Smart Cities

Prof Veena Sahajwalla

Meet The Woman Who Wants To Help India ‘Reform Waste’

In January this year, the ‘Guardian’ profiled Professor Veena Sahajwalla as “the woman who loves garbage.” Ever since her growing up days in Mumbai, Veena was fascinated by waste because she saw it as a hidden resource waiting to be tapped into. Today, her pioneering work completely transformed the way the properties of carbon-bearing materials are understood, including discarded graphites, plastics and rubber tyres. She has received international acclaim for inventing “green steel”.
MANJUNATH KIRAN via Getty Images

Frothing With Fury: Why The Toxic Foam Of Bangalore's Bellandur Lake Should Worry Us

As Bellandur Lake swelled yet again in these sudden rains and its acidic froth spilled over to the footpaths and streets, leading to skin rashes, red eyes and nausea among those who came in contact with it, should this bizarre phenomenon have come as a surprise? The lake has, after all, churned what was fed to it -- untreated sewage, detergents and toxic waste from unchecked small industries -- for decades.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

How India's Cities Can Become Smart

Truth is, Indian cities offer extremely low quality of life. Most would qualify as quite un-smart cities. Along with economic opportunities, urban residents need decent housing with core infrastructure such as 24x7 water, power, a tap and sewerage connection in every home, parks and green spaces and a hassle-free commute to work, preferably walking to work or by public transport. Instead, we have slums, pollution, deficient public transport and unresponsive city governance.
NARINDER NANU via Getty Images

How We Can Energise India's Power Sector

For a long time now, the power system in India has been experiencing extreme challenges in bridging the demand and supply gap. The gap has been increasing due to challenges in availability of good-quality coal -- close to 60% of 240GW installed capacity of the country's power is met by this fuel. Meanwhile, concern for the environment in the context of global warming has taken a front seat and the pressure on power project developers with delayed environmental clearances has drastically delayed projects.
Subhendu Sarkar via Getty Images

Smart Cities Don't Work If They Don't Work For Everyone

The Modi government's ambitious "100 Smart Cities" plan is making urban planning sexy in a country challenged by rapid and chaotic urbanisation. Yet there is no single, universally accepted definition of a "smart city". With massive investment expected to pour in, it is time to understand what will make India's urban centres truly smart. With one in six city dwellers living in a slum, inclusive growth is a critical principle that India cannot ignore.