Friday, May 28, 2010

Converting Bangalore into one of the World Class cities of the Globe

Well Bangalore is already a world class city but it should be developed and fine tuned better. Let us basically identify atleast ten characteristics of a world class city in modern terms. World class could mean many things to many people but I have tried to bench-mark them against certain standards that might come from common sense as against achievements of other cities of the world.

  • Any world class city in my opinion must have a low cost of living. It should not be the other way round. Low cost of living means food and shelter is available handy at low prices. This is a challenge of sorts and the ability to maintain such a system stems from many conditions that prevail.
  • Any World class city must have a transit network for people round the clock and must have an inherent ability to handle working population and their travel demands. There must be well defined parallel options for people to travel to work and back. This means a judicious mix of MRT, Train services and Bus networks not to mention private services like taxis. Such a system exists during the day time in many cities but must extend into odd hours of the night too. The lone traveller who reaches the town in the middle of the night should not feel let down and a cost effective travel and transport solution must be open for him within the city.
  • Any world class city must have adequate scope for the development of arts both performing and the script. Art is what creates heritage and any world class city must create an heritage for itself. Some public stage of some kind must be built where thetrical performances and the like must be held once atleast almost every week. This enlivens the spirit of the people and gives a city a much needed fillip on a continuous basis.
  • Any World class city must have a low rate of crime. Crime can range from pick-pocketing to murder. Every city has a share of incidence of crime. Largely with the growth of contrivances like the mobile telephone crime by itself is on a down swing. Lack of education in any community is what fuels crime. Nevertheless intelligent policing is a pre-requisite for any city to prevent crime and deny oppurtunity to criminals who perpetrate crime and use it as a means of sustenance. Defanitely crime rate in Bangalore is on the wane. Prevention and not punishment must act as the most important detterrent to crime.
  • Any world class city must have a largely green environment. This means there must be a large number of un-obstructive trees and plants in the vicinity. This is what gives a city natural glow and ambience. It is important the ideal kind of trees that suit the topography of the land be planted in a planned way at all feasible points. Trees are a natural resource from nature and must be planted in abundance largely along highways and roads improving overall environmental conditions. Every city must post a disciplined effort in this direction.
  • Any world class city must have a very supportive public service network.The public service network would cover telecom services and call centers;postal and courier services; police srvices; travel services and many related services that form a city. These services largely refer to the services provided by the Government and its agencies. Here the yard stick is a random traveller who reaches the city at an odd hour and is in dire need of some information or support. How well the city and its systems react to such eventualities is an index in the direction of how committed and prepared the city is.
  • Any world class city must respect the aged and their needs. Ageing population of any city must be handled with care and not treated as a liability but as a information resource. This means they deserve respect and consideration in public utilities and places. Help must be provided to them at times of need. The city must have some kind of a data base of the elderly for proper follow up and action
  • Any world class city must have large scope to expand in all directions- It is this factor that would drive world class cities of the next generation. Many cities of the world have problems in this sphere considering they are constrained by the sea or a hill range on one side preventing expansion.Such a situation leads to uneven expansion or extensions creating operational problems for the city. A great city expands evenly on all fronts there-by evenly sharing the burden of growing needs and population.
  • Any world class city must have scope for spiritual development of its populace. This means there must be an adequate number of places for religious worship of all relegions within the precincts of the city and each not creating any form of menace for the public or each other. Development of the spirit of the people is as important as anything else and the constituents of the city must develop a mutual respect for all relligions and this brings in a special kind of social stability. Any city without relegion is destined to anarchy and social disintegration in the undercurrents which must be steadily given less scope. Places of religious significance must be conspicious and it is the hallmark of a great city that all religions find a place.
  • Any world class city must have its share of sky-scrapers. Sky scrapers give a city recognition in relation to other cities of its kind. Sky scrapers must house offices of business organizations and they must be evenly distributed around the periphery of a city. There are many modern technologies around which they may be built. I think a city could have atleast two of them and not more and both of them dispersed from each other. They should act as jewels in the crown of a city. More the jewels more gaudy a crown looks and the jewels must be just adequate to give the crown its significance and demeanour.
  • Any world class city must be occupation and oppurtunity friendly. This means any inhabitant of the city must find it easy to find a job or vocation of his calling with ease and be compensated for the same adequately above basic living standards. This means there must be scope for entrepreneurship and other economic investments. Also the person seeking an occupation must have many agencies that could provide genuine support for the same and could be contacted readilly at times iof need.

Bangalore as a city must generically said develop on all these fronts. Bangalore needs two sky-scrapers. But the question is where ? Before sky-scrapers are built necessary high speed transport infrastructure to the place must be ensured.On all other fronts Bangalore is not totally found wanting but needs improvement.

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