22 October 2015
Squatter settlements all over the world are called informal settlements because they are not part of the official plan. Nearly 1 billion people who live in squatter settlements are people who came to the city in search of jobs, needed a place to live that they could afford, and, not being able to find it on the private market, built it for themselves on land that wasn’t their own. Undoubtedly, the growth of future cities depends upon how well we are able to plan for the ‘unplanned’. The generic theme evolving from Asia, Latin America and Africa is that as cities expand, the ‘informal’ sector grows faster than the ‘formal’ sector. This means that our plans will need paradigmatic change to deal with the heterogeneous housing and mobility needs of growing city populations. We will have to plan spaces for activities which cannot be always well defined and predicted. It is better to plan for what is inevitable than to turn a blind eye to the future.
Prof. Geetam Tiwari is currently the MoUD Chair Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Coordinator TRIPP, at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Dehli, India. She teaches transportation planning, traffic engineering and transport economics and finance to Masters and Bachelors students apart from guiding Ph.D students working in the area of Transport Planning, Safety and Non-motorised transport. Tiwari was appointed an honorary doctor by Chalmers University, Sweden in 2012, for her visionary research and socially beneficial research on transport. Tiwari has written, edited and contributed to various books in the field of urban transportation systems, road safety and injury prevention.
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