Reinventing city revival models.

Often, when framing urban policies we in India adopt a view where we try to create policies where all the lobbies are satisfied, .Most times this may not necessarily translate to a great vision. When you analyze a city like Bangalore, there is an inner older city and the outer city which is mostly new developments. The old Bangalore with tree-lined roads and little gardens has always had great appeal. This character of Bangalore, largely shaped by these tree-lined streets, is slowly vanishing, given the shortsighted way the city seems to be cutting off its trees.

The new development plan is going to further destroy this invaluable quality of Bangalore as the garden city. The widening of the roads, the cutting down of the trees, the new high density plans will wipe out the Bangalore that we all love and remember. I am all for urban redevelopment and change. But we can focus on high density development and new infrastructure while conserving the valuable features and heritage of our cities. I think the idea of creating a single law for the old and new segments of the city is not an intelligent solution.

I believe the inner city with its charming character should have been preserved as it is. It should have been the nucleus and they should have kept the FSI or density constant in these areas. The major metro lines, infrastructure projects and higher density development should have been focused on the outer city circle. I call it the “Medhu wada” concept- The old charming Bangalore should be preserved, almost as it, in the inner circle and higher density outer city with new infrastructure should be created as a ring around the existing city. In that way, you could have kept the intervention in the exiting parts of Bangalore to a minimal. Of course you would need a few crisscross expressways and an underground metro system. This way we could have retained the older charm of the city and the outer city could have been designed like the state of the art mega city of the future.

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About the Author

Hafeez Contractor Hafeez Contractor commenced his career in 1968 with T. Khareghat as an Apprentice Architect and in 1977 he became the associate partner in the same firm. Between 1977 and 1980 Hafeez has been a visiting faculty at the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai. He is a member of the Bombay Heritage Committee and New Delhi Lutyens Bungalow Zone Review Committee.He has a Graduate Diploma in architecture from Mumbai and has a masters in Urban design from Columbia University, New York. His practice had modest beginnings in 1982 with a staff of two. Today the firm has over 350 employees including senior associates, architects, interior designers, draftsmen, civil engineering team and architectural support staff. The firm has conceptualized ,designed and executed a wide range of architectural projects like bungalows; residential developments; hospitals; hotels; corporate offices; banking and financial institutions; commercial complexes; shopping malls; educational institutions; recreational and sports facilities; townships; airports; railway stations, urban planning and civic redevelopment projects.