Lessons From India - Natural Cities For Africa?

Lessons From India - Natural Cities For Africa? Indian architect Romi Khosla (Design Studio) offers a functional solution to the ever increasing problem of uncontrolled urbanisation and mass migration to Indian cities; the Natural City.

"The patterns of development which we adopted in order to industrialise ourselves need to be looked at again", says Khosla. "The Asian city is a very different creature and needs a very different form and content to that of the Western model."

"We are living in a model of the 19th century that was created by idealists and utopians who believed that populations needed to have their lives organised for them. They believed they knew better and designed cities as utopias for us."

Khosla has also studied the "China Model" and concludes that it would be suicidal for India to adopt that model. The Chinese see themselves as the production centre of the world and need to use cities as vast pools of manpower for their massive factories. Accordingly they have built incredibly dense and large megacities to house tens of millions of workers. This is not the case in India.

"India has nothing to learn from the urbanisation models of the West or China. Our solutions need to address our particular needs, so the solution must be indigenous."

Khosla's vision for future Indian cities, which he terms "Natural Cities", employs the very direct relationship between food production, water supply and urbanisation. Urban farming and water management are key elements for cities built on a green matrix with populations that never exceed one million.

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