Dr Shirish Sankhe delivered a lecture on smart urbanisation on September 9. He touched upon several aspects of a rapidly developing city like Pune. He called Pune “a city next to metropolitan like Mumbai in terms of infrastructure and development” and deemed it as a fertile ground ideal large scale development.

“Urbanisation is an inevitable part of life. It cannot be managed,” he said. According to Dr. Sankhe, Evolution being a progressive step, it cannot be compartmentalised to suit human needs.
If the current urbanisation status is to be believed, we are still away from the urban gridlock. The migrations and the birth rate contribute to the exploding population. There is already a considerable amount of slum shift happening in Pune and PCMC areas.

There is a declining trajectory on all the parameters. This needs to change fundamentally. Dr. Sankhe suggested that this change could be achieved by changing the crucial parameters of the city. He emphasised on the desired evolution on the political front by installing a metropolitan Mayor in 50 cities in the country.

According to his calculations, by 2030 cities will account for 70% of GDP, and will contribute 85% of the total tax. 13 mega cities will come up till then with consequences on parameters like supply of resources and transportation. The latter, he particularly described as a potential benchmark for smart urbanisation through appropriate development of roads and other related infrastructure.