Anchor and moderator
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE
Presenter and speaker
Rajneesh Sareen, programme director, Sustainable Buildings and Habitat Programme, CSE
Marking the online release of Centre for Science and Environment's latest report – Beyond the Four Walls of PMAY, CSE conducted a webinar – focused on the issue of housing in these times of the corona pandemic.
The pandemic, its impacts, and the responses to it raise serious questions about how we plan and design our cities, our neighbourhoods, and our homes in terms of health, safety, comfort and liveability. In these COVID-19 times, the performance of our habitat is unfolding. Gated communities are facing obstacles in accessing basic supplies. The new developments promote tightly sealed air-conditioned spaces. With increasing indoor times, our dependence on mechanical lighting and cooling is inevitable. Neighbourhoods of the poor do not have adequate spill-out areas, forcing them to come out. The pandemic calls for social distancing, but there are issues of how effectively it can be practised in crowded dwellings, that are also not designed to let in natural wind and light.
CSE’s research into the housing sector has focused on how government housing schemes are performing in states and how calibrated is the new housing stock with requirements such as thermal comfort, liveability, resource efficiency and the larger context of sustainability. CSE’s new report is a step towards informing course correction for the upcoming housing stock, and realising the goals of India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) and India’s national commitment for overall emission reductions. The webinar facilitated a discussion on all these issues.
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