Changing the Model for Sustainable City Building
Getting a glimpse of Yangon’s new urban planning infrastructure was an eye opener to me. They had brought in Japanese contractors and financiers who had adopted a copy-paste approach to rebuilding Yangon, Myanmar. They will be implementing an ordinary urban ecosystem with prepackaged solutions — read a fossil fuel based, car centric, wasteful city. It dawned on me that we are not only about to build as much city in the next 40 years as we have the past 4,000 years, but we are about to build them with the same, short-sighted industrial standards instead of leap frogging to sustainable solutions.
I don’t think we are repeating these mistakes because of any major economic conspiracy, but simply because it is simpler. Bundling finance, energy solution, water solutions, traffic infrastructure and all general urban infrastructures is just too high an entry bar for most developing cities.
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