Jayaraj Sunderesan an Architect and consultant in iihs is currently working towards his PhD in London school of economics. IIHS  campus is coming up in Kengeri near Bangalore. It will be an Indian Institute of town planning in Bangalore.
“IIHS will create India’s first independent National Innovation University focused on the challenges and opportunities of its urbanization. This will be a privately funded globally-ranked education and action-oriented research institution at par with the celebrated Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). The IIHS will host an integrated program of high quality education, research and knowledge generation, executive training, distance learning, design and advisory services, advocacy and intervention.”
Growth rate in Bangalore has been highest in the recent times. It has strong lake based ecology which can contribute to sustainable drinking water. Jairaj started with the basic concept of a “three axis of sustainability”. These could be Equitability, Social Harmony and Environmental safety. Jairaj emphasized the fact that sustainability is a political issue, as it is to garner the support of people to save the planet earth from the brink of extinction due to human greed.
Equitable is being fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience. One should be free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception, conforming to established standards or rules. Legally or ethically right inequitable division of wealth is of importance. Showing lack of favoritism, with the cold neutrality of an impartial judge is hard to come by. Taxation also needs to equitable, to keep the balance between the rich and the poor. He mentioned about Arundhati Roys musings  on Maoism  which is conspicuous as a solitary opinion which stands out for the very same reason.
Capitol flow due to government priorities can be a sour point. The example of Commonwealth games fiasco  was sighted by Mr. Jairaj. Such discrepancies can be an impediment to social harmony. Religious conflicts are other sources of tension for otherwise harmonious communities. There is a need to think from basics and a historical perspective.
While sustainable has become a popular theme now a days, one need to understand what and whose life and rights are to be sustained. Sustainable is popular because every body looks at his own priority. Sustainable means capable of being sustained, capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage. Sustainable development should be non-inflationary by nature and design.
Mr. Sunderesan took an interesting example of a person having 20,000sq ft of house which can be cause economic conflicts.
Rachel Louise Carson http://en.wikipedia.org/w... "> (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement
Scattered reports of problems with pesticides had appeared in the technical Literature from the fifties onwards, but it was only in 1962 that a wide-ranging Critique of pesticides was published for a popular audience. Brought out by a Major trade press, this book charted the tremendous increase in the production And use of these chemicals since World War 2, and documented their failings. Focusing On chlorinated hydrocarbons and DDT in particular; it described their Physiological effects, their impact on human health and wildlife, and the Inadequacy of existing pesticide regulation. Antibiotics are similar in nature of the pesticides. Enough Care has to be exercised in the usage of Antibiotics. Rapidly growing population is a challenge to life support resources of nature.
Rich are higher consumers than the poor. Thus slums and the poor are the assets of a nation. This brings us to the scale issue. The 20000 sft house is an example of greed than need cutting into the carrying capacity of the earth. [6.1]
The mood that time was “Not even a good present so why worry about future”.
Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, having met at Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972, having considered the need for a common outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the peoples of the world in the preservation and enhancement of the human environment,
“The Brundtland Commission, formally the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), known by the name of its Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland, was convened by the United Nations in 1983. The commission was created to address growing concern "about the accelerating deterioration of the human environment and natural resourcesand the consequences of that deterioration for economic and social development." In establishing the commission, the UN General Assembly recognized that environmental problems were global in nature and determined that it was in the common interest of all nations to establish policies for sustainable development.”
Is “Whose future” a political question.
“The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to build upon it, With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people,”
Rio declaration of 1972 is a legally binding document
Ecological Foot print Of Vancouver is 180 times the area of Vancouver. It is different than Carbon foot print. No closed society is sustainable. Only renewable expenditure of the planets resources can be sustainable. The fallacy in costing of major projects is the fact that Carbon is not priced in the costing. The mall costs for example do not take into account increase in transport and hence Carbon foot print.
Human Development Index [HDI] vs Bhutan comes up regularly. But Bhutan is not a Democratic country
“This volume discusses the determinants of happiness and presents case studies of how public policy can help promote happiness. Happiness is a private matter and individual pursuit, however public policy does have an important role and can contribute much through various enabling means. Possible examples of such influence include establishing a set of institutions that allow private enterprises to flourish, investing in infrastructure and in education, protecting people from harm and reducing risks and alleviating pain when harm is unavoidable. This book takes a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science and an international perspective.”
The Centre's plan to rid cities of slums is of universal interest because even the smallest urban areas have them in one measure or the other. This slum-free plan of the Centre would be of particular interest to Mumbai [ Images ] which has the dubious distinction of being the world's slum capital because more than half the population lives in them.
The leading discussions moved around points like the following.
* Does Iran Own the Oil? Who owns the Bauxite in India?
* It is possible to reduce Carbon foot print to zero.
* Is Happiness through policy possible?
* Slum dwellers are most innovative. Slum is not a problem but a solution. Slum free cities may not be feasible
* The procurement system is most complex in Bangalore. Hence it is difficult to compile the ecological foot print of the city of Bangalore. Big money needs to be spent if we have to take up this work.
* Green house effect is not modeled fully yet. Earth has warmed 0.7 degrees centigrade since 1900.
* Glaciers are melting
* Who pays for the development?