The island city state Singapore, which is almost the size of Mumbai, stands as one of the megacities with a prospering tourism industry attracting over 16 million tourists, about 3 times the total population of Singapore.
Among the many popular destinations it vaunts, Clarke Quay is one that expands as a flourishing riverside commercial, residential and entertainment precinct with a historical value. The winner of ‘2007 Cityscape Architectural Review Award’ and the Cityscape Asia Awards, apart from begetting ‘Best Waterfront Development in 2008’, its awards bear testimony of the fact of its boom. From Marina Bay, a walk along the Singapore river will take you through the three quays of the city, each offering a different atmosphere.

Boat Quay features historical sites and a buzzing riverfront vibe, Robertson Quay charms the leisurely wanderer, while Clarke Quay caters to the party crowd, appealing to more than 2 million visitors a year.

Clarke Quay is a perfect example of strategic urban design and historic conservation through ‘adaptive reuse.’ It is referred as a modern example of riverfront transformation and redesigning of unappealing architecture façade of old townhouse structures and warehouses to modern day restaurants and cafes. Character of the place: During day time, boat cruises offer rides with delicious cuisines for brunch, a vivid view of

colourful buildings, a serene atmosphere for tourists relaxing, eating and enjoying the cityscape overlooking the river.
At night, the beer bars, wine cellars and an array of seafood restaurants offer a scene of ‘a human zoo’ i.e. of a crowd socialising, partying and grooving on the boats that become pubs and flaunt vibrancy with their colourful lighting, music mixed with smell of beer, wine and smoke.

Complementing element of space: Creative articulation of space is perceived at this quay which makes it a pedestrianised street and beautiful riverside promenade. It also enjoys an interesting contrast in function of place in both history and present as well as day and night.


Rhythm in visual element: Buildings painted in pastel shades with many having rooftop establishments vaunting a view of Singapore’s skyline make them a picturesque spot by the riverside, unfolding a story of the renovation process of the then godowns and shop houses into trendy bars of today.
People and activities: Locals, expats and tourists can be spotted at the place in large numbers. A host of family-friendly activities and cultural visits are organised that are perfect for daytime with Bumboat cruises that run from 9 to 11pm and navigate up and down the river like colonial times; rendering the overall experience to nothing less than a treat to all senses.

Clarke Quay festival village, the biggest conservation project for the Singapore river, was opened in December 1993. Later, it was managed and owned by CapitaLand. Works were initiated to restore the area to impart the place a better tenant mix. The development also saw key modifications to the exterior and riverside areas. Alsop Architects, an international architecture practice was assigned the work of redesigning the shop house facades, streetscapes and riverfront dining areas to be implemented in 2 phases.

Clarke Quay before 1980s
In 1819, the quay was declared a free port and it soon crammed with shipping activities. Clarke Quay, named after Sir Andrew Clarke, the then governor of the Straits Settlements, had been a busy shipping place for more than a century since the 1840s. Between 1850s and 1990s, most of the buildings were two-storied shop houses and godowns. The river was Singapore’s primary sewer and it started to get polluted.
In 1977, the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew called for a comprehensive Singapore river cleanup programme owing to which it shifted from a working area into a recreational waterfront. The project got completed in 1987 with all the industries, squatters and hawkers removed.

Clarke Quay from 1980s to 2002
In 1986, a Tourism Product Development Plan was drawn up to revitalise the river district by dividing it into three sub-zones: Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay wherein each area was to be regenerated by activities like entertainment, hotels and retails.


In 1989, Clarke Quay was acquired by the government and given conservation status owing to its historical importance and unique architecture (identified for its sensitive combination of conservation and adaptive reuse of its warehouses and two-storied shop houses). The first phase of revitalisation commenced in the 1990s after the entire area was leased to a single developer – DBS Land (later CapitaLand). Under stringent Urban Design Guidelines, restoration was to be carried out by a private developer, as per ‘R’ rules – ‘maximum Retention, sensitive Restoration and careful Repair’.
In 1998, a continuous promenade was constructed, which extended up to the west end of the river, around 3 km on each side with a width between 10-15 m providing space for dining areas overlooking the river. The Clarke Quay was finally converted from a family oriented festival market into a pub zone. And in 2001, it became a tourist-oriented place with pubs, discos, restaurants, and factory outlets.
In 2003, CapitaLand announced the new renovation plan to re-design the streetscape and waterfront and to address the climate issue without creating an internal air conditional mall.

Thus, along the riverfront, a series of “lilypads”, that are elevated dining platforms, were created to maximise the waterfront experience, and lights that resembled traditional Chinese lantern were put up, enlivening the river’s edge.
To deal with the climate issue, huge canopies were installed in all internal streets and courtyard cantilevering over the shophouse roofs; these were called “angels”, supported by steel frames (comprising mini-fans and a water feature sprouting water at 16 degree C). A central water fountain erected in the courtyard was to help with cooling along with an overall climate control system to reduce the temperature at a gentle 28 degree C in the afternoon.

Implementation of this new plan was divided into phases (in 2004):
1st phase – completed in Jan 2005 with the new “lilypads”.
2nd phase – started from 2005 with installation of huge canopies “Angels”.

The Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA) was engaged in the design process to ensure renovation abiding the

conservation guidelines; the renovated Clarke Quay was opened in December 2006 with a 24-hour entertainment license and 100% occupancy rate. The rental revenue doubled compared to the beginning of the regeneration in 2004.

At present, five blocks of restored warehouses feature restaurants and nightclubs. There are also moored Chinese junks that have been refurbished into floating pubs and restaurants. The Satay Club and several establishments vacated Clarke Quay to make way for new tenants and the upgraded Clarke Quay features the Zirca, The Clinic and the Forbidden City by the Indochine Group. The Clarke Quay area is different from 1993. One of the most popular attractions is its exciting host of CQ’s signature events happening once every quarter.
With a total site area of 21,428 sq m, Clarke Quay lives on as an exemplary model of a conserved historical landmark located along the Singapore river and at the fringe of the Central Business District, inviting tourists and locals back to the historic waterfront.

BARCELONA Innovative urban planning

Ranked among the top 10 Smart Cities worldwide and acclaimed as a leader of “Global City Standards”, Barcelona is also applauded for its innovative urban planning.


The city provides an ideal model of urban management and has interesting case studies of inner city renewal, brownfield site development, peripheral reforms and planning for a sustainable city.
The socio-economic patterns clearly reflect the processes associated with urban growth and change, and models of urban processes and structure can be easily applied.
The second largest city in Spain with a population of 1.6 million (in 2014), Barcelona spans across a hundred sq km and has a density of 14.9 people / sq km. More than 10 million sq m floor space is utilised for economic activities, while the beaches expand over a wide 4.5 km area.

The guiding principles of Barcelona’s Urban Planning include:
• Focusing – creation of public amenities in dilapidated neighbourhoods
• Orienting city – back to Mediterranean Sea by creating access and usable beaches
• Providing adequate public facilities to every neighbourhood
• Reuse of brownfields through sustainable planning
• Restricting urban sprawl – focusing on redevelopment instead of new development
• Reclaiming famous inner courtyards (which act as open spaces) within each block

The Eixample is widely considered as one of the best designed city areas in the world and a case study for leading architects and urban planners. With its well-integrated rail transit, it serves as a model of urban design, land use, transportation planning, and pedestrian-scaled streets working in synergy to produce accessibility.
Eixample is a district of Barcelona that came up in 19th century and lies between the old city and surrounding small towns. Built as an extension (hence the name “Eixample”), the 7.5 sq km district is characterised by a long straight street with a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues. It has octagonal city blocks that are rectangular with the corners cut off, which are distinctive for Barcelona.
This was the visionary, pioneering design by Spanish urban planner Ildefons Cerdà, who considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks.

Salvador Rueda, director, Barcelona Urban Ecology Agency, and his team worked on the possibility of a new more efficient bus network and designed an orthogonal network of bus routes that is being implemented.


The city faced serious problems of urban decay in both inner and peripheral areas, but the 1992 Olympics acted as a major catalyst of modern transformation. The district planners used the Games as a mechanism to acquire enough funding to complete an amount of reconstruction that would take any city decades to accomplish.
Olympic facilities were built on neglected urban areas with the Olympic Village being developed on brownfields close to the coast. Six artificial beaches were created to handle the tourists that would be in the city for the Games.
Planner Oriol Bohigas used the Games as a springboard to build more than 200 parks, plazas, schools, and other public facilities in Barcelona. Most of these amenities were planned in derelict areas where crime rates were estimated to be high.

1860- Walls surrounding Barcelona demolished to make way for Ildefons Cerdá’s Plan for Urban Renewal
1975- End of Francis Franco’s regime and the beginning of democracy
1976 – General Metropolitan Plan implemented
1979 – First democratic municipal elections were celebrated
1980’s – City is transformed in preparation for the 1992 Olympics
1980 – Architect Oriol Bohigas arrived in the city council
1983 – The inauguration of public spaces started
1982-92 – More than 490 acres of park had been developed (while 40 years of Franco produced only 172 acres)


The new system, when completed, will reduce the numbers of routes from 94 to 28, waiting time to

Superblock is the key to reclaim public space that people lost over the last century.

According to Rueda, a Superblock is defined by a grid of 9 blocks where the roads outside are dedicated for main mobility whereas the roads within are for local transit only.
The one-way system inside the Superblock makes it impossible to cut through to the other side. That gives neighbours access to their garages and parking spaces but keeps the Superblock clear of through traffic.


Phase I: Maximum speed on roads within Superblock is Phase 2: It will transform city life and the way people use public spaces. Curb side parking within Superblocks will disappear (by building off-street garages), and maximum speed will be 10 km/h, allowing people to use the streets for games, sport and cultural activities, such as outdoor cinema.
Post Implementation of Phase I & Phase II: Barcelona will have cut 355 km of roads dedicated to motorised traffic (a 61% reduction). Pedestrians will enjoy 94% of the space on inner streets of Superblocks and pollution will be reduced dramatically. 94% of the population will not be exposed to dangerous levels of particulate matter and 73.5% will not experience noise levels over 65 dB. Rueda and his team estimate that the volume of traffic, after implementing phase two, will be reduced by 21%.

