‘Plan city in a way that creation of shanty towns can be avoided’: Prof Amita Sinha

Prof. Amita Sinha

(Written by Aggam Walia)

"Eco-sensitive planning is very important in 21st century because it is sustainable and not too consumptive of resources", says Professor Amita Sinha.

Winner of Fulbright-Nehru Professional Excellence Award 2018-19, Sinha is here in Chandigarh, to speak on the concept of 'city in nature' at the event, ICOMOS Day- celebrating the natural landscape of Chandigarh, to be held at Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), from 10am to 1pm, Thursday.

Ten speakers, including Sinha, Professor Rajiv Lochan and a lawyer, Reeta Kohli, will take the podium and speak about Chandigarh's natural heritage and its role in urban planning. The event is being hosted by CGA in collaboration with the International Council on Monuments and Sites(ICOMOS). Professor Amita Sinha, the keynote speaker for the event, will dwell on ecologically sensitive urban planning and its impact on any city.

"The event views the city as a part of a larger natural system. We are talking about ecological systems with a much wider range and ones that include the farmland and natural features of a city", explains Sinha. When asked about Chandigarh, she said,"All cities in South Asia, like Chandigarh, are facing an urban sprawl. These cities are growing rapidly and there is no vision of how to plan their expansion. Architects and designers should start thinking about planning the city in such a way that creation of shanty towns can be avoided."

The mango orchards, sprawled across the city's entry points, were recently destroyed due to construction work. On this, Professor Sinha said, "That is a tragedy. These are productive landscapes and also provide tree coverage. Orchards give us fruits and act like carbon sinks. The disappearance of orchards would mean the disappearance of cultural landscape of the city and environmentally, too, it's a bad idea".

Professor Sinha is currently a visiting faculty in the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT, Kharagpur.

She is a former professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.