According to the latest study, which was led by the professor of University of Lincoln has warned the government of India that “The vision of creating a 100 new smart cities to support the rapidly growing urban population will effect the environment in future”.
Hugh Byrd, urban planner from the University of Lincoln, UK, conducted a detailed analysis of the environmental consequences of the planned events, as a result of which medium-rise housing (from three to five floors) was replaced by high-rise towers from 40 to 60 floors.
Announcing its plans in 2015, the Indian government stated that this type of development would be sustainable, environmentally friendly and “smart”.
Recent studies by Byrd show that as a result, an increase in population density is likely to require significant additional resource requirements, including electricity and water, while simultaneously increasing waste generation in the form of drainage, solid waste and greenhouse gases.
Forecasts are based on an analysis of India’s development example, Bhendi Bazaar, a 16.5-acre site in Mumbai, which was nominated as the flagship of the proposed new “smart” cities.
The study used the “model of extended urban metabolism” as a means of analyzing the area, providing a basis for measuring the flow of resources that are consumed and flow from the city. He compared the existing urban form with the proposed form, taking into account such factors as the number and height of buildings, density of housing and population, provision of parking, open space, gardening and street facades.
The analysis was then extrapolated to predict the overall impact on the city if such developments were to be performed, as proposed, throughout the island city of Mumbai.
The results show that in a city where repeated washing out of electricity, water rationing and inadequate handling of waste and wastewater are common, an increase in population density will have a significant negative impact on the environment.
Byrd noted that “the desire of cities to become” smart “,” global “,” live “,” green “or” eco “is encouraged along with an increase in population density and urban densification. This goal of planning must reach the point where resources are not sufficient for a full metabolism of the city. ”
“In this case, the results show that the metabolism does not increase linearly with the density, but accelerates, so the harmful effect on the environment will increase at a faster rate than population growth,” he added.
Byrd continued that although case studies such as Bhendi Bazaar serve as an example for the 100 “smart” cities planned by the government of India in terms of increasing density, improving the image and regenerating cities, they do not answer the problems of providing an adequate Infrastructure to support metabolism Such developments, if they must be significantly replicated.
“Based on this, an exemplary development does not support the case in order to call proposals for” smart “Mumbai or” sustainable “.
The research is published in the journal “Modern problems of cities”.
Source : ANI