Environment Support Group
EducationESG Workshop ReportsExperiential EducationSeminar & Workshops

Designing For A Just Transition

Human-Centred Approach to Planning and Decision Making of Mega Projects For Students of Srishti School of Design

Date: Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 9.00 AM-   5.00 PM

How does one design for a complex world? Instead of keeping on filling the world with stuff, what design strategies will allow us – humans – to lead more meaningful and environmentally responsible lives?  Writer, thinker John Thackara had wondered


As economies recover from the impacts of the pandemic, the rise in summer temperatures and the effects of climate change are beginning to uncover the many predicted implications of undemocratic decision making in cities, towns and villages. At a time when several mega impact projects are removed from the purview of environmental clearance review mechanisms, and land use planning, environmental review laws are being substantially diluted, and the substantive impacts on vulnerable ecosystems and communities are increasingly evident.  

In order to assure the availability of land for such megaprojects and also provide them with an easy package of finances,  international and national investment institutions are working overtime to convince governments to further dilute regulatory systems.  Undemocratic promotion of ‘ultra mega’ projects has become the norm: massive thermal power plants, ultra mega solar and wind power parks, megacities, special economic zones, massive gated townships and private enclaves for the rich are some of the visible dimensions of such developmentalism. This has made everyday life extremely difficult for a large section of the impacted population as they wipe away lives and livelihoods, cause irreversible damage to local ecology, disadvantage women, children and senior citizens, and erode the very fundamental rights of local communities.

The interactive day-long workshop at ESG dwelled on narratives of how some of the mega projects were decided, who decided, who designed, who benefited, who lost, what this means, etc. Participants worked on understanding how they are justified and financed? Besides, we will learn to appreciate how healthy regulatory practices are dodged. The students also learned to appreciate how such enquiries are crucial for humanistic, ecological, and inclusive designs. 


9.00 AM-   9.30 AM:  Introductions 

9.30 AM-  11.00 AM:  The Design of a Science city by Leo F. Saldanha: Half-hour presentation with slides/film followed by conversations.

11.00 AM-  11.30 AM:  Break: Coffee/Tea

11.30 AM-  1.00 Pm: Designing for a just transition; The case study of the Pavagada Solar Park. by Bhargavi S.Rao: Slide presentation for