The urban population is expected to double in the next 40 years, forcing cities to undertake a holistic and sustainable transformation of their model. One of the great challenges that an architect today face is creating quality spaces in dense cities. However, most believe that rapid technological advancement will solve this issue, but this is far from true. If we think technology will solve everything, that cities should be left to the government or private investors, or that cities are only for those who can afford to live there, we won’t get very far. We need architects who can effectively create an environment where there is sustainable living and efficient use of resources, where there is a seamless amalgamation of culture, heritage, people, and buildings. India has been a forerunner in sustainable architecture with names like Revathi Kammath and Yatin Pandya. Adding names to this list is Institute of Architecture and Planning, Nirma University.
Initially kicking off as being entirely oriented toward Technology and Management courses, Nirma University wanted to create a new focus in the field of Architecture, Planning, and Design. “The rapid economic growth in India has created an urgent need to address the issues related to urbanization and development. Built Environment is the field that integrates and combines different aspects of development – both tangible and intangible, through physical manifestation and helps in creating a better society and living environment. The disciplines of Architecture and Planning go beyond functional aspects of design of buildings, and help in creating vibrant human environment thereby enhancing the quality of life of the people and overall aesthetics of a place. It is these fields that encompass various aspects like urban design, land utilization, energy conservation, sustainability, ecology, landscape, heritage conservation, affordable housing, infrastructure and public transport etc. at both micro and macro levels,” says Utpal Sharma, Director, Institute of Architecture and Planning, Nirma University.