Barcelona’s Urban Mobility Plan: Towards A More Sustainable City ModelThe Urban Mobility Plan of Barcelona 2013-2018 attempts to lay down guidelines in matters of mobility in the coming years, with a clear focus on sustainability. The principal objective is to achieve implementation of Superblocks with a level of traffic network saturation similar to the present.
Alternative transportation will be better implemented (new orthogonal bus and bicycle networks, carpool and pedestrian lanes, etc.), and restrictive measures will be placed on private vehicles, such as increase in the price of metered parking.

The Plan has established 4 main lines of work: Safety by decreasing accidents, sustainability by reducing the use of private motorised vehicles, equity by guaranteeing access to mobility for all people and efficiency by reducing the economic/congestion costs of the transport system. The wide avenues and boulevards of Cerda’s Plan give ample room for multi-modal infrastructure.

Walking has long been a priority – La Rambla, one of the best people streets in the world. Cerda’s Eixample (Expansion) plan made walking enjoyable almost everywhere – 50 percent of all street space is dedicated to walking space, with the other 50 percent for all other forms of ‘traffic.
Barcelona has favourable conditions for pedestrian mobility. Moreover, some municipal activities are currently promoting this mode of mobility such as the continuously improving accessibility in pedestrian areas.

‘Bicing,’ the public urban bike sharing system inaugurated by the City Council in 2007, counts currently 1.2 lakh users who generate 14 million trips/year, representing 36% of total bike trips, and plays a key role in promoting bicycle mobility with Barcelona offering a total 181 km of bike lanes. Urban biking is growing fast in Barcelona, spurred on by the locals-only bike share system, and very simple bike-lane approaches (some separated, some not) to improve bike safety. When the city has incorporated separated bike-lanes, it’s taken from the 50 percent that’s for the rest of traffic, not from the walking half.

Barcelona is a huge city, but the modern and extensive public transport system allows you to get anywhere within the city in no time. Metro, buses and trams run very frequently until late at night. Apart from that, there are several cable cars, funiculars, railways, sightseeing buses, taxis, local trains, night buses and other transport systems.
The Barcelona metro has eight lines (five conventional lines and three automated lines) and incorporates the Montjuïc funicular. Altogether, there are 141 stations and over 134 trains operating in the rush hour. With a fleet of over a thousand vehicles, all of which are wheelchair adapted, and more than 100 lines, the bus network covers over 900 km between Barcelona and the ten cities in the metropolitan area.
Council is carrying out several improvements to encourage the use of public transport. One of these projects is the implementation of the new orthogonal bus network of the city, which will improve current service efficiency by increasing the buses commercial speed.

Private vehicle mobility represents 18% of internal trips, but up to 42% of connection trips. That means traffic reduction in Barcelona involves discouraging private vehicle mobility between the surrounding municipalities and the city of Barcelona. This tendency shows that now is the time to take restricting actions towards private vehicles and to promote more sustainable transport modes.
Barcelona is one of those cities where you have many choices in how to get around, and the urban form facilitates those choices. Because of the densities and mix-of-use, walking, biking and transit are always viable options. The “power of nearness” with everything compact and close, facilitates a multi-modal city.

22 @ Barcelona: the innovation district


The Special Infrastructure Plan aims at the implementation of modern service infrastructure in the technological district of Poblenou 22@. Envisaged services are Energy, Telecommunications (optic fiber), District heating and pneumatic refuse as well as Waste collection systems. These new networks give priority to energy efficiency and responsible management of natural resources.
1. Underground galleries-easy access to service network
When the 22@Barcelona Plan was approved, the infrastructure network in the Poblenou industrial area was insufficient. A New Special Infrastructure Plan for urban improvements on 37 km of streets in the 22@Barcelona district with highly competitive utility infrastructure was created. A new model of urbanisation and underground infrastructures comprised a modern network of energy, telecommunications, district heating and pneumatic waste collection systems. The core network distributes all these services throughout the district. From there, service galleries cross the core network taking the services to a technical room in each block from where services are distributed to the different buildings in the block.
2. Automated waste collection system – a clean and efficient waste collection
The pneumatic and selective waste collection system minimises noise pollution from the traditional waste collection methods and improves quality of urban spaces as waste containers disappear from the streets. In the 22@Barcelona district, the waste collection system has been operational since 2006. The system consists of a network of fixed collection points that are strategically distributed. The drop-off points collect the three basic waste fractions (organic waste, inorganic waste and paper) and are connected via a vacuum network through the pipes installed under the streets and transported to the collection plant, where a hydraulic press compacts the waste to reduce its volume (resulting in less traffic and noise).

3. Integral waste management plant- waste to energy treatment plant
This integral installation comprises a Mechanical and Biological Treatment plant (also called ecoparc) followed by a Waste to Energy plant, with a global capacity of 400,000 tonnes per year. The installation receives the municipal waste fraction not selected in origin. Firstly, it is treated in the mechanical and biological treatment plant and the main goal in this phase is separating recoverable materials such as paper, glass, different plastics, ferrous metals and organic matter. The rest of this first treatment goes automatically to the energy recovery plant, where this municipal waste is burned in three furnaces with a capacity of 15 tonnes per hour. This process generates electrical energy and steam to the cooling and heating network.

