Smart Cities — Organic Cities: Conceptual Conundrums Confronting Indian Urban Planners

The significance of conserving historic cities in India is not only that urban heritage is conserved but also that it provides an appropriate model to plan new settlements. How do we imagine Indian cities — as planned cities like Chandigarh or as organically evolved historic cities like Varanasi or Madurai that need to be nurtured and renewed? Urban conservation offers important lessons to guide the urban planner to manage the consequences of massive urbanisation that is transforming our society and its built environment. The conceptual conundrum confronting Indian urban planners is whether they celebrate Smart Cities or Organic Cities.