Architects can play a major role in making cities liveable: Suresh Heblikar

Bengaluru December 2, 2016: “It is interesting that the theme of the NATCON 2016 is ‘imagine the Indian city’. It is difficult to imagine the Indian city in a few years from now, if greenlands, lakes and storm water drains are continued to be encroached upon the way they are today. By 2050 if 80 crore more population will migrate from rural India to urban areas, imagine how the Indian cities would be! In Karnataka alone, we have lost 40 to 45% of forest cover,” lamented noted environmentalist and film maker Suresh Heblikar, while inaugurating the NATCON 2016 hosted by the Indian Institute of Architects today.

The 3-day conference starting today will see an animated debate on a host of issues that pertain to the Indian city, the state of urbanisation, the future of its urban conglomerations keeping in view the pace of its current growth. IIA NATCON 2016 intends to provoke architects and industry partners to think at a fundamental level on what the Indian city should be, the mode of growth it should adopt and act as an agent of positive change. In essence, the convention will champion on the idea of the Indian City to set the course for the future of our urban conglomerations.

Speaking earlier in the evening , Architect Leena kumar, Chairperson, IIA karnataka chapter said: "We at India are planning smart cities, green cities and sustainable cities. At this juncture when our Indian cities are bursting at their seams, we are forced to debate on what we want from our cities, to make them more liveable.”

Addressing the 2000 odd participants who had gatheredat the conference from all over the world, Architect Divya Kush, NationalPresident, IIA said, "In the 70s there were hardly any architectureinstitutes. Today there are 480 odd architecture schools in the country withover 20000 students. The institute has to put in effort to make sure that thegovernment defines the profession of architecture. We have 20000 members butonly 11000 members are active. IIA has immensely contributed to my well beingas an architect. So i urge more and more students to become members and make adifference."

The inaugural program started with the traditionaldollu kunitha by 10 to 15 livewire artistes that enlivened the atmospherefollowed by an invocation dance by a few students.

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