The Smart Green Summit & Awards 2018
The Smart Green Summit & Awards, a reflection of Saint-Gobain’s philosophy of Creating well-being in Living Places, is a day conference presented in partnership with The Economic Times. This legacy summit will bring together 500+ top notch developers, architects, designers, government officials, sustainable experts, and other architecture and design related executives… Read more.
When it comes down to what we can do, we need to become more aware of how we can participate in making our cities smart enough to support the plethora of people moving into urban areas. We have 4041 cities in India, and they are full because rural areas haven’t been taken care of as they should have.
There are always going to be gaps and holes that need to be filled when it comes to planning a city. We can start to add layers to the city, whether old or new, but maybe the right way of city planning is not to expand outwards, but to consolidate. Rather than consolidate, densify current cities.
We as architects and developers need to accept that technology will be the drivers of our projects. A combination of active and passive features will make green and sustainable buildings more possible than ever.
At Saint-Gobain, sustainability is not just the core of our strategy. It is a philosophy that is visible in various facets of our working. Sustainability for us means being in balance with the community and is at the heart of our CSR agenda. We see ourselves as part of a larger social ecosystem and ensure we support community development in various forms. Today, sustainability is one of the biggest challenges that the world faces, and we take pride in our contribution to sustainability and will continue our efforts.
At a time when the global leaders are congregating in Paris to discuss how to mitigate the effect of climate change on humanity, I’m sure that all of us can make a huge difference to India combining its economic development with sustainability. Much of the Western world, and even China, has been built, but not a lot of it in necessarily a sustainable way. India is now embarking on a journey of growth & development and our thought leaders and influencers such as government, regulators and consultants can together make India’s growth story much more sustainable and much less harmful in the ecological sense. That’s what the Saint-Gobain and Economic Times Smart Green Summit is all about.
There are questions being raised with regards to environment-friendly development around the globe, because sustainable development concerns us all. The discussions we are having today will bear fruit tomorrow. We need to work towards making a positive change, and the Smart Green Summit & Awards is an important step in this direction.
There can be buildings that are rated green, but not the whole township. We have to work from outwards to inwards, i.e., from development to construction. We need to understand how we can do development without changing the whole ecosystem. Only then can we ensure that it is not only buildings, but also the built environment that is also green.
If we are not able to save enough resources through green building practices and resource-efficient practices, down the line the poorer people will not be able to get access, so it is very critical for us to save resources today.
I think here in India we have the potential to see everything automatically re-used and re-interpreted for new products without going through an industrial process. I think this has a lot of value and should be explored more.
Amaravati has been planned for 2.5 million people and this land pooling exercise is the largest one India has seen, with 33,000 acres of land pooled. We have planned this as the people’s city for inclusive development
These are the first few steps of an industry looking to meet the demand of a nation through architectural solutions. I am confident that once we push forward we will find remarkable progress and that the challenge is very inspiring.
If we continue with the way we are, we consume more than what the planet can bear, we are really on a track that is not sustainable. We must create a business model that sees us create riches for business and for the environment.
Sustainability comes down to 4 P’s really; people, in terms of addressing their social needs and bringing them out of poverty; prosperity, in terms of generating income for everyone; the third P is the planet, because business can’t profit on a dead planet. Profits must be made, but we must think of the generations to come; lastly, we need partnerships that contribute to larger causes.
India is now embarking on a journey of growth & development and our thought leaders and influencers such as government, regulators and consultants can together make India’s growth story much more sustainable and much less harmful in the ecological sense. That’s what the Saint-Gobain and Economic Times Smart Green Summit is all about.
We have no time to lose. If we had done something twenty years ago, it wouldn’t be too late. But we have crossed that threshold and need to do something now. If we continue the way we are, the whole world becomes synthetic and inorganic. What becomes of nature and everything organic? We need to see how we can emulate nature and bring it into our built environment so that we can give back to nature what we have taken from it.
Environmental sustainability and the sustainability of industry has always been understood as something that doesn’t go together. There is a general assumption that the industry is not willing to look after the environment because of the costs involved. But of late, as you must have noticed in the recent past, the industry has been able to modulate its response to the economic and environmental challenges and come up with modern strategies.
The world is undergoing unprecedented transition, with people migrating from rural to urban areas. Increased cellular penetration is also introducing the allure of urban areas to the rural populace. By 2050, it is estimated that 70% of the world will live in urban areas, which is truly staggering. This represents a significant challenge, but also a significant opportunity, which is why I feel that Smart Cities are a vital initiative.
One of the things limiting the imagination of people in Indian cities is not that one city has a spatial planning and data centre that a citizen can visit. Many cities have such places where a model of the city is made with lighting and built-up areas and public debate can be had. We have models of buildings, but why not models of cities?
There are certain fundamental rights of comfortable living, almost akin to the fundamental rights of living in democratic India. These are right to light, right to air and right to views. I would say that all of us have to design our living spaces by which these three rights are given as a granted to all who occupy a living space.
The key to success lies in creating an integrated solution to the citizen. What is important is urban governance, even more so than the bells and whistles of technology. Enabling governing provisions can ease the common citizens life.
By 2020, you’re going to see 1.8 billion smart devices. As part of the global change towards digitisation, we are seeing some major changes. Video, audio, calling, maps, automotive technology, augmented technology; we are thus talking about deep personalisation. So the business model and value proposition is changing rapidly.
India has the second largest population on the planet that is fighting for space on 7% of the land on this planet. And in that 7%, we need to find a way to exist with our forests, the species that keep these forests alive. We must learn to co-exist with this biodiversity, because all of our progress will be pointless if we don’t have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink in the next 20 years.
There is a new movement in how we will be designing and building the world, and in two words I call it cybertecture and urbanovation. Cybertecture means an integration of the application and the knowledge of our design skills with our technological skills. In fact, we are surrounded with a world that is already created out of science, and in the times to come, the opportunity is there for us to build a better world that integrates both these skills.