Is there anything we Delhiites could learn from other cities?
We should create more ‘hyper cycles’ of knowledge by learning from other cites. Lee Myung Bak of South Korea demolished an elevated highway and resurrected a buried water stream. He went against all conventions and jogged straight into the hearts of the environmentalists and voters of Seoul. Another example is the clearance initiative of the Maharashtra government. This act could be used sensibly to transform ‘unauthorized’ colonies where high-rise green building towers are built to accommodate the population and make room for desperately needed civic amenities. We have to go vertical to economize on space in the city.
Is there hope for the environment?
The great thing about nature is that it is regenerative – it is something that cannot be destroyed by corruption. Even cement and mortar change, but not nature. We simply need the right thought processes, and the resources will follow. Designs can be such that nothing is wasted or pollutes the atmosphere. The moment there are five such buildings, buildings that are financially viable as well as environmentally sound, everyone will want to emulate them. Corruption will be replaced by the need for competitive profit, which is quite legitimate. All this should take about 20 years for the processes to correct themselves. People will understand how to coalesce and create structures that improve everyone’s quality of life.