Dr.Sujit Patwardhan, the first speaker stated that Cities today are being called engines of growth and in the next 15 years will contribute to 75 % of the nation's GDP. However, an important question that arises here is,if cities are engines of growth and generate economic benefits, why do experts constantly say that cities can't raise necessary finances for efficient working for itself? Is it because the funds that are generated are being incorrectly used? This is animportant aspect and needs some immediate thought.
A Smart city's basic aim is to make it more livable for all. So how to make a city 'livable'? It needs to be Inclusive and notonly for the elites, economically vibrant, be sustainable in energy use, water disposal, carbon footprint, provide affordable housing, good access to comfortable mobility with outstanding quality of public transport and non-motorised transport,
have adequate public spaces, urban greenery, with bio diversity, be safe for all, have a balancedcity budget and have transparency in decision making with involvement of its citizens in planning and delivery.The Indian government has identified similar requirement swith additional parameters for a smart city. While the “What” is defined, the “How” is obscure. Lack of this answer is hampering proper execution.
The second speaker, Ar.ChitraVishwanath of Biome, shared her insights and experiences in designing sustainable environments in partnership with architecture, water and waste. She declared Indian cities have always been smart;however, the citizens today, who have become insensitive and un-smart. Continuing Dr. Patwardhan'squestion,Ar. Vishwanathinquires “Who” will create and maintain the Smart city. The perception is of agated city with lack of communication and lack of equality.
Some projects by Biome, on the lines of sustainable architecture, were inspired by masters like Ar. Baker. The use ofsimple, locally available materials like compressed mud, brick, bamboo transformed the output of a building's sustainability quotient, keeping intact its 'Indian-ness' and overall comfort and feel. Interesting architectural inputslike use of filler slabs, arch panelled roofs with precast beams, reduced the overall adverse environmental impact.
The third speaker, Mr. Neerav Saraiya, discussed Rainwater. Water is life and there can be no smart city without proper water management. Rain water harvesting has been made compulsory for any building with area more than 300 SQ. Mby the Maharashtra State government and most state governments, however, it is not being taken seriously. He explained about the basic two kinds of rain water harvesting needed in an urban scale. First,
the Rooftop RainwaterHarvesting System and second, the Surface Runoff Rainwater Harvesting System. It is important to remember that recharging is a community project and will benefit the entire community as a whole. DSK Dream City, Pune is anexample of planned rainwater harvesting.
Lastly, Dr Sameer Shastri spoke about waste management. His definition of a smart city was quite an interesting one. A smart city manages its resources well, both for its present and future needs. When we look at Waste management, it is quite shocking to note that most of our treatment plants don't function properly with just 30% of functioning plants atnational level. So what can be a solution to this? Here we look at Decentralised 'on site' integrated waste managementor 'DOSIWAM' where every grain of solid and every drop of liquid is treated by bio-digestive processes and the end products are returned to the soil through agriculture or horticulture in an ecologically sustainable manner. In way we use nature and give back to it at the end. While such systems are primarily designed for rural areas, they can always beretrofitted and redesigned to meet the needs in the urban scape. Incorporating small biogas plants etc in site marginsof plots can be a smart start.