[Reader-list] Turtles, Tatas and Reva

Shuddhabrata Sengupta shuddha at sarai.net
Tue Apr 22 17:43:24 IST 2008

Dear Aman,

You wrote - "Our utopian city should not be one full of REVAs, and it  
should not
be one full of Nanos either .. it should ideally be full of bicycles  
and public transport ..and roads designed for cyclists and rickshaw  
pullers rather than automobile users - perhaps the ideal vehicle  
could be a cross between the Nano and Reva - small, cheap and non- 
polluting.We could call it the Never"

I totally agree. My enthusiasm for the Reva needed your note of  
temperence. And better never than nano. : )

And I think that you are right in saying that cities worth living in  
need to be smaller so that they can be gotten around in cycles and  
rickshaws. Delhi, in the 19th century was apparently such a city.

Now, if a city like Delhi could be redesigned (speculatively, and in  
good humour, as a heuristic exercise) we could begin by erasing what  
is erroneously called 'Lutyens' Delhi off the map, it's too much  
space for too few people.That could leave maybe a few bungalows  
(maybe just 3 or 4) to double as libraries, themed discotheques and  
chess clubs. Wonder how much that would shrink the city. Maybe not  
much, but it could be a beginning, then we could demolish the  
memorials by the riverbank, all of them, and collect all the ashes of  
all the national leaders and put them in a reasonably sized urn in  
the corner of a former underground parking lot converted into  
municipal storage space, and also get rid of the eyesore called the  
Akshardham temple. And then invite the decent, hardworking people who  
once used to live on the riverbank to return.

If there are architects and urban planners on the Reader List  
listening in, perhaps someone from amongst them could begin proposing  
alternative maps for the future of our cities - as sketchbook  
scenarios, with no (political) limits on what can be imagined.  In  
case the architects and the urban planners are too shy to reveal  
their speculative selves, or even if they are not, maybe the rest of  
us could also respond. Any takers?



On 22-Apr-08, at 4:11 PM, Aman Sethi wrote:

Shuddhabrata Sengupta
shuddha at sarai.net

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