A Telling Tale of Tree

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2014 17:32 IST

‘Trees in Urban Habitat’, a book highlighting various techniques to solve intricate problems of urban planning with tree plantation, was released by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at the Chandigarh Golf Club on Tuesday.

Authored by noted landscapist Hardial Singh Johl and city-based architect Sarabjit Singh Bahga, the 214-page long book provides a detailed description of the fundamental requirements of tree plantation around roads, buildings, open spaces and parks, taking into account the significant considerations pertaining to the structure and texture of trees, their density and diversity in growth patterns, colour, form and detail.

It cites New Delhi as well as Chandigarh as examples of cities where tree plantation is a priority. The chapter regarding the concept of developing an entire city into a park makes this book a creative and unique read in the field of landscape architecture.

Having done his masters from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in 1955, Johl worked in Chandigarh for over two decades where he revitalised the landscape plans of the city, before heading the landscape circle for the state government. The 82-year-old says, “It is a groundbreaking book for town planners, architects, landscapists and city planners, who face the enormous task of creating and planning cities, buildings, parks and open spaces in the face of challenging and unprecedented urbanisation.”

Inspired by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Le Corbusier, Johl also mentions that the trees described in his book are suitable for the climatic conditions of Chandigarh and New Delhi. He says the book is dedicated to his daughter Perneet who inspired him to write and accomplish his objective of giving back to the community of urban planners and designers.

His comrade-in-arm Bahga says he was honoured to be a part of this project. “I think this book will help readers realise the long-lost importance of architectural landscaping in our country. Johl ji’s first-hand experience and knowledge of this field made it all possible,” says Bahga.
The detailed visuals and exceptional photographs by Sanyam Bahga and Baljit Singh coupled with illustrations make the script come alive.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab CM, Parkash Singh Badal said he was an avid lover of plants and had always laid focus on greening and beautifying the state. “I am glad such a book has been written, which gives a true picture of the state’s capital Chandigarh, which has been so aptly compared with the national capital,” he adds.

Johl was also honoured by Chandigarh Golf Club president BS Gill on the occasion, who presented him with a momento.

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