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Towards Urban Sustainability- 2nd GRIHA Regional Conference

Towards Urban Sustainability- 2nd GRIHA Regional Conference

12- 13 Oct 2012

Background
ADaRSH (Association for Development and Research on Sustainable Habitats) in association with Sustainability Initiatives (SI) organized a two day conference at Suzlon One Earth in Pune targeting the Western Region including the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. The 2-day Regional Conference focused on broader issues of Urban Sustainability and the discussion focused on how GRIHA approaches this goal through its certification mechanism. The conference sessions explored how the goal of urban sustainability can be achieved through policy mechanisms at various levels – from national level to a community level.

The conference was attended by about 260 participants including delegates, invitees, speakers, volunteers and organizers. The participants included professionals such as engineers, architects, planners, academicians, real estate professionals as well  as representatives of corporate and government organizations.

The conference focused on the following themes:

1. Participatory Approach and Grassroots Initiatives: Strengthening democratic institutions through effective grassroots participation generally leads to better and more sustained management of natural resources. This session deliberated on the directions that policy should take and showcased some commendable peoples’ movements towards sustainability.
2. Sustainability for Large Developments: This session focused on means and methods to achieve sustainability in large developments.
3.  Green Building as a Tool for Sustainable Development: The session established “Green building” as a tool to achieve urban sustainability. GRIHA certified, innovative and path-breaking green building projects were showcased as case examples.
4.  Multiple Perspectives on Sustainable Developments: This session showcased multiple perspectives on sustainability of urban areas including GRIHA as one of the tools.
5.  Carbon Footprinting and Building Performance: This session focused on carbon footprinting as a tool to measure the building performance.
6.  Capacity Building for Sustainable Development: This session focused on formal and informal education as tool to build capacity of the young professionals to think and practice Sustainability in their projects.

With a common objective to promote skill upgradation of construction workers, ADaRSH and Kushal also signed a MoU at the occasion. Kushal is a CSR Initiative of CREDAI which focuses  on upgrading skills of construction workers (covering 6 trades namely shuttering, bar bending, plumbing, tiling, masonry and painting) including social skills and safety training.  A site visit to the Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority (PCNTDA)building and demonstration of the UrbanISM game by Ar Marcus Wilshere were some of the other highlights of the conference.  Former Director-General of Bureau of Energy Efficiency and member of Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change- Dr. Ajay Mathur concluded the conference with his key note on Energy Policy and Sustainable Urban Development.

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