### Institution of Town Planners India Seminar on Environment-Based Urban Planning

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09 Jun 24
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Include Provisions for Gardens and Stepwells in Every Plan: Mehta*

### Institution of Town Planners India Seminar on Environment-Based Urban Planning

**Udaipur** - As part of the Environment Day program series, the Rajasthan chapter of the Institution of Town Planners India (ITPI) organized a seminar on “Environment-Based Urban Planning” at the Institution's auditorium. The event, hosted by the Udaipur branch, was chaired by Satish Shrimali, former Additional Chief Town Planner of the state and member of the ITPI Regional Committee. Shrimali highlighted the inclusion of environmental elements and provisions in the state's master plan construction process. He emphasized that a master plan is a legal document guiding the development of cities and towns.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Anil Mehta, Principal of Vidya Bhawan Polytechnic, stated that considering the increasing temperatures, floods, droughts, and desertification, the principles and approach of urban planning must be redefined. Mehta asserted that urban planning should focus on maximum conservation and enhancement of resources rather than their excessive consumption and exploitation.

Mehta stressed the necessity of incorporating gardens and stepwells in urban planning. Approval of land plans should require a minimum of 30% tree-covered green space. Provisions should include a garden (badi) with diverse species of trees, ensuring at least one large tree per 1000 square feet of land for temperature regulation. Instead of deep tube wells, the construction of stepwells should be mandated. Lakes, rivers, and hills should be declared eco-sensitive zones to protect them from permanent construction.

Mehta advocated for the revival of lime use in construction, as cement-based construction is responsible for two kilograms of carbon emissions per square foot, whereas lime absorbs carbon, improving the environment and regulating temperature.

Environmental expert Mahesh Sharma emphasized the need to prevent sewage from entering lakes and rivers and to ensure the provision of adequate clean water to the public. Efforts should also be made to maintain biodiversity in urban areas.

ICLEI South Asia's climate management expert Bhupendra Salodia pointed out that continuous concrete construction is raising the ground surface temperature in cities, posing a severe environmental crisis. Increasing vegetative ground surfaces instead of concrete is essential.

Senior Town Planner of Udaipur, Arvind Singh Kanawat, who coordinated the event, stated that the urban planning department is working with experts and public input to ensure environmental prosperity and temperature regulation in cities.

The seminar saw contributions from Gaurav Singhvi, Secretary of INTUC Udaipur, Deputy Town Planners Veerendra Singh Parihar, Nikita Sharma, Mahendra Singh Parihar, Dinesh Upadhyay, Nilesh Solanki, Raj Bahadur, and Pushkar Sen.

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