Over the past two centuries, industrialisation and urbanisation have shaped our world. Despite that, the effects of climate change, deforestation, and water depletion remind us that we have neglected nature for too long. It’s time for nature to reclaim its place. The devastating consequences of climate change have become increasingly apparent in recent decades, escalating dramatically in the past few years. The magnitude of this disaster is now coming to light, and its impact will continue to grow unless we make significant changes.
Shifting the perspective of urban planning is vital to combat it. Public spaces should take precedence, shaping the layout and design of urban areas. Embracing a nature-centric approach to urban development, which prioritises pedestrians and cyclists, encourages active modes of transportation and reduces car reliance, is essential. We should also build homes that respect regional climates and environmental conditions. For instance, a home in Rajasthan or Kerala should reflect its region’s distinct needs and characteristics, just as a coastal or desert home would require a different design approach. Architectural sensibilities should adapt to the specific environmental context.
A mindset shift is, in fact, necessary at every level. Policymakers must prioritise mindful urban expansion considering natural topography, drainage patterns, wind flows, and vegetation. Future urban settlements should align with the contours established by nature over millennia. Involving ecologists, environmentalists, and the local community is crucial for inclusive decision-making in urban development. By requiring consent from affected stakeholders, as developed nations do, regulations can go beyond mere rules and actively involve those impacted by development.
As we move forward, it is vital to recognise that architectural sensibilities should vary depending on the specific environmental context. By adopting a nature-centric mindset and incorporating sustainable practices into our urban planning, we can mitigate the impact of climate change and create resilient, harmonious communities that thrive in tandem with the environment.
The time for change is now, and it is up to us to pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.