Densely populated cities can sustain urban planning better: CSE

KOLKATA: The executive director of Centre for Science and Environment, Anumita Roy chowdhury, has said “high-density cities can sustain urban planning better than the newly built ones”.

Speaking at a programme – ‘Green cities mission: a dialogue on urban sustainability’ – Roychowdhury said yesterday the web of interconnected lanes in the densely populated cities makes travelling faster.

“People can walk short distances in the high-density cities. In a new place like Newtown, where the planners have built rows of super blocks at the nodes and there is no maze of lanes, vehicle is the only option for travelling,” she explained.

That in a way also gives rise to vehicular pollution, Roychowdhury said.

“The builders often do not take climatic factors into consideration. It is necessary to monitor energy performances of green-rated buildings and modify the bylaws of urban planning bodies.”

Asked about the situation in West Bengal, she said, “While the state government is formulating new policies and announcing incentive programmes for green buildings, we have to find out if we are implementing the ideas in a proper manner,” the top CSE official said.

West Bengal Pollution Control Board Chairman Kalyan Rudra said initiatives have been taken for solid waste management and recycling.

“Years ago, a popular resort/open air theatre had come up on the top of a waste dump which looked like a hilltop along E M Bypass. I think using waste materials for such purposes is not feasible. Instead we should look towards recycling or reusing waste,” he said.

The takeaway points from the of the one-day meet – organised by the CSE Delhi and Institute of Town Planners – will be forwarded to the Urban Development Ministry and Environment Ministry for a “possible follow-up action”, Roychowdhury added.

IIT Kharagpur Professor Somnath Sen, IIEST Professor Souvannic Roy, Technical Advisor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation N B Basu were among those who participated in yesterday’s programme.