From Garden to Granite – A City like never before | WGIC Bangalore 2018

From Garden to Granite – A City like never before

Bengaluru is a city with many facets. The Venue for the latest edition of World Green Infrastructure Congress 2018 is famous for many reasons, allowing the city to be known by many monikers. Be it as Silicon Valley of India, for its IT fame, or in the past as Garden City, for its many sprawling gardens, and tree lined boulevards and avenues, or as a pensioners’ paradise.


Recent surge in immigration, and population explosion caused due to it has put a heavy strain on the city. It is fast losing its lakes, its gardens, and its trees. One can easily spot the Garden City fast turning into a Granite City.


With a population growth from around 5 million in 2001, to over 12 million as per some estimates today, Bangalore is facing some of the biggest challenges in preserving its nature, environment, and natural resources, like lakes, trees etc.


Faced with the dilemma of choosing between urbanization and infrastructure development, against the backdrop of concerns about rising pollution levels, temperatures within the city, traffic, and general deterioration of standard of living within the city, Bangalore is truly a significantly loud example of unsustainable growth that needs tackling.


To this end, it is almost poetic, to choose Bengaluru as the venue for WGIC 2018, this June. Before you see why, let’s explore the story of Bengaluru a bit further.


A Look Back – Pensioners’ Paradise

Bengaluru was once a laid back mega town where pensioners from all across the country use to come, to settle down and spend a quiet retirement in a city, with fairly moderate weather all through the year, greenery everywhere, and clean air to breathe. Bengaluru of yesteryears, many old residents of the city will tell you, was a quiet, quaint town, with a slow pace, and rich nature.

 

Parks and Gardens form the core of the city’s irresistible charm. ©Santhosh Gaikwad

 

This picture from IISc Campus, in the heart of Bengaluru gives you a small glimpse into the beautiful tree lined roads that once used to be all over the city. ©Maya Kilpadi

 

Sparrows and Pigeons have all but disappeared from most of the city. © Aparna Nori

 

Whitefield, a popular IT and Expat hub in the city, was once a wild country at the fringe of the city, with beautiful bungalows, and green spaces. ©Aparna Nori

Read more about the old Bengaluru experiences here.


Garden City Grandeur

Bengaluru has been blessed with no extremities in its weather conditions, and rainfall. This has been a perfect spot to develop an urban ecosystem, where about a million or more residents used to live in a fairly large city, with wide tree lined avenues, lakes, gardens, reservoirs, and general picturesque locale. Bengaluru lifestyle has always been of fairly simplified ease, and slow pace. Bengaluru used to be a popular summer vacation destination, for many in South India, to experience Ootacamund like proximity to nature, while enjoying the perks and awes of a cosmopolitan society.

 

Malleswaram Railway Station ©msanjay

 

 

MG Road (2007), taken before the construction of the Namma Metro. ©The Bangalorean

 

Making of a Silicon Valley in Indian Peninsula

Ever since the advent of IT Revolution within the country, and especially in Bengaluru, the city has transformed from a quiet large town, into the fifth largest cosmopolitan city in the country. And such rapid and exponential growth in economy and industry of the city, of course, has had its own direct and indirect consequences.


 

Namma Metro Ongoing Construction Work. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

 

To support the needs of a rapidly growing city, Bengaluru has been working on connecting its corners with a modern Metro system. Namma Metro, ever since its inception, is a project, that is all set to connect different suburbs and central districts for better commuting between residential and commercial parts of the city.


 

Construction Phase picture of Manyata Tech Park

 

IT Parks like Manyata Tech Park, Electronic City, EGL, etc., form the backbone of the city’s strong IT fueled economy. Construction of these Tech Parks has transformed Bengaluru from being a quiet pensioners’ retirement town, to a fast paced competitive powerhouse of the country.


 

Construction work on Hosur Road Elevated Flyover. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

 

Providing supporting infrastructure for inner city and inter-city travel has been one of the biggest challenges Bengaluru has faced, due to population of the city more than doubling within a matter of a decade. The quick need to meet the rising infrastructural challenges has led to considerable Green Cover loss in the city.


 

Electronic City Elevated Flyover. ©Nithyavismayam

 

Electronic City – Oldest IT Park in the City. Image Courtesy: bengaluruonline.in

Ageing Granite City

Due to many overlapping reasons, Bengaluru has faced severe strain not just on its aesthetics, but also on its health as a city, due to heavy population rise, and less than ideal Urban Planning. The city is fast becoming a Granite City.


Bengaluru is struggling to maintain its Green Cover, and its old monikers, which every Bengalurean is proud of!


Here are a few pictures to describe the present day view of what’s changing in the city, in the past 20 years:


 

Namma Metro Ph-1 has been done, and Bengaluru now has a modern Metro system, connecting significant portion of the city.
Image Source: Hindustan Times

 

M.G.Road today. Image Source: The News Minute

 

City’s Main Bus Station, Kempegowda Bus Terminal, has grown from being a road side bus pick up point, back in the 70s, to a complex traffic Behemoth of today. Image Source: The Hindu

 

Electronic City Flyover, and the areas which have IT Parks in the rest of the city, face incredibly tough traffic woes, which can lead up to multi-hour traffic jams occasionally.

 

Green Infrastructure is just the need of the hour, here in Bengaluru! To keep moving forward, and making progress, while also starting to repair the damage caused by the meteoric growth of the city, Green Urban Infrastructure, Waste Management, Greening Technologies, and Water Management are the need of the hour!


And WGIC 2018’s agenda is just that! Could there be a better venue for the Academic deliberations than this?


If you are a Bangalorean, or if you happen to agree on the idea that Green Infrastructure tackles the challenges on developing cities, like Bengaluru, then you should be a part of the Conference.


Read more about the Conference, and buy your ticket here.


Join us at WGIC 2018, and let us build a sustainable green future together.