Saswat Badopadhyay, CEPT University (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology), India
Wednesday 22nd May 2013 - 12:00pm
Room 1.65, Glamorgan Building
Public lecture hosted by the Spatial Planning and City Environments Research Group.
Saswat Bandyopadhyay is a Professor of Environmental Planning at the CEPT University (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology), Ahmedabad, India and spearheading research and professional activities related to Urban Planning, governance and urban capacity challenges.
Varanasi, situated on the banks of river Ganga, stands among the India’s most significant historic urban landscapes. It has recorded continuity of settlements and culture since 1000 BCE. Officially known as Varanasi, the city is known to its patrons with many names such as Kashi for the pilgrims and Benares to foreign visitors. The city is also one of the major destinations for International visitors and Buddhist pilgrims from South-East Asia.
In spite of this significance and importance, Varanasi, today, is an ordinary Indian city- struggling with basic service delivery issues, decaying of urban core and housing stocks, lack of opportunities for city youth and unsustainable tourism activities. In the last national sanitation survey conducted among 423 Indian cities, Varanasi ranked at 331st, falling under the RED category-indicating urgent attention required towards environmental public health issues. With urban service delivery and management responsibilities fragmented among several state and local actors, abysmally low local financial status, Varanasi, today, truly represents a declining Indian city.