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Based on his experiences teaching, researching and practicing in India, the author discusses some of the problems related to the urban transition of India, including the air pollution, the contamination and depletion of fresh water resources, the precarious food situation, the lack of proper housing, and various environmental and human health problems related to motorized transportation. He also proposes a number of possible solutions, including the use of plants and natural ventilation to create clean indoor air, the revitalization of an existing system of water canals, the creation of vertical kitchen gardens in a rehabilitation colony, a strategy for making an entire neighborhood car-free and a design for self-designed, low-cost housing.
About the author
Henrik Valeur is an architect-urbanist. As the curator of the Danish pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2006, he conceived and orchestrated the project, CO-EVOLUTION: Danish/Chinese Collaboration on Sustainable Urban Development in China, which was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Pavilion.
In 2010, he was invited to give the Le Corbusier Memorial Lecture in Chandigarh, India, and has since been working with students from Chandigarh College of Architecture and from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee; with researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and from the Indian Institute of Human Settlements; and with various activists and bureaucrats, developers and entrepreneurs in India. (see www.henrikvaleur.dk)
"I very much enjoyed the range of issues touched upon and based on first hand experiences!
The fine grain reading of issues in the Indian city is an important contribution so is the attempt to connect so many dots to make sense of thge moving targets we encouter in Urbanism in India"
Rahul Mehrotra, architect and Chair of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University