Rapid urbanization of developing countries such as India and China over the past decade has resulted in almost 200,000 people migrating from rural to urban somewhere on the planet every day (United Nations statistics). This translates into the need for the world to accommodate the equivalent of a new city of a million people every week. How can our existing – or new – urban centers accommodate this growth?
Over the past decade, numerous ‘new’ carbon-neutral cities have been proposed as a part-solution to this problem – such as Dongtan in China or Masdar in Abu Dhabi. These new cities have an opportunity to build a sustainable, environmentally-conscious infrastructure from the outset, and thus support more sustainable patterns of life. Whilst these envisaged new cities have an important role to play in the future, in themselves they are not the solution. The rural to urban migration is centered on existing cities, many of which are struggling with the consequential population explosion and the impact on existing infrastructure and patterns of life.
Our host city for the conference – Mumbai – is a poignant example of the pressures many cities in developing countries face. A population growth which currently sees the city census at 16 million and growing daily, is superimposed on an infrastructure which has seen little development since its initial creation. Every aspect of it seems way beyond capacity – mass transit, power, waste handling, access to clean water. The real situation that countries such as India and China face – as well as large parts of the developed world – is not necessarily how to create new sustainable cities where the urban slate is wiped clean, but how to re-make existing cities in a sustainable way.This conference will debate these urban and policy issues, whilst also considering the role tall buildings and increased urban density have to play.
Key speakers include:
Dr. Ken Yeang, Director, Llewelyn Davies Yeang, London
Charles Correa, Founder, Charles Correa Architects, Mumbai
David Nelson, Head of Design, Foster + Partners, London
David Scott, Principal, Arup, New York
Shri Ratnaker Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, Mumbai
James von Klemperer & David Malott, Principal & Senior Associate Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Ahmad Abdelrazaq, Executive Vice President, Samsung C&T, Korea
Phil Enquist, Urban Planner, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Chicago
Sudhir Jambekhar, Principal, FX Fowle Architects, New York
Michel St Pierre & Peter Weingarten, Gensler
Shyam Sunder and Barbara Lippiatt, Directors, National Institute of Standards & Technology, USA