Dr. Bimal Patel, renowned urbanist, discusses with B.R. Balachandran, urban planner and collaborator of Dr. Patel, the need for a paradigm shift in the way we look at city planning in India. They reflect on why city planning in India has been consistently ineffective for several decades and what it will take to change this situation. Dr. Patel makes a case for a paradigm shift in our approach to urban planning. The discussion unpacks the paradigm shift into several discrete aspects dealing with fundamental dysfunctions in the planning systems currently followed in most Indian cities. Each of these aspects will be elaborated in subsequent episodes of this series.
Bimal Patel is an architect, urbanist and academic. He is President of CEPT University. He also heads HCP which is a multi-disciplinary design, planning and management practice based in Ahmedabad. Bimal Patel's research focuses on architecture and urban planning, real estate markets, regulatory frameworks and land management. He has won numerous awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1992). In 2019 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours.
B.R. Balachandran is an urban planner with over 25 years of experience, currently engaged in doctioral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. After 10 years at Environmental Planning Collaborative, Ahmedabad, in 2007, he co-founded Alchemy Urban Systems, a planning practice in Bangalore and also served in senior advisory roles at institutions such as CDD Society, BORDA and ITDP. While engaged in research on post-disaster recovery in the US, he has continued to work on planning projects in India.
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