Thursday, February 22, 2018

DMoXL9yVoAEE3IkMy Liveable City, an international magazine focused on informing and educating people on the concept of liveable cities kicked off a conference titled ‘Affordable Housing, Liveable Cities’ in Mumbai today.

The conference aims to showcase best practices from India and abroad, presentations by international stalwarts and provocative discussions among Indian experts drawn from private equity, financial institutions, builders, developers, designers and policy makers.

Experts from the fields of real estate, finance, design et al from across the country and the world came together to deliberate on some of the best practices and to find ways of achieving the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ initiative announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

The Guest of honour was Former Chairperson of State Bank of India, Ms Arundhati Bhattacharya who shared her insights and view on the subject having run the largest bank in the country in her key notH8cc80u5_400x400e address .This was followed by a key note address by Mr. Sriram Kalyanaraman, ‎Managing Director & CEO of National Housing Bank.

Amongst others, the conference witnessed the presence of luminaries and industry stalwarts like Renuka Ramnath (Multiples), Rajesh Krishnan (Brick Eagle), Sunil Rohokale (ASK Group), Sandeep Menon (Vastu Housing Finance), Sanjay Shah (DBS) and Vishal Gupta (Ashiana) to name a few.

The Maharashtra Government also made its presence felt with Sanjay Kumar (Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Housing, Govt. of Maharashtra), and the centre was ably represented by Jagan Shah (Director, National institute of Urban Affairs, Delhi) participating in the discussions.  

International experts like Alexander Jachnow (IHS, Rotterdam), Mr. Maarten Struijvenberg, (Vice-Mayor of Rotterdam, Ne therlands), Andrea Fitrianto (Architecture Sans Frontieres, Indonesia), Ellen Guerts (IHS, Rotterdam), Rene van Zuuk, were present at the conference to share their views and experiences.

The Indian expertise was helmed by Ashok Lall ( Ashok Lall Arch), Sameep Padora ( sP+a), Ritesh Vohra (IDFC), Madhav PDOv5D8fUIAAsSp_ai (WRI), Vishram Patil and Uma Adusumilli (MMRDA)

Reasonably priced housing is one of the primary preconditions for making a city liveable and forms the largest component of any urban development.

Historically, in other countries too, this has not always been easy to achieve. Not only because it is, by definition, a difficult proposition to succeed in, but also because the government has had different priorities.

This has changed though. The Indian government has taken upon itself to make a concerted push to tackle this issue in the coming years. Its ‘Housing For All’ initiative envisages every Indian family owning a house by 2022, the 75th year of India’s Independence; a mammoth task that will need tens of millions of affordable units to be built in the coming years.

Shashikala Venkatraman, Co-founder of My Liveable City said: “It is not just about ShashiV-144x220finance, design, development or policy.

We are keen to have all the stakeholders use this discussion platform as we truly believe that momentum will be achieved only when there is all round commitment to and alignment with the goals of PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana).”

The problem is of such magnitude that the only way it can be tackled will be by approaching it from all sides: by modifying government regulations, by increasing the efficiency of professional players, by ensuring adequate capital and by building bottom-up using community participation.

Also, Affordable Housing will only give dividends in the long term if the other amenities in the city, like public transportation, employment and accessible public spaces welcome diversity.