November 2015


There is a lot of talk about transforming Indian cities – making them on par with its global and developed counterparts. Scepticism aside, this unified discussion on the topic has a potential to realise a future that can make our cities – Smart, sustainable and contextual. With the urban profile evolving, given the current needs among young professionals, there is scope to create a design language that is unique to us – a glocal setup that speaks to our Indian sensibilities while also addressing digital and Green needs. Our focus story details this theme and offers an overview of the days to come. The interview gives us an architect’s perspective with Hiten Sethi speaking on urban density, sustainability and the future of our cities.

By the Editorial Team

The changing – but still traditional – demography of urban cities is giving planners and architects an opportunity to evolve innovative design solutions. Major cities like Mumbai are gradually embracing a new look, letting go of dilapidated structures/zones and transforming them into an urban haven. Designs today need to meet more than utilitarian and aesthetics needs – it has to be technologically relevant, energy-efficient and also cater to a lifestyle that is unique to our cities. Often in the quest to be ‘developed’ we lose sight of the contextual needs of a design. But if India truly seeks transformation, Smart and sustainability has to be met in the light of contextual architecture and design.

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What positive changes have you witnessed in Indian cities?
Hiten Sethi, CEO, HSA: A mega plan to change the face of Indian socio-economic fabric with creative concepts of Smart cities and urbanisation is known to all… It has led to the process of inventing and reinventing logic − to implement cohesiveness in urban planning. The out-of-the-box thinking of creating 100 independent Smart cities in regions with unexplored potential is a brilliant step towards effectiveness, great lifestyle and growth. The existing urban Indian cities have also geared up to imbibe factors such as − efficient infrastructure and connectivity, accessibility to education, health, social services and cultural activities, and optimisation of resources.
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Photo Credits: Le Corbusier’s Open Hand Movement at Chandigarh

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