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Daily News Analysis

Editorial Analysis 29 May

29th May, 2024 Editorial Analysis

Daily Editorial Analysis

Editorial Analysis based onFires in Rajkot and Delhi: To get safer cities, we must demand them which was published in The Hindu.


  • Recent fires in Indian cities highlight institutional failures in urban planning and regulation.
  • Municipal corporations, civic development authorities, and planning control commissions are under scrutiny for their decisions shaping urban environments.
  • Effective planning could have mitigated risks to lives lost in these incidents.

Issues of urban fires in india

Role of By-laws and Building Codes:

  • Urban development is governed by by-laws framed under the National Building Code, safeguarding livability, safety, and sustainability.
  • However, complexities arise in implementing these laws in rapidly growing cities, leading to strained compliance efforts.

Spatial Relationships and Complexity in compliance:

  • Spatial relationships in urban areas are inherently complex, especially in semi-developed regions experiencing rapid densification.
  • Compliance with building codes may lead to spatial configurations that are not necessarily meaningful or conducive to safety and well-being.

Loss of Public Spaces and Privatization:

  • Privatization of public spaces and encroachment upon intermediate lands reduce opportunities for public activities.
  • Commercial developments restrict public access, leading to the loss of open public spaces for recreation and social interaction.

Air Pollution:

  • Urban areas in India are facing severe air pollution levels, primarily due to vehicular emissions, industrial activities, and construction projects.
  • Example: According to the World Air Quality Report 2023, 9 of the top 10 most polluted cities are in India.

Traffic and Mobility Challenges:

  • Rapid urbanization and the influx of private vehicles have led to severe traffic congestion, increasing commute times and hampering productivity.
  • Example: In Bengaluru, the average traffic speed during peak hours is estimated to be around 18 km/h, resulting in significant economic losses due to lost productivity and fuel wastage.

Urbanization and Building Edifices of Consumption:

  • India's rapid urbanization often prioritizes the construction of consumption-driven structures without adequate consideration for safety and sustainability.
  • The focus on short-term quantitative gains neglects long-term qualitative aspects of urban living.

Way ahead:

  • Demand for Healthy Urban Environments:
    • Stakeholders must prioritize the creation of safe and sustainable urban environments over mere compliance with regulations.
    • Urban residents should be aware of the trade-offs between short-term benefits and long-term quality of life.
  • Role of Planning Institutions:
    • Planning institutions need to periodically assess the quality of built spaces to identify vulnerabilities and maintain urban infrastructure.
    • Upholding the dignity of lived spaces and ensuring access to public areas are essential for fostering social and ecological sustainability.
  • Collective Responsibility for Urban Safety:
    • Ensuring a safe urban space requires collaboration between lawmakers, planners, and city users.
    • Meaningful implementation of spatial codes and active participation in urban processes are crucial for achieving a sound urban environment.
  • Sponge City Concept and Permeable Urban Landscapes:
    • Implementing the "Sponge City" concept, which involves the integration of permeable pavements, green roofs, rainwater gardens, and other water-absorbing features into urban landscapes.
    • Encouraging the preservation and restoration of natural water bodies, wetlands, and floodplainsthrough Blue-Green Infrastructure within urban areas to enhance water retention and flood mitigation.
    • Incorporating biophilic design principles into urban architecture and infrastructure, bringing nature into the built environment. Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport is a notable example of biophilic design.

Sponge cities:


Smart Cities:


Fire safety in India