Sustainable urban futures and how they were accelerated by the pandemic

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Sustainable urban futures and how they were accelerated by the pandemic

The COO and Co-Founder at Square Yards, Kanika Gupta Shori, has opined that the current lockdown has given us invaluable insights into how our surrounding environment can be revived in only a few months. However, economies are now unlocking after 3 months and normalcy or relief seem just around the corner. Yet, cities and towns will never stay the same owing to fears over the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. People are now realizing that our existing realities will not vanish with one lockdown, namely depending excessively on fossil fuels, biodiversity loss, huge carbon emissions, widening gap between the poor and rich, stymied and crawling housing markets and more.

Governments worldwide are going beyond their capabilities for combating the COVID-19 pandemic while implementing swift economic resurrection packages, they should not miss out on major aspects including goals for lowering emissions, building more resilient communities and analyzing environmental health. Preventive investments in protecting societies and lowering costs of future disasters should be given priority according to Shori.

Shori has talked about a whole host of aspects including faults that have been exposed by coronavirus and which exist within our urban systems. Cities have always been epicenters of economic progress, enabling swift influx of goods, people and money simultaneously. The lure of wealth creation, moving up the pecking order and enjoying the rewards of cosmopolitan life along with getting access to contemporary infrastructure have led to saturation of major cities along with over-densification according to her. This has naturally helped the pandemic spread its tentacles easily, particularly due to illegal housing societies and unplanned settlements with lack of basic public facilities in the hygiene department.

Shori asks a pertinent question of the reader- Why are we developing urban zones and cities? Are they only for drawing investments, enabling future growth and competing with global peers? Or are they really for building more scope of high-quality life, healthy lifestyles, sustainability and resilience? Everybody today wishes to ride out the pandemic in a healthy and safe manner along with ample community unity at the same time. Urban planning agencies now have to ponder over chances to build sustainable and safer cities in order to prevent future outbreaks of diseases. Innovations arising from the crisis are coming to the forefront while urban regulations and policies are being revamped for making life healthier and safer. The emphasis seems to finally be on steering clear of expensive future disruptions like the ongoing pandemic. Public stimulus spending, according to Shori, needs to be directed towards various major dimensions in order to rebuild the world for a more sustainable tomorrow.

For a detailed report on this read the articles we were featured in:

Entrepreneur India –

Published Date: 24 August 2020