Wisdom, Values and Landscape Architecture: Towards Smart Cities
Poised to emerge as one of the global powers of the 21st century, India targets to make its cities 'Smart'. There is widespread international interest in the concept of smart cities- apart from the agenda of sustainability and energy conscious design, a Landscape Architectural approach is probably central to the success of their physical and social environment. The changing relationship of man and environment is the evidence of the change in human values. Traditional cities, governed by socio cultural values and wisdom were self-sustainable and rendered qualitative experience to the people.
The modern city emerged with its unprecedented pace of growth and spread- and resultant blight. The focus gradually shifted from quality to quantity making the city ugly and increasingly detached from its people. With the modern city in the background the society looks forward to a 'livable city'. One look at many cities today and it seems that our wisdom of making cities, the values we read from it and the urban landscape are seriously compromised. Firmly rooted in the best of traditional values that are relevant and the 'smart' aspirations of a better tomorrow, our cities and towns pose a challenge to create inherently beautiful environments: 'beautiful' in the comprehensive sense of the word: beauty-inherent or within; and visual or without. The 10th Conference of ISOLA had aim to bring into discussion the human values, their effect on urban landscape architecture and the wisdom involved in re-establishing the inseparable connection between them. The conference emerged with an agenda for landscape of the cities in future.
The Sub Themes of the Conference were:
The City Today Cities today - The Uncomfortable City Changing Values, globalisation & Landscape Architecture -how we have got used to the idea that the City is a Puzzle, and the burden of its solution lies with its users, not its makers. Safety, Social division and conflict, inequitable access to urban space, the loss of cultural space and other disconnects.
The City Yesterday - The Traditional City as it was - Of traditional knowledge and a wholesome past. The inseparable connection between aesthetics and everyday life A city that belonged: of me and mine. The home town, context & belonging.
The City Tomorrow - The Modern City and the Twentieth Century, paradoxes of planning and how we walked away from wisdom Development outstrips planning: Landscape at the margins Incorrect Prescription, Irrelevant Solutions Smart City, Beautiful City: The City in the matrix of landscape architecture.