Experts to map Ahmedabad's future

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has recruited young professionals from leading urban planning institutes in the country to prepare a roadmap for the city in the next 10 years. A unique department, named the urban development cell, has been set up under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission director D Thara and this cell will have four faculties headed by professionals from the Delhi School of Planning and CEPT university. These faculties will focus on urban planning, urban architecture and transport and urban environment. They will study the demand-supply in each of these sectors and prepare separate roadmaps for them. The plan will be ready by 2012. The process has been jointly undertaken by AMC and Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority.“This will be a 10-year planning that will focus on urban housing for the middle class and lower middle class as realty is set to skyrocket in the coming years. Besides, development in the city has remained concentrated in few pockets. By introducing integrated public transport and concentrating development along the transportation corridors, we plan to scatter this uneven development phenomenon,” says Ahmedabad municipal commissioner IP Gautam.A key focus of this exercise will be a thorough review of the year 2002 development plan for the city and how far the AMC has been able to meet its goals. “The last survey was done in 1998 and then some major reforms took place in Gujarat urban development regulations after the 2001 earthquake,” says Gautam.“This will be done entirely by professionals. The political wing will not have any role in this process,” said a senior AMC official.“Simple issues like neighbourhood centres in town planning (TP) were never defined. For instance, a fire station could have been located on an area earmarked as neighbourhood centre. Another being location of mobile phone towers which is now important as they form the backbone for the telecommunication network in our city,” he informed.Officials add that key pilot projects like organizing the cluttered Jamalpur area have been assigned to the urban development cell officials. “Through such pilot projects we are trying to encourage teamwork and at the same time setting a focus for the various faculties of the cell,” adds the official.

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