Renowned urban planner bats for green building movement

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Kolkata, June 6: Inclusive city planning is imperative for the planned growth of any 'green' township, American urban planning expert Robert Brosnan said. Preserving the character of a city was the most critical factor of urban planning, but when the old façade of dilapidated buildings cannot be retained, it is best to tear them down, he said last evening at an interactive session organised by the USIS.

He further suggested the "Arlington Model" of urban planning. Arlington is a township adjacent to Washington DC, which was built not just taking into consideration the inhabitants, available land, water, power utility services, and sewerage, but also the need to conserve energy and avoid wastage.

"You must conserve energy to the best possible extent;  just planting saplings on the boulevards will not help," he said. "Wherever it is possible, replace the old buildings with new structures, but retain the look of the original," Brosnan said.

He advocated the need for putting equal stress on connectivity by introducing a better public transport network to take the load off private transport. "Think of how people can be dissuaded from having their own vehicles. Make public transport faster, user-friendly and comfortable. That will be an energy-efficient move, reducing pollutants in the air, especially in a tropical country like yours," Brosnan, the Director of Department of Community Planning, US, said.

Stressing the need for putting in place a mass transit system, he said that MRTS projects like underground rails could be the only alternative in addition to a large fleet of buses on dedicated feeder routes.


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