Heritage is a belief system

Heritage is a belief system

Ahmedabad is the first city to get the heritage tag. Ho...

Ahmedabad is the first city to get the heritage tag. How do you keep it that way when modern architecture has become a norm? Heritage is not just about design, it is a belief system of a community which is much more than aesthetics. To a good deal it is a reflection of the way of life one follows. Heritage is a cultural value and not a building value. Indian culture is diverse but modern architecture makes an attempt to make the built environment uniform. The influx of modernism is influenced by a way of life which is entrenched in travelling to distant lands or being a social media addict. As a result individuals remain keen on adapting what they see in reality or via virtual mediums.The idea of adapting what is unlike one's own culture is enticing and dictates a status quo of sorts, it adds a touch of modernity and distinction when the existing culture is unable to give the desired leverage. In architecture such developments amount to the rise of contemporary buildings. When the age-old culture is in a position to mitigate the new age challenges, break-ice and enthral everyone, heritage cities will be back in vogue. How can projects in Ahmedabad or any other metro be made affordable? Standardisation will drive affordability in projects. Without standardisation affordability is not possible. Just as customisation adds a touch of uniqueness, standardisation makes way for mass production. Mass production can ultimately curtail costs and make the projects created by architects, designers and builders affordable. How to address congestion in the city? To what extent can metro railways alleviate it? Creating satellite townships is a good way to tackle congestion. Moreover the existing trend of work from home can also aid decongestion. People throng to cities because it is a hub of opportunities, if similar opportunities are provided in new satellite townships people will move and the problem of congestion can be resolved. This will happen in a matter of time. Likewise if villages where people migrate from can provide opportunities and support a dignified way of life villagers won't throng to cities and congestion will be less. Metros can gratify needs of transportation and transportation alone. Developed nations like the UK and the USA have metro railways but it has not made the cities less dense. So until the opportunities are moved out of the existing centres of business and the need for travel is reduced congestion will continue to be an issue. What would you like to tell the developers and the higher-ups in the government? Developers need to be less profit centric, they need to understand what they can give back to the society and built environment. Policy making should be a bottoms up approach, the government should listen to architects, designers and people later they can refine it further.

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