New Delhi : Fostering robust partnerships and seeking a collective and collaborative approach towards green, accessible, functional and liveable housing will be what experts from GRIHA Council and UNSW Sydneys School of Built Environment will focus on at the 10th Griha Summit being held here December 10-12.
Ahead of the summit, for which GRIHA Council has for the first time partnered with a foreign institution, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, a curtain raiser was held at the UNSW India Centre, attended by Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean, UNSW School of Built Environment and Sanjay Seth, Senior Director – Sustainable Habitat Programme, The TERI and Chief Executive Officer, GRIHA Council and representatives from business and industry, NGOs, the UN Human Settlements Programme and think tanks.
Eminent Indian architect, Professor B.V. Doshi, who is the first Indian to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Award, will be felicitated during the summit including a video interview with him and UNSW’s Pritzker prize winner Professor Glenn Murcutt. Doshi is also expected to address one of the plenary sessions, Seth announced.
Seth said the partnership with UNSW is the “first time that GRIHA is being co-created with international partnership.
“It is a coming together of two institutes of repute, and both will be deliberating on issues critical in the developmental agenda of the government of India,” Seth noted.
“Much of the habitat has to be put in place, and the next decade will see much more happening,” he said, adding that the partnership would be very important in the pursuit of excellence in the setting up of the development agenda.
Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean School of Built Environment at UNSW and President of the Australian Architect’s Association, said UNSW was happy to be collaborating with GRIHA. She termed it a partnership that would see both sides collaborating in education and research and that GRIHA was just the start of a long-term and collaborative association.
She said the UNSW School of Built Environment is rated among the top in Australia, and is ranked 23 globally in the QS ranking. “We focus on green, functional, liveable and sustainable architecture, and also make sure we work in collaboration with industry and research policies,” said Lochhead.
She said the opportunity to work with Griha and Teri would be a way to help “bring real change in the world we live in”.
The GRIHA Summit will discuss sustainable building policies, tools and techniques and exhibitions showcasing sustainable building materials, construction practices and technologies. The December 11-12 plenary sessions would see important issues being discussed with equal participation of experts from both institutes.
Noted Indian-Australian materials scientist from UNSW, Veena Sahajwalla, and Professor Deo Prasad, who deals with zero carbon, would be addressing the sessions. UNSW President and Vice Chancellor Ian Jacobs will also be participating at GRIHA.
Health, smart cities, smart transport, waste management, innovations, energy efficiency, would be among 16 thematic tracks in the sessions.
Participants expressed hope that raising public awareness on environmental and sustainability issues could be an integral objective of the Summit along with a strong implementation programme that has the support of all stakeholders.
Amit Dasgupta, India country director UNSW, said that the co-creation of GRIHA by TERI and UNSW was a reflection of UNSW’s India Strategy where cutting edge research could be collaboratively used to build a sustainable, green and liveable habitats. “Our job today is to focus on how we might partner with government, business & industry, NGOs and other stake-holders so that we might transform lives for the better.”
The Narendra Modi government has embarked on a programme to provide housing for all by 2022 that includes rehabilitation of slum dwellers, promotion of affordable housing and subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction.
According to estimates, half of India’s population would reside in urban areas by 2030 and India is expected to add the largest number of urban dwellers by 2050.