In an interview with The Indian Express, Rahul Mehrotra—conservationist, architect and author of Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral MEGACITY—talks to Shiny Varghese about his belief that the current notion of a 'smart city' is about "blanket replication, [which] will result in gated communities and flattening of the city, driven by infrastructure and investment." He argues that this approach "will create a form of exclusion."
The problem with the notion of “smart cities” is that it sets up the environment to be fashioned in a single image, it’s not about cultural specificity. The only way to get people involved in the city imagination is to respond to local needs and aspirations. To be socially relevant, cities have to grow out of the roots. They cannot be transplanted so easily.
Read the article in full, here.
Among the many complex interactions between humans and water in the Ganges river basin, perhaps none is more awe-inspiring than the religious festival of Kumbh Mela, which every twelve years hosts the largest single-purpose gathering of people on the planet, with an estimated 2 million temporary residents and 100 million total visitors in 2013.