India: The challenges posed by vertical rise of cities

The apartment culture in the city has grown popular in the last decade, however, the lack of smart, eco-friendly architecture has now become a major issue for people living in these city apartments.

Ankita Singh, a communication specialist, owns a lavish 2BHK apartment in Hazratganj which has no access to sunlight. Due to this the family is deprived of natural light and have to switch on lights even during the day-time.

Juhi Anand, who lives in an apartment near Chinhat faces a similar problem and almost every apartment in the city has some drawback. For a multi-storey apartment in Indiranagar, summers are all about water crisis while the rainy season brings in water logging. Residents of apartments in Aliganj complain about the lack of greenery and space for children to play.

The cause of all these problems is one – verticle rise of the city. “This vertical rise has led to making of two Lucknows – old and new. The divide has stolen the basic character of the city,” said Vipul Varshney, INTACH, Lucknow.

Architect Prashansa Dixit believes that the apartment culture is rapidly spreading to the old city as well. “Old havelis and bungalows are changing the skyline of places like Sheesh-Mahal and Golaganj which require to have an environment friendly and heritage friendly building code,” she said.

“Most of these problems can be solved by adopting the green building code,” said Aasheesh Srivastava, another city based architect. States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka have implemented this code. “Commercial viability rules all projects. The basic lessons like orientation of a building are ignored in its construction which is wrong,” he added.

Civil engineer and historian Raushan Taqi suggested a change in the mindset was required to achieve green buildings. “We may not have a totally eco-friendly structure in the beginning but then buildings can by and large have a green character if efforts are made. State owned housing agencies can take a lead,” he said.

Source: The Times of India

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