For Chandigarh, the central government-administered territory that is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, urban planners are examining how it could fit into the planning of Smart City.
And the occasion to examine this was a special meeting held to celebrating the 50th year of its transformation under the renowned French architect Le Corbusier.
To mark the occasion experts discussed how the city could be adapted for the development of a sustainable Smart City. One issue was how the slum-free township could be further developed.
“Though Corbusier was averse to the idea of industrial areas, we are planning to develop the Industrial Area III at Mauli Jagran,” said Sumit Kaur, a former Union Territory Chief Architect.
Michel Richard, Executive Manager of the Le Corbusier Centre, Paris, said he personally would not like anyone to tamper with the Capitol Complex since it was made with a certain perspective that resonates with the idea of India’s democracy, especially with the Judiciary and Legislature buildings being at one place.
Rahul Mehrotra, who teaches at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, questioned the basic idea of modernisation and urbanisation as defined by the Smart City Mission. “Are Smart Cities the elite phase of modernism,” he asked referring to the issue of Chandigarh’s periphery, especially villages.
He stated that the green infrastructure and the way to use it without spoiling the genetic code of the city held the key and that one had to find a balance between urbanisation and traditional infrastructure and functionality of the city’s architecture.
Kaur highlighted some of the goals of the plan, which included enhancement of the city’s green cover, ushering in of pedestrian-friendly development, provision of housing to all, development of critical infrastructure and local and regional tourism, and implementation of large-scale urbanisation and solid waste management.