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Cities are known for its complexities and operational inefficiencies. cities
remain dynamic ,ever evolving, ever devolving, never static and never finite.
All cities remain different, distinct, unique and universal. No two cities are
similar. Each city has its own strength, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats. Accordingly, problem faced by any city cannot be viewed, dissected,
analyzed and enumerated, while sitting within the four walls of the air-
conditioned rooms and by the so called intellectual sitting in the so called
offices determining the future of cities and towns. Neither the cities can be
made more rational by limited knowledge agencies providing consultancy to
cities , states and nations.
For realistically and rationally understanding, analyzing the cities and
having simple, cost-effective and quality solutions to the problems and
challenges faced , Cities have to be walked through and concerns of the
various communities have to be properly understood and appreciated.
Prime reason for inability and lack of capacity on the part of majority of
physical planners, engaged in the art and science of planning, designing and
developing the cities, to address the issues and challenges faced by cities ,
realistically and rationally, has genesis in the lack of understanding of the
origin, growth and development of cities.
Lack of capacity in majority of town planners, has roots in the quality of
education imparted and seriousness and commitment on the part of both
teachers and taught involved. As it stands today, majority of institutions
involved in imparting education in planning are being run on an ad-hoc
manner and by proxy. Only few institutions have regular teachers and regular
students. Majority of planning institutions are being run on proxy with proxy
students and proxy teachers. Education system including curricula used for
teaching, needs, review, revision and redefinition to make it more relevant to
rational for addressing the issues and challenges faced by the cities and
towns.
It needs to be understood and appreciated by the planners that Cities grow
in layers and not in composite and integrated manner. manner. Each urban
layer has its peculiarities and challenges of planning, growth and
development. Each layers remain different and distinct. No two layers are
similar. Accordingly for finding appropriate and realistic solutions, each layer
has to be understood, dissected and appreciated in its genesis and
challenges, before finding logical solutions. Planners and administrators
have their limit in understanding the cities, which are being planned,
designed and operated by proxy. Planning is now largely being run on files.
Cities are not files. They are living labs. We need to work in these labs to
evolve right kind of options. Otherwise, we will be doing grave injustice to
cities, humanity , communities and states, environment. India needs to find
its own solutions considering its peculiarities and uniqueness. Copy paste
has already done grave damage to the cities by planners and consultants.
In order to make physical planning more qualitative, rational , relevant,
realistic, profession must take up R&D in the domain of planning ie,
preparation of Master Plans, Development Plans and Zonal Plans etc. to
make planning tools, planning profession and planning professionals more
rational, realistic, empowered, effective and efficient.

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Knowing, Understanding and Planning Cities- Role and Relevance Physical Planners

  • 1. Cities are known for its complexities and operational inefficiencies. cities remain dynamic ,ever evolving, ever devolving, never static and never finite. All cities remain different, distinct, unique and universal. No two cities are similar. Each city has its own strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Accordingly, problem faced by any city cannot be viewed, dissected, analyzed and enumerated, while sitting within the four walls of the air- conditioned rooms and by the so called intellectual sitting in the so called offices determining the future of cities and towns. Neither the cities can be made more rational by limited knowledge agencies providing consultancy to cities , states and nations. For realistically and rationally understanding, analyzing the cities and having simple, cost-effective and quality solutions to the problems and challenges faced , Cities have to be walked through and concerns of the various communities have to be properly understood and appreciated. Prime reason for inability and lack of capacity on the part of majority of physical planners, engaged in the art and science of planning, designing and developing the cities, to address the issues and challenges faced by cities , realistically and rationally, has genesis in the lack of understanding of the origin, growth and development of cities. Lack of capacity in majority of town planners, has roots in the quality of education imparted and seriousness and commitment on the part of both teachers and taught involved. As it stands today, majority of institutions involved in imparting education in planning are being run on an ad-hoc manner and by proxy. Only few institutions have regular teachers and regular students. Majority of planning institutions are being run on proxy with proxy students and proxy teachers. Education system including curricula used for teaching, needs, review, revision and redefinition to make it more relevant to rational for addressing the issues and challenges faced by the cities and towns. It needs to be understood and appreciated by the planners that Cities grow in layers and not in composite and integrated manner. manner. Each urban layer has its peculiarities and challenges of planning, growth and development. Each layers remain different and distinct. No two layers are similar. Accordingly for finding appropriate and realistic solutions, each layer has to be understood, dissected and appreciated in its genesis and challenges, before finding logical solutions. Planners and administrators have their limit in understanding the cities, which are being planned,
  • 2. designed and operated by proxy. Planning is now largely being run on files. Cities are not files. They are living labs. We need to work in these labs to evolve right kind of options. Otherwise, we will be doing grave injustice to cities, humanity , communities and states, environment. India needs to find its own solutions considering its peculiarities and uniqueness. Copy paste has already done grave damage to the cities by planners and consultants. In order to make physical planning more qualitative, rational , relevant, realistic, profession must take up R&D in the domain of planning ie, preparation of Master Plans, Development Plans and Zonal Plans etc. to make planning tools, planning profession and planning professionals more rational, realistic, empowered, effective and efficient.