The UK Connection! Welsh Govt & Cardiff University Students-UK host ‘Liveable Urbanism Mluru’ Workshop
Mangaluru : The Welsh government-UK and Mangaluru Smart City Limited jointly hosted a “Liveable Urbanism Mangaluru” workshop, and also the exhibits of the findings of students of the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) of Cardiff University and the Department of Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi, on Mangaluru City at the Mini Town Hall on September 10, where the exhibition will continue tomorrow also. The event was supported and sponsored by Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), Mangaluru, Mangalore Smart City Limited and Welsh Government.
The workshop aimed at exchange of ideas to achieve smart and equitable development for the city of Mangaluru. A lecturer in architecture and urban design, Cardiff University, Dr Shibu Raman who led a team of researchers presented the finding of the teams study, during the workshop. Most policies for smart cities are heavily focused on development of robust and resilient infrastructure, but devote little attention to understanding the relationship between physical environment and life patterns of citizens. It also fails to comprehensively consider India’s unique social, cultural, spatial, economic, institutional layers of cities and its complex relationships.
The Welsh government is supporting Cardiff University to design a sustainable city in Mangaluru. Ten students had from Cardiff University had visited Mangaluru last year and developed methodology and tool kit for efficient urban developments, and currently three students were present during the workshop, and explain about their exhibits. The workshop began with the context setting by Ms Divya Hegde- Sr Business Development Manager-Welsh Govt wheres he said, “Welsh government is working with Mangaluru City authorities in forming a partnership with Cardiff University to help achieve its smart city aspirations. Localities in Wales face similar challenges to those in India and are considering practical solutions to achieve smarter, more sustainable future”
Ms Hegde further said, “The benefit was twofold- Cardiff University and Mangaluru City could result in forming strategic research and academic partnership with stakeholders, funding bodies and universities in India. MSCL and Mnagaluru on the other hand will benefit from cutting edge research on the relationship between physical form of cities to its sustainable development. The project has come a long way from its start in 2017, when Cardiff University submitted a proposal to carry out first hand research in Mangaluru. In November 2018, ten students from Cardiff University traveled to Mangaluru to map the city using drones and 3D mappers, and all their findings are displayed in the exhibition”.
Mangaluru City Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer welcomed the audience and lauded the efforts put in by the Welsh Government and Cardiff University students regarding development of Mangaluru Smart City. In her keynote address, Ms Reshmi Ranjith-Sr Regional Adviser -British Deputy High Commission-Bengaluru said, “This exhibition is the result of hard work of many people in this room today, and is a fantastic example of citizen centric urban development solutions. The UK has a strong record of partnership with Govt of India to deliver prosperity, jobs, and inclusive growth for both countries. Urban development and smart cities are a top priority for the UK government’s partnership with India. UK also has a global reputation foe expertise in areas such as city planning, design, architecture, civil engineering, transportation and waste management which makes it an ideal partner for smart city projects”.
During the introduction of workshop by Dr Shibu Raman of Welsh School of Architecture-UK SA said the MSCL had approached the Cardiff City Council to become a partner in the Smart City project. The Council, in turn, approached the Cardiff University to advise Mangaluru on the Smart City project. “We aim to achieve smart and equitable development for the city of Mangaluru,” he stated. “The findings of the students, under the name ‘Liveable Urbanism Mangaluru’, will be handed over to the Mangaluru Smart City Limited, for perusal. The team from WSA focused on riverfront areas in Mangaluru,” he said.
“Mangaluru provides a unique opportunity for the Cardiff team to develop some of the methodology and toolkit and use them to develop our understanding of smart cities and efficient urban development. This link could be a very strategic connection with the local government and with the Centre for Cardiff University and could result in forming a strategic research and academic partnership with stakeholders, funding bodies and universities of India,” Raman explained. He said the Cardiff University and the School of Planning and Architecture conducted a join design studio for their master’s programme based on the aims and objectives of Smart City. “The students of these two institutes had visited Mangaluru in November 2018 and January 2019 and carried out in-depth research in the city. This was followed by studios developing a design proposal to address the challenges identified during the study trip,” he added.
The workshop was inaugurated by MLA Vedavyas Kamath by lighting the lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais, namely- MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer; Ms Snehal R- Managing Director of Mescom and Mangaluru Smart City Ltd; Naveen Cardoza- President-CREDAI; D B Mehta-former CREDAI president; Vinod Pinto- Secretary-CREDAI; Dr Shibu Raman; Prof. Arunava Dasgupta- an architect and the HoD of the Department of Urban Design at the School of Planning and architecture-New Delhi; Er Arun Prabha-General Manager, Tech-MSCL; Cardiff University-UK students L-R : Miss Simona Jaraskute; George Morley; and Miss Isabella Castelli
Addressing the audience MLA Kamath said Mangaluru should be proud to note that Welsh Govt and students of Cardiff University are showing keen interest in the Smart city development. “In India rapid economic growth has resulted in rapid growth of the cities. Most cities are not planned well resulting to often leading to chaotic development. Even the planned expansions are unsustainable. Therefore the efforts that will be put in by the Welsh Govt and Cardiff University students will surely see great results in the development of our City, if MSCL approves the proposal and findings submitted by them”. Ms Snehal also spoke and said that it is a great idea to join with Welsh Govt in the uplift of the infrastructure and development of Smart City.
Presenting the work behind the studio, outcomes and presentation of ideas, also speaking during the Liveable Urbanism session, Prof. Arunava Dasgupta- an architect and the HoD of the Department of Urban Design at the School of Planning and architecture-New Delhi said, “Since small cities are becoming more vibrant, therefore we decided to collaborate with the Mangaluru Smart City Limited for its development. Also that Mangaluru has diversity, we thought this City would be a right choice to work on its development and infrastructure. Even though Mangaluru has two long rivers, but they are lacking proper access to them; we can add nice walkways around these rivers, so that citizens can have a enjoyable and pleasurable walking spree. We need to make this City more attractive with modern facilities and better opportunities, so that youngsters will stay here rather than move to other big cities or abroad. If approved by MSCL , this would be three years work project pertaining to Smart City development”.
The three students from Cardiff University also shared their efforts in the findings of Mangaluru City, and also presented a book named “‘Liveable Urbanism Mangalore” which is a compilation of their findings to the dignitaries on the dais. The vote of thanks was delivered by Vinod Pinto, and the professional compere of the workshop was Ms Divya Hegde. The exhibition is open to the public on September 11 from 10 am to 7 pm.