Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Vision for Bangalore

Bangalore, a city like no other in India.  A city of gardens, of lakes, of pleasant weather, of morning mist in winter, of bearable summers, of tender rain. At a height of 949 metres above sea level is a great city to be in. I have a vision for Bangalore. And part of the thought came from here.

Bangalore is a smallish city. And almost circular. It is surely smaller than gigantic Delhi and shorter than linear Mumbai. It is not as crowded as Kolkata or Hyderabad nor as hot as Chennai. The weather here is amazingly conducive to walking and cycling. My Bangalore should take advantage of all the good things that the city has...

Give us a Bangalore with a city center or many city centers free of vehicles. Give us a Bangalore where we can sit on a bench and just enjoy the weather. Give us a Bangalore that slows down time. Give us a Bangalore where we can enjoy the famous Bangalore kaapi sitting out in the warm sun. Where we can set our easels and paint a picture of the city!

Give us a Bangalore where we can walk freely. Walk under the shades of numerous trees. Walk in parks. Walk alongside lakes. Walk to work and walk back. Give us a Bangalore that is pedestrian friendly. Where there are skywalks alongside or above the underpasses. Skywalks that let us get off the Metro and walk where we want to. Give us skywalks covered with creepers and let us all walk – without a care that the next car coming down the lane will run over us. Give us skywalks and pedestrian paths where children can walk freely and enjoy their city –a  city blessed by nature. 

Give us a Bangalore where I can hear the sparrows. Give us a Bangalore where we can feel the rain on my face. Give us a Bangalore which harvests its water and lets clear water flow into its lakes. Give us a Bangalore that recycles its waste and leads the way in sustainable living.

Give us a green Bangalore – green with trees above and a sustainable city. Give us a Bangalore that has cycle paths all around the city. Much of the commute today is well within 10-12 kilometers – easily bicyclable for the average Venkatesh. Bangalore does not need these many cars. Not in this city. Give us bicycle parks around the city.

And yes, while you are at it, take away the dust, the pollution and the traffic jams…(and much of what is written above, will incidentally result in that as well)

BBMP, are you listening?

PS: Note that I am not against development or road widening project or the Metro, nor do I aspire to take Bangalore to the stone ages. I would like the city to have more skywalks while the development continues. I would like cycle lanes to be built alongside the roads while we are at it. I would like the city to take into account pedestrians as well while planning for the excessive number of motor vehicles in the city. Anyway...

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