they were very very local then and they are seemingly becoming more and more dependent on external produce now. They were planned by realised beings then and they are now being planned by beings with no or very less realisation of the functioning of a human society within the natural realm whose primary focus should be an individual personal development as per his/her distinct capabilities. The number of relationships were less then and it can be said that it was a bit easier then to plan efficiently but the planners of the society should undergo at least that much of pain to understand the inter-dependence nature of a human urban ecosystem if they really are concerned about efficient and productive human urban development. 

The isolated nature of the various kinds of specialisation being taught to the budding planners leaves a very small ray of hope behind for real efficient human development - its the wholistic vision and implementation which is upmost needed in present times when there arises a new set of urban issue every now and then and we seemingly have forgotten that very old wise proverb - ‘precaution is better than cure’ and have been falling on the lines of ‘let the issue arise, we will sort it out then’. The latter has proved catastrophic across the Globe in various human urban settlements and we should be sincerely serious about planning the lives of human beings and the future of our planet simultaneously. 

We should stop hiding our spineless plans under some fancy words. As time progresses level of human advancements changes but that doesn’t changes the essence and purpose of being a human being for whom cities are planned and developed. The basic concepts are needed to be put straight back into their deserving places. To understand something as profound as human development only basics can serve as the foundation from where everything else arises. The perspective with which it is currently being taught at various universities and institutions is too limited to produce quality planners and planning isn't at all that one thing which the community can/shall compromise with - from the nature of planning exercise arises everything else - the nature and character of a human urban settlement and those of its citizens. The nature with which cities are being planned especially in the technologically developing nations in general is very disappointing which often superficially discusses big words like 'sustainable development' or 'safe cities' or even 'smart cities' without even understanding a real bit of what these words literally stands for. The fraternity related with urban human development shall understand the holy nature of the profession they are attached with as not only the lives of human beings are at stake but the entire natural system is also one of those influential things which would be heavily influenced by the ever-increasing perspective less human interventions in a phase when our race - the race of human beings is experiencing the most widespread urban revolution of all times of our collective existential history.

Image from careerinstem

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Losing Race or A Winning Opportunity - The Battle of Human Urbanisation

A human being migrates to an urban outfit with aspirations of increased living standard and enhanced overall quality of life. But what does he receive - suspicious water supply, polluted air quality, vehicles all around on the roads, residences nearly touching the sky and what not. The migrant accepts them thinking them as a transformed way of living one’s life till he realises the cumulative trap of urban issues and problems he/she has been trapped into. Exceptions are always there and therefore barring some cities nearly every city is overdosed by technological solutions to even a minuscule of an issue rather than eyeing them as a part of the human system which itself is a part of the universal natural system. The situation gets worse in cities which without even realising their own potential blindly follow the ideas of another in the absence of proper inter-disciplinary knowledge. The planning of human settlements can become one of the toughest jobs of the universe if perceived through isolated windows with a set framework or it can become one of the easiest works to accomplish if done with an inter-dependent understanding of an urban system. 

We are in the midst of one of the biggest or simply the biggest revolution of human history. The history doesn't give any other scenario of such large scaled widespread human migration and we shall understand the intensity of the situation with an unbiased inter-dependent perspective to further plan it more efficiently. Nearly all the discussions around sustainability across the Globe seems to lack either clarity or will and though it should be at the upmost focus like generally found in present times, the arena with which it is generally viewed is too small to fight the battle of ever increasing human interference in the natural system. The ever increasing urban issues along with their sub typologies shall be taken as a warning before the bigger catastrophe takes place. The sinking of coastal cities like Jakarta, the housing shortages of cities like Mumbai, situations of traffic unrest in national capitals like Delhi, the filthy conditions of Lagos, the ever increasing density of Dhaka, the waste emergency of Naples, the increasing smoggy conditions of Delhi or Beijing in recent times are just some examples to give some perspective of its spread across all directions and to quantify the intensity to a bit.

We have beautified our settlements like never before and technology has certainly helped us to achieve the heights of comfort and ease but we shall ask some questions from ourselves - are we building our settlements to enhance our overall physical, mental and spiritual well being or are we just losing out the race already by engaging our valuable human resource in a wrong/less productive/less efficient manner? Till when we will pass on the problems from us to someone else? Till when we’ll first plan unknowingly and then rely on cursing the ever increasing complexity? Educational institutes teaching such courses shall scrutinise their outlook and shall move towards an inter-disciplinary mode of imparting knowledge rather than imparting them in isolation under different specialisations. There are already some sparks where it can be seen being adapted though slowly & being realised by the concerned authorities and fraternities but its effects can be increased acceleratingly if the global human community of those who are directly involved in shaping human lives realises the intensity of the responsibility on their shoulders and act accordingly. The objective of the human race should be universal but the approach to achieve it shall be more towards being local with necessary adaptations as per the global scenario only then we can flourish as a system to the maximum of its potential rather than planning them as different sub-systems in an unsynchronised fashion. A winning opportunity lies ahead of us to create a more empathetic, inclusive & productive Global community to gift our coming generations a space to blossom to the new glories of human progress & natural development. 

Image from amazonaws