Barcelona being a compact high-density city has enabled it to have integration with transportation network. Having less paved built-up areas has allowed Barcelona to preserve green spaces. Less sprawling development reduces the cost of providing and extending urban infrastructure investments; it also makes transportation operation and maintenance, water and sanitation, and energy distribution systems less expensive.
Barcelona’s energy use is considerably lower than its comparative similar sized cities. Since vehicle kilometres travelled per capita are much lower in Barcelona, far less fuel is consumed in the transport sector and CO2 emissions are considerably lower. More compact form can help reduce more emissions.
Additional benefits of compact urban form may include economic productivity gains from urban agglomeration and increased opportunities to instil a sense of community through increased social interactions. A hierarchically structured urban planning system is found in this city of Barcelona, Spain and offers a learning experience for budding urban planners, designers, architects and burgeoning cities in the world.

SkyWay Technologies Co. in India


September 2017, India, Delhi. General designer Anatoly Yunitskiy and Deputy of SkyWay project designing organization Victor Baburin became a part of the official delegation from Belarus, representing the interests of the national economy at the business forum. The event was timed to the visit of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to India. As a result of the participation, SkyWay officials have signed three agreements: with one of the Indian States, with a port, as well as in the framework of the development program “Smart Cities”.
The Company has outlined its marketing strategy in the region. The Company intends to focus on “ensuring affordable transport services in such areas that were largely ignored before” — the market segment where SkyWay will be able to avoid competition with the major transport corporations.

The technology was first presented at Smart Cities India and was followed by a series of materials trying to anticipate the exact profit to India and Make in India idea. The brightest of non-engineer events was that at the initiative of Tibet’s spiritual leader Dalai Lama, SkyWay General Designer Anatoly Yunitskiy met with him at Dharmshala. Now the Company gets ready to the International Railway Equipment Exhibition in Delhi. The certification of string transport has started in September 2017 In Belarus.
The article describes the dynamics in SkyWay development in India.


The project was conceived by engineer and inventor Anatoly Yunitskiy. In 2013 more research revealed the feasibility of the use of String Transport Systems for passenger rail in New South Wales. SkyWay transport systems is created for passenger and cargo traffic on the “second level”, when the transport runs using “strings” in the air. Main types of string transport are unibus, unibike and unitrack (cargo).
First samples of urban railcar U4-210 and personal light railcar U4-621 were revealed at a international railway exhibition Innotrans 2016 in Berlin in September 2016. Plans of implementing technology in Indonesia were announced after RailwayTech 2017 exhibition. Implementing SkyWay lines in Indonesia is planned with “Surabaya – Jakarta” line.
Having passed a range of international expert evaluations, the innovative SkyWay string system has proved its validity. At present, its main aim is to create an operating model of SkyWay testing and certification center in Belarus – EcoTechnoPark. On demand as part of certification process EcoTechnoPark can be launched in India before building working string transport lines.


At the end of April 2017 SkyWay hosted important guests in Belarus. The design organization, production facility and SkyWay demonstration center were visited by a delegation of Dharmshala municipality. Throughout its history, the SkyWay Group of Companies is not only engaged in innovative developments, but also saw its mission in promoting dialogue between business and the Government machine, regardless of a country and part of the world that acting and possible partners represent. Representatives of these two sectors shared their opinions on the Company’s developments as positive.

In May 2017 SkyWay were presented at the Smart Cities India International Exhibition. Prior to this, the SkyWay presented its solutions at the RailwayTech 2017 in Indonesia in April and enjoyed the attention of the country authorities and local press. Thanks to the Smart Cities program, SkyWay projects can be upscaled throughout the entire country, since it has been developed by the Country’s Parliament to modify urban areas and to create infrastructure for a stable society in 109 cities.
SkyWay plans in India include opening of local company, based in India and accountable to Indian tax and legal bodies. The technology will be localized. Local manufacture will be launched, it will create new work positions and support labour interests of people of India.
The way the company sees its development in India addresses to Make in India programm and principles and shows the perspectives of investing into India to other Eurasian companies.
Now the negotiations take part in numerous Indian states. Local governments see great potential in string transport for both passenger and cargo transportation. The innovation is recognized as a working model and working alternative to many futuristic but non-realistic hyperloop-like transport.
Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the city of Dharmshala and trilateral investment agreement was signed for Jharkhand state.


As any other innovation string technologies meet some dose of scepticism. An example of destructive scepticism is seen very well in “Lithuanian case”. A brilliant example of politically motivated bureaucratic murder of the business. In 2014 SkyWay project was planned in Lithuania but after successful start and initial business steps it was paused due to politically motivated investigation which has started.


Investigation was used to force the company to leave the country, making negative hype in mass media and trying to pursue the company through The Bank of Lithuania pressure.
As any other post-soviet country, including Belarus, after restoration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990s Lithuania uses rhetoric of pro-national support of industries. The business was perceived as Russian-Belarusian economic “invasion”. And vindicated to move to some other place. To Belarus. Pre-trial investigation was closed June 2017. It lasted for three years – proper period to be sure that the business will move to other country and will develop enough not to come back and restart everything in Lithuania. Needless to say that that pre-trial investigation № 06-1-00068-14 was closed because of simply having no any data collected for any type of criminal consideration.


