Friday, June 27, 2008
It’s not just fancy roads and buildings that make a city livable. There’s a lot more by way of amenities that add life to it. By focusing on infrastructure that enhances quality of living, like parks, play grounds and thoroughfares, a city makes the grade. A city is more about the people that live in it. And while planning a city, it’s the people that should be thought of first, then the infrastructure needs to be developed. Similarly, the relatively new areas of Gurgaon, New Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore may have witnessed a deluge of real estate investment over the last decade, but they have failed to create livable urban spaces that really work. Gurgaon, a flashy boom town that has emerged almost overnight with shopping malls, condominiums and swank office towers, despite it being touted as ‘planned’ development, is hardly people-friendly. This is because it neither has a meaningful municipal waste disposal system nor a proper public transport network. As a result, the city, still half-built, already suffers from serious traffic snarls, power shortages and water-supply constraints.