Mangaluru: The Welsh Government and Mangaluru Smart City Limited will jointly host a ‘Liveable Urbanism Mangaluru’ workshop today,10th September and an exhibition on Wednesday 11th September in Mangaluru. The event is supported and sponsored by CREDAI Mangaluru. The workshop aims at the exchange of ideas to achieve smart and equitable development for the city of Mangaluru. Dr. Shibu Raman, Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design, Cardiff University who led a team of researchers will present the finding of the team’s study. The exhibition is open to the public on Sept 11 from 10 am to 7 pm at Town Hall Auditorium, Hampankatta, Mangaluru.
Most policies for Smart Cities are heavily focused on the development of robust and resilient infrastructure but devotes little attention to understanding the relationship between physical environment and liveability of citizens. It also fails to comprehensively consider India’s unique social, cultural, spatial, economic, institutional layers of cities and its complex relationships. The Welsh Government is supporting Cardiff University to design a sustainable city in Mangaluru. Last year 10 students from Cardiff University visited Mangalore and developed methodology and toolkit for efficient urban developments.
In India, rapid economic growth has resulted in the rapid growth of the cities. Most cities are not planned well resulting too often leading to chaotic development. Even the planned expansions are unsustainable. 100 smart cities initiative by Government of India, is in many cases resulting in a top-down planning process and generic policies that ignore the specificity of India, its unique social structure economics, power of spaces and spatial structure to unite people and community, the importance of culture and traditions in bringing a sense of belonging.
In most Smart Cities, urban development policies and strategies are often centered on infrastructure development for economic development and regularly employ planning policies and standards from the west. With a few exceptions, much of the focus on the smart cities drive in India has been on the infrastructure development or on economic development, relying too much on the trickle-down effects of development to address social issues, to create opportunities for social mobility and improve quality of life or assuming solid waste management system comparable to west alone will make urban environment liveable. Moreover, development strategies and policies often ignored the unique social, spatial, economic and institutional layers of cities as well as the complex relationships within and between these layers.
Need for Research and Development in Smart Cities
While what shapes cities might be governance, finance, technology, and leadership there is still a need to define what is that to be governed, what is to be financed and developed and what technology is appropriate and efficient to address the challenges of the cities
What is ‘Liveable Urbanism Mangaluru?’
In 2017 Dr. Shibu Raman, Cardiff University submitted a proposal to the city authorities in Mangaluru to develop a partnership with Cardiff University to achieve its Smart City ambitions. The overall aims of the research proposal are to:
This link could be a very strategic connection with local government and with Government of India, for Cardiff University and could result in forming strategic research and academic partnership with stakeholders, funding bodies and universities in India.
The proposal has been awaiting approval. In the meantime, Cardiff University provided funding for Dr. Raman and some of his students from the Welsh School of Architecture to visit Mangaluru in November 2018 and undertake research in the city. This was intended to complement and feed into the Mangalore Smart City proposal. The students have come up with the findings of their studies and they are presenting them in Kochi, Bengaluru, and Mangaluru in September.
Dr. Shibu Raman
Dr. Raman is an architect and urban designer trained in the UK and India. He has over 20 years’ experience in teaching, research and practicing architecture and urban design and has a number of completed projects in India and UK and number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Raman joined Welsh School of Architecture (WSA), Cardiff University in 2015 as a lecturer in architecture and urban design following a three year in China where is as the Course Director, lead the setting up and RIBA validation of the architecture programme at the University of Nottingham, Ningbo China. He is actively involved in the pedagogic development and in delivering design studio and theory modules in the undergraduate and masters in urban design.
He is the Founder-Director of the research network called CityForm (www.cityform.org), which is investigating the relationship of urban form to urban sustainability and quality of life. He has presented his research or delivered the keynote address in a number of prestigious conferences around the worked including UN-Habitat, Space Syntax Symposium and Smart Geometries. He has successfully supervised over 30 masters and Ph.D. students in his area of research interests. In addition to the UK, has lectured and taught in India, China, and South Korea.
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