HTKGAF 2018: Reimagining Maximum City
Even villages have urban conditions, Das said, but Mumbai with 60 per cent of its population living in the slums is still a sub-urban city.Updated: Feb 07, 2018 01:11 IST
“Urbanisation and city planning aren’t synonymous,” architect PK Das said on Tuesday, delivering a lecture titled ‘Housing matters: Cities with a future’ at Max Mueller Bhavan.
“We cannot talk about social housing unless we talk about the understanding of the slums and redevelopment of slum land,” Das added, speaking at an event held in conjunction with the State of Housing Exhibition, as part of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’s urban design and architecture section.
The lecture was followed by a discussion moderated by Rohan Shivkumar.
Even villages have urban conditions, Das said, but Mumbai with 60 per cent of its population living in the slums is still a sub-urban city.
“We can easily create at least 9 lakh units of affordable housing by reserving slum land for affordable housing even after accommodating the existing population, which would take away the deficit in affordable housing,” he added. “The question isn’t about the shortage of land, but the misuse and exploitation by private builders. It is important to create equality and justice through inclusive development planning. Let the land be state-owned like in the Netherlands and Singapore, to achieve the democratisation of cities.”
Kirtana Contractor, 22, an architect from Dadar, was in the audience and said she was going home with a lot to think about. “I attended the lecture to educate myself and Das has touched upon several issues relating to affordable housing in Mumbai, which is neglected due to political and financial pressure. It is not helping Mumbai urbanise in a way that is integrative and is skewed towards the privileged,” she said.
For Dhruv Vairagi, 22, a final-year architecture student from Navi Mumbai, the talk was a chance to hear a master talk on the subject of holistic development.
“We need to build with a sense of social responsibility to the city and to the lowest strata of society in our city,” he said. “There are no incentives and no policies for architects to design socially responsible residences. It was good to hear a talk by an architect one can look up to.”