The identical-looking tower blocks that have come to be symbols of modernity, progress and aspiration are a threat to Urban Indian centres like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, urban activist and modern architect Charles Correa said in New Delhi today.
The proponent of sustainable urbanism, Correa said these shiny high rises are ideas that dazzle the 'new elite' who travel to Singapore and Dubai, and take them to be the "image of progress". But, "they're the kind of cloned buildings that used to be done by Stalin and the Russians or in the Bronx that people just hate and dread," the AFP quoted Correa as saying.
Apart from being a design nightmare, from the point of view of sustainability, they are exactly what a growing city does not need. Tall structures, by pushing up density, prove to be a burden on the per capita availability of open spaces and amenities, like water, education, health, thereby reducing the quality of living.
And that, he says, cannot go on for long, given the rate at which the influx into cities is growing. "You can't go on overloading these existing cities. They will break down." He added, "Not to anticipate this growth is criminal when you know these numbers."
The 81-year-old architect, who has for long been making a case for mid-rise cities that can take the load of numbers in the long run, puts faith in the tier two- and three cities. He feels new migration should be diverted there, as these cities can be planned for the long run because they offer plenty of space and flexibility in terms of urban planning.
Read the entire AFP report here.