India has witnessed the country’s first Land Summit 2017. The global conference on land economics, infrastructure development and finance, was organised to contribute to the ecosystem for holistic land-use development. The summit also highlighted ‘the land question’ and discussed in depth about the contemporary social concerns such as problems of housing affordability and environmental quality.
Land being the most basic of all economic resources, its use is crucial in shaping effective functioning of cities, determining degree of economic inequality and possibility of ecological sustainability. The global conference hosted a list of prominent speakers who deliberated on affordable housing for all, challenges for rapid development of India, FDI structuring and intellectual property, maximising returns from rural lands and other such interesting topics which would help India make optimum use of their land.
Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, was present at the event to felicitate prominent industrial players with the Dr Homer Hoyt Awards. The other impressive line of speakers and prominent personalities present at the event were Deepak Kesarkar, Minister of State, Minister for Planning and Finance; Subhash Desai, Minister of Industries, Government of Maharashtra; Leslie Pollock, Principal Urban Planner, LAI Global Chapter Chair; Ramesh Nair, CEO & Country Head, JLL India; and Niranjan Hiranandani, Indian Entrepreneur, Co-founder & Managing Director, Hiranandani Groups.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, reportedly said, “Maharashtra has achieved up to 50 per cent urbanisation and the biggest challenge before any government is to manage urbanisation. While this urbanisation was happening, we didn't manage it, which resulted in unsustainable urbanisation. 65 per cent of our GDP comes from our cities, which makes them engines of growth. If we can leverage this capacity of cities in a sustainable way, we can accelerate its development in a way that benefits all. We need to manage urbanisation through initiatives like the Smart Cities mission, planned in a sustainable manner.”
The Dr Homer Hoyt Award acknowledged the contribution of industry players like Renaissance Indus Infra, Manavlok Social Work College, Indian Coast Guard, Hiranandani Communities and Gazenia Shelters for their contribution for sustainable land development in urban and rural India.