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Govt. keen to weave 'smart city' vision into urban planning

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Soma Tah
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NEW DELHI, INDIA: The urban development ministry is seeking to improve the living condition in urban areas through a set of new initiatives like smart cities, infrastructure development in 500 cities, Swachh Bharat Mission, etc., in collaboration with states and urban local bodies.

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“The objective of smart cities initiative is to promote living in harmony with nature,” said urban development minister M.Venkaiah Naidu, in his address at the Convocation of The Energy Research Institute(TERI). He also called for a reorientation of urban designing and planning approaches that promote such a harmony.

The rising level of air pollution and deteriorating sanitation in urban areas are adversely impacting quality of urban life along with a poor urban transport infrastructure with reliance on growing motorized individual transport, unscientific municipal solid waste and sewage management, outdated building by-laws, etc.

Climate change concerns need to be factored in urban development strategies and action plans, said he and expressed concern over designing of residential, commercial and office buildings blocking natural light and air and in turn depending on electricity for the same. He stressed on the need for increased adoption of new and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power and green building construction practices.

There is a pressing need for capacity building at various levels and the Government will soon come out with a comprehensive capacity development scheme, said Naidu.

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