Sometimes SkyWay is being compared with RopeWay. This comparison is a misleading practice, as difference is too big, but people simply have nothing to compare with. The core operation principle is different. At RopeWay passenger cars are driven by ropes and the ropes move special traction stations on each support. At SkyWay rolling stock includes a special trolley with independent drive movine moving a transport unit. It supports only bear a track.
Basis of transport system is differs as well. At RopeWay the basis is a steel rope, which must be replaced every 8-10 years, what leads to additional CAPEX, downtime losses and considerable inconveniences. SkyWay has flexible uncut track structure. The basis is a composite rail, service life of which is more than 50 years. The system provides 24/7 operation and replacement or repair of a rolling stock does not affect the operation of the entire track.
Still the main and most powerfull advantage of SkyWay is safety. RopeWat safety level is low: rope breakage collapses the whole system. The fall of a car from a huge height is possible and it has no antiterrorist protection at all, as well as it is instable to extreme conditions and stresses.
At the same time SkyWay system uses automated control and anti-derailment system, which increase traffic safety by another 10 times and transport is resistant to vandalism and acts of terrorism. Location of the track structure above the ground enhances safety by approximately 100 times. Anti-derailment system does not allow a rolling stock to fall even if there are significant damages, damage of a string stops movement only at 1 span.


Victor Baburin, SkyWay Technologies Co. Deputy, comments: We have made sure that India is a unique market for SkyWay. First, because India is reaching the leading positions in the rate of economy growth. At the same time, about USD 1,500 of GDP per capita confirms the fact that transport technologies ensuring low-cost of travel fare will be in demand. That’s why SkyWay offering transportation solutions interested representatives of authorities and potential customers. Primarily, as a technology having no analogues and, secondly, as the technology proceeding with the stage of a fully-featured industrial prototype.
In this case, we are in line with the theory on breakthrough innovations that claims major Companies are primarily interested in sales of their products to major customers leaving thin markets aside unnoticed. Here small innovative Companies are coming out to the foreground. They offer their low-cost and affordable product, be it not of the same quality as the major competitors have. However, they are interested in search of new markets and they start to work at the markets that are not of interest to major Corporations.
In the course of our work in India, we have found such extensive market niches, where SkyWay is organically a pathfinder and is of great interest to customers. Primarily, it is the market niche of container haulage and the so-called “system of feeders” or transportation servicing of major logistics hubs.

*This is a content feature. The views expressed in the article are that of the company.

ENVIRONMENT Copenhagen aims for Carbon Neutrality

The Copenhagen Climate Plan 2025 is a holistic plan with specific goals and initiatives in four areas – energy consumption, energy production, green mobility and the City Administration. The Climate Plan describes how carbon neutrality could be used to enhance quality of life by bringing innovation, job creation and investment in close cooperation with all concerned: City authorities, private sector, the utilities and the people of Copenhagen


With an area of 88 sq km and a population of 750,000 (in 2017), Copenhagen is the biggest metropolis in Scandinavia and boasts of the largest pedestrian system in the world. The element of sustainability can be well-rooted to the evolution of Copenhagen, conceived in the 1940s in the form of a five-finger concept that continued to mould its regional form.
Urban areas in this European city are aligned with linear corridors that are linked by transit and extend like fingers from the central core region.
For Copenhageners, the bicycle now forms the most popular and preferred mode of transport, which is very much evident by the fact that over 50% of the trips in the city are made by bike. No wonder the city claims to have 370 km of dedicated cycle lanes.
Besides, it has become the rationale for Copenhagen achieving the carbon neutrality target.


People there find bikes to be perhaps the cheapest yet fastest way to get around the city, lowering both carbon emissions and calories, thus serving to achieve double goals in one ride.
All of this has been aided by dedicated efforts put in for improving travel for cyclists – by creating shortcuts across waterways, over railroads and squares. Extra wide bicycle tracks have been created and 80% of bicycle routes have three lanes. All of this has collectively led to reduced travel time for cyclists by 15%, which has subsequently helped reduce accidents by about 70%.

Bicycle tracks are not something that have been laid separately, but are seamlessly integrated into the wider transport network. The easy shift in the mode of transport is a mere plus to the system as their public transport vehicles have cycle carriers attached, making it effortless to switch modes.

Also, the bicycle superhighways are safer, faster, and provide for continuous and comfortable way of travel. An interesting aspect is the ‘no missing links’ strategy, as the city is secured and connected by bike routes that are made more direct to key destinations.


There are also 43km of greenways that are green cycle routes, which have been provided away from the main roads through recreational spaces and parks to offer a pleasant riding experience through the city. The varied designs of cargo bikes give families a better alternative to the car.
Citizens have more savings as health expenses are reduced thanks to cycling. Healthier citizens reduce healthcare costs at a rate of 0.77 per km cycled, which is another quantifiable benefit apart from the improved quality of life.
Collectively, considering the total cost of air pollution, accidents and congestion, the city saves 0.06

euros for every km traversed by bike in place of car.
Electric vehicles make life in the city more liveable and sustainable and around 10% of private vehicles in Copenhagen are electric, hybrid or running on biofuels or hydrogen. Moreover, these electric cars are charged at night when the wind turbines often generate surplus power. Even large vehicles ply on alternative fuel, not diesel.

Green areas in Copenhagen include publicly owned spaces and a few private green areas which are accessible to the public and their use is guaranteed to the citizens. These green lungs vary in nature, size and location and nearly all are within a 15-minute radius.
Business areas are centred around transit stations and most are based within a one-km radar, enabling an effective walk-to-work culture and transit-oriented workplaces, boosting economy of the capital.

City of Copenhagen aims to reduce drastically carbon dioxide emissions. Approximately two-thirds of the carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced with enhanced use of wind turbines, biomass fuel and separating plastics from wastes before incineration

The city has adopted an integrated transport solution that incorporates physical and online integration between bus, train and metro services to facilitate seamless movement of passengers.
Another feature is the integration of bicycles into the public transport system.
The introduction of ‘Green Waves’ along some of the primary routes help prioritise cyclists by adapting the green light to bicycles travelling at 20km/hr so that they can ride smoothly with no breaks in between.

75% of journeys by foot, bicycle or public transport
50% of journeys to work or study by bicycle
~30% of light and heavy vehicles use new fuels
Fall in private car usage has helped curb carbon emissions and has improved the quality of life from convenient public transport. Green transport optimises urban space and moves a larger number of people in a more effective way, standing true to the famous saying “Reorienting people than cars.”

Well begun is half done goes well here, since if waste at source is minimised, half the issue is solved. By generating less waste, increasing direct reuse, recycling more and incinerating less, Copenhagen treats waste more as a resource.
It aims to have about 50% of household waste recycled by 2018 and emerge as a Zero Waste City by 2050.
This has helped save scares resources of Copenhagen whilst assisting in trading recyclable materials at market conditions.

This involves centralised production and distribution of chilled water that is partly cooled with the help of cold seawater. It is then distributed via underground insulated pipelines to end users in commercial and industrial buildings for air conditioning indoors.
It aids in driving down the urban heat island effect whilst helping to achieve zero noise, unlike conventional cooling methods. Not only does it diminish the CO2 emissions, it also results in moderating expenditure on energy imports.

Technologies such as Combined Heat & Power (CHP) to capture and reuse heat energy that is otherwise lost in electricity generation are to be implemented for decarbonising district heating. The network distributes heat energy efficiently around the city and integration of traditional and renewable fuels like biomass can further reduce the carbon intensity of the network.
This has helped create new jobs, lower district heating costs around 45% with negligible impact on air quality.

The harbour, which 15 years ago was fed with wastewater from 100 overflow channels making it heavily polluted, was transformed into a blue public space. Water quality improved with modernisation of the sewage system; the city then opened public baths and the harbour has today become one of the trendiest spots in the city.public_transport_christian_ All this could be accomplished by adopting a cleaning programme, diverting local rainwater as well as commissioning a strong urban design to create a recreational space.
The combination of innovations that have led into the making of a clean harbour have escalated the value of real estate, bettered the quality of life and tourism whilst having improved the water quality in the harbour.
Copenhageners are now employing new technologies to manage water better and to monitor and prevent leaks. Groundwater modelling and protection is used, behaviour changes are measured by water meters and pricing mechanisms are in accordance to reduce wasteful consumption of water.
The public has access to high quality water directly from the tap which has consequently led to stopping the chemical treatment of drinking water. Moreover, water losses have been reduced to a 7% low as also the demand for bottled water has diminished.

Amongst the highest in the world, about 22% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption is produced by the wind turbines. Their practice of local ownership, which owns high class technology, has helped overcome the ‘not in my backyard’ attitude and exercise accountability, in sync with their public awareness campaign.
This has led to creation of employment and has helped boost the green economy. By the vision year 2025, the city owned utility company plans to build over 100 new wind turbines based on the CCC Plan.

With increase in population, Copenhagen doesn’t offer opportunities for new parks and recreational areas. But this gave rise to two novel phenomena inspired by New York and Zurich: green roofs and pocket parks.
A small urban green spot located abutting the surrounding streets, is what a pocket park basically is. Besides 14 of them, green bicycle routes ensure the Copenhageners ride their way to the urban recreational spaces in not more than 15 minutes.
With a clear vision, defined goals, well-laid out plans, synchronised policies, determined officials and supportive public, the accomplishment of ‘Carbon Neutrality by 2025’ looks not far to this Denmark capital. The plan is a well-structured and efficiently planned document, and shall beget a stance for Copenhagen that other cities across continents will in turn strive to follow suit.

Sejal Mathur studies at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She can be contacted at her mail id:

GIFT CITY Smart infrastructure symbolises the new hub

The Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, which is rapidly coming up in the state, is set to transform urban India dramatically. The author, a second year student, pursuing Masters in Department of Urban Planning at the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, writes about the ‘smart’ planning that has gone into its development.


When it comes to smart cities, we always cite examples from the west, having none from our own country. But now, with the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), located in Gandhinagar, emerging as the first smart city in India, this massive endeavour will be the first step towards the blueprint of success.

It will also stand in good stead as an example for other cities to follow in terms of adaptability, scalability and replicability.


The brainchild of McKinsey and Fairwood Consultants amongst others, GIFT City took birth in 2007.
It’s planning and design for smart infrastructure, state-of-the-art technology and novel concepts are integrated into its remarkable design and acts as few of the best practices to learn from, outlining key elements that make it a smart city of today.
A greenfield development conceived as a financial CBD, GIFT City shall be incorporated as part of the proposed urban complex of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, laid across an enviable 886 acres between the two cities. Its Master Plan is such that it encompasses not only the context of the surrounding site but also embraces characteristics of the region it is set in, which is what gives it an edge over others.

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Co Ltd (GIFTCL), a joint venture company of the Government of Gujarat and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), is establishing GIFT City. The project boasts of contemporary infrastructure including social and physical, as well as transportation and industrial infrastructure, making the best possible use of resources in hand.

The project regenerates the area as high-quality, mixed use district of residential, commercial and open space facilities that optimise land and real estate values. With a package of smart infrastructure offerings with world class amenities well planned for, it is all set to rival top global financial centres including London, New York and Hong Kong.

With GIFT City added to its footprint, Gujarat will become the only state in India to have an integrated state-wide gas grid of 2,400 km as well as boast of a state-wide water supply grid designed to cater to over 75% of the population whilst having one of the world’s largest manmade freshwater reservoirs.
One can schematise the smart infrastructure stemming from the central control centre, driving smart transport, desks, streets, security and surveillance, and landscape along with smart buildings and infrastructure.
Smart water infrastructure: With the Narmada main canal as the source, an efficient water supply and sewerage system is in place with 24×7 availability, recycling and reusing of the wastewater to achieve the concept of ‘Zero Discharge City’.


A sustainable approach of making the project water neutral is aimed for through a District Cooling System (DCS) that will help achieve economies of scale, reduce energy, maintenance costs whilst at the same time improving air quality and temperature control.

DCS helps distribute thermal energy from a central source to several buildings sited at multiple locations via a distribution network supplying chilled water at the other end through utility corridors for air conditioning.

Smart transport infrastructure: The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) minimises the use of cars and encourages high share of public transport and conflict-free movement of traffic.
GIFT shall be operating on an Intelligent Transport System with BRTS, MRTS and a multi modal transport hub also planned. Part of the smart transport system include interactive road maps, automatic vehicle tracking, real time travel response, transit node management, road condition


system, parking management that will help establish security, conduct ridership analysis, enable effective real time monitoring as well as maintenance.
An integrated urban linkage system with efficient land use planning is an approach that will help GIFT reduce area under transport and promote walk to work culture with minimum distances under TOD. Along main spines of the city will run a combination of sustainable modes enhancing accessibility to the CBD through pedestrian walkability, aided by TOD focused around transit stations.
Transportation and logistics nodes, multi-level parking hubs have also been envisaged to enable provision for a modal split of 90:10 with 4 internal hubs housing capacity for about half a lakh cars apart from a travellator being designed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
Smart power infrastructure: This envisages high-tech automation for substation, distribution, lighting and distribution network with real time monitoring and control.
Power distribution strategy incorporates Gas Insulated Switchgears (GIS) substation for effective distribution within the city, and dual 33KV feed to every building from switching panel room.

Another feature is its centralised power backup feed.
Smart waste management infrastructure: It will suck waste at 90km/hr; this will then be treated using plasma technology which entails minimum space and works without much human intervention, giving way for an Automated Waste Collection System – the AWS, through chute system. This provides for an automated waste collection, treatment and segregation system.
Smart ICT Infrastructure: The city is anticipated to flourish as a national and international hub of IT and ITes giants as it is set to compete with its foreign counterparts and play a pivotal role for many a finance centres, global trading corporations, insurance companies and offshore banking.
All the above shall only add and aid in the speedy infrastructure service delivery thanks to the global level best practices applied at the local level.
Smart Building Infrastructure: Intelligent urbanisation is what has been embarked upon by creating efficient, safe and smart buildings so that they can offer a gateway to the global financial markets – technologically advanced with safety ensured through a command centre.

The GIS Platform for monitoring the services can also be enabled, an immediate emergency response for disaster management is also possible, whilst regular maintenance has been readied too.
Green building infrastructure: Green building parameters have also been well-thought out – structure design efficiency, material efficiency, indoor environmental quality enhancement, O&M optimisation, waste reduction that contribute to the element of sustainability at GIFT.
Infrastructure for environment friendly structures involves design in accordance with microclimatology, use of renewable energy sources, high energy fusion of nature and technology, decreased energy usage, decreased energy wastage and thereby decreased energy bills.
‘Rome was not built in a day’ fits in perfectly well, for the city certainly faces a huge challenge and has a long way to go for it to materialise from a mere computer model to a success story. Nevertheless, on its journey to become the first of its kind, it is worth the wait.
The Gujarat International Financial Tech City is expected to become a contemporary model development in India, advancing the ideas of sustainability with technology.

From Smart Cities to a Smart State

Engineer, author and general designer of a new kind of transport system called Unitsky String Transport, Anatoly Yunitskiy is the founder of SkyWay String technology, which deploys electric vehicles on steel wheels riding on specific string rails.

String transport is a concept of an elevated light rail transportation system which uses pre-stressed rails with pre-stressed cables (strings) and concrete inside them. It is designed for both freight and passenger services and has two main types of track structure and rolling stock — standard and suspended.
SkyWay String transport was widely discussed among transport specialists after the Smart Cities Expo in Delhi recently, where Yunitskiy made a presentation. SkyWay Technology Corporation, based out of Belarus, also signed an agreement with the Himachal Pradesh government for a skyway transport facility at Dharamshala.
The engineer-cum-entrepreneur writes exclusively for Urban Vaastu on ‘Smart Country’ India. Excerpts:


The road network in India covers more than 4.5 million km. Over 200,000 people die on these roads and over a million are injured as a result of traffic accidents. ‘Rolled up’ in asphalt and ‘buried” under railway sleepers is fertile soil, equal in its area to the territories of three countries.
India is already moving in leaps and bounds towards fundamental, profound changes in the social pattern of its citizens. Such large-scale programmes like ‘Smart Cities’ is a measure of foresight on the part of the Indian leadership, and its desire to build a great future for the country.
I would like to briefly outline the concept of future development – From Smart Cities to a Smart State – the basis for which is a network of smart linear cities (SLC) built along transport communications of an elevated type.
SLC is an entirely pedestrian city-cluster, stretching in length for hundreds of kilometers. A cluster about a km in diameter – a residential, industrial, educational, trade, sports or mixed one with up to 6,000 inhabitants – will be built in the logic of accessibility for pedestrians, i.e., within 500m from the centre.
There will be a dominator – a high-rise building with public establishments, through which transport, power supply and information communication lines pass – SkyWay, will be located at a height of 10m and more above the ground surface, i.e. on the “second level”.

Interchange stations to transfer from urban tracks (their speed – up to 150 km/h) to high-speed intercity air tracks (their speed – up to 500 km/h) and, potentially in the future, underground hyperspeed tracks located in fore vacuum tubes (their speed – up to 1,500 km/h) can also be placed.
Every cluster is to be self-contained – with its own energy, water and food. It does not deprive nature of a single square meter of land – soil from under every building is transferred to a flat roof of the building, enriched with fertile humus, with a garden planted on it.
The houses are mostly single-storeyed, comfortable for living and budget-friendly for a family with an average income, or a middle-class family. A garden and a vegetable patch on the house roof will be enough to feed the whole family with healthy, food.


The resource intensity during construction, operation and repairs – metal, concrete, asphalt, earthwork operations and land acquisition – will be ten times less compared to the implementation of any other transport and infrastructure solutions.

Every cluster will be ecologically clean, and will fit harmoniously into the environment in all Indian natural diversity – in the mountains and forests, on fields, islands and sea shelves. A network of smart linear cities covering India including the Himalayas and the shelf of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, 200,000 km long, will occupy a 16th of the country’s territory, where over a billion people will be able to live and work in comfortable conditions by the middle of the century. The rest of the country’s territory will turn into nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, with ancient landscapes restored.

There will be no traffic jams, smog or traffic-related deaths in such a pedestrian linear city. It will become possible for children to run barefoot not on asphalt, but on grass, and parents will not have to worry about their life.
The population will be healthy with plenty of food and will enjoy more time to devote to creative activities and self-development due to a significantly shortened working day.
As is the case with lifts in multi-storeyed buildings that are included in the cost of a sq m of accommodation, horizontal, and not vertical.

SkyWay and lifts will be built in smart linear cities and will be included in the cost of residential and infrastructure buildings and structures.

SkyWay’s Horizontal lifts will be cheaper: 2–3 times compared to highways, 10–15 times compared to any road of an elevated type, motor roads or railways, including high-speed, monorail and maglev. In terms of energy (fuel) efficiency, they have no analogues and are superior to railway transport (including tram and metro) by 2–3 times, superior to automobile transport – by 3–5 times, aviation and maglev – by 5–7 times.
SkyWay tracks of “the second level” are built to last and practically do not require any maintenance. They offer higher resistance to natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunami, torrential rains, hurricane wind, as well as to vandalism and acts of terrorism, than any other conventional or ambitious transport system.

In its essence, the future vision of a Smart State proposed by the SkyWay is not a transport project, but an infrastructure and development one. Therefore, it can be entirely implemented by creating domestic demand in all areas of the

economy – from agriculture and construction to machine building and electronics. This programme can be implemented in stages by the year 2050.

SkyWay plans to start the first stage of Smart State programme this year in India. It will start in Jharkhand, where the construction of a test cluster of a smart linear city and test sections of SkyWay transport systems is planned.

In addition, the company is working on the concept of the transport system for the Smart city in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The concept of the future development is named “From Smart Cities to a Smart State”, the basis for which is a network of smart linear cities built along transport communications of an elevated type.
Currently, SkyWay is working on two transport communications projects in India: in Jharkhand, where a trilateral investment agreement was signed ($922 million creating about 1,000 jobs) and in Dharamsala where a memorandum of understanding was signed.
The delegation from the Dharamsala municipality has already visited the SkyWay test site in Belarus.