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Plan for "smart" cities in India might harm the environment; says the study


Unless greater attention is made on sustaining infrastructure and utilities, India's ambitions to build 100 new "smart" cities to accommodate the nation's quickly expanding urban population may have a severe negative impact on the environment, a key research has revealed.

The environmental effects of the proposed buildings, which would replace medium-rise dwellings (between three and five storeys) with high-rise buildings of 40 to 60 storeys, were thoroughly examined by researchers from the University of Lincoln in the UK. Indian government claimed that this kind of growth would be sustainable, ecologically good, and "smart" when it announced its intentions in 2015, according to academics.

According to the most recent studies, this rise in population density is projected to result in large additional demands of resources like energy and water, as well as an increase in the production of waste like drainage, solid waste, and greenhouse gases. The region was studied using a "extended urban metabolism model," which served as a foundation for calculating the flows of resources entering and leaving the city. The forecasts are based on studies of Bhendi Bazaar, a 16.5-acre location in Mumbai that has been suggested as a showpiece of the future "smart" cities, which is the Indian government's model development.

It evaluated the current and projected urban forms, taking into account details like building sizes and heights, population and housing densities, parking availability, open space, landscaping, and street frontages.


The research was then expanded to forecast the city's overall effects if the proposed developments were implemented over the whole Island City of Mumbai.


The findings show that increased population density will have a considerable further negative impact on the environment in a city like this, where regular energy blackouts, water shortages, and insufficient waste and sewage treatment are frequent.

Along with higher population densities and urban compaction, the quest of "smart," "world-class," "liveable," "green," or "eco" cities has been advocated, according to Professor Hugh Byrd, an expert in urban planning at Lincoln.


"This planning objective must meet at a point where resources are insufficient to support a city's whole metabolic cycle."


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