In the fourth episode of their series of conversations on making city planning work in India, Bimal Patel and B.R. Balachandran discuss the importance of keeping affordability in mind when framing regulations, norms and standards. Starting with housing affordability, they talk about how unrealistic norms and standards can be counterproductive, resulting in outcomes that are quite the opposite of what they set out to achieve, often excluding and rendering illegal, large sections of urban population. They also discuss what approach we should take to norms and standards, keeping affordability in mind.
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 doctoral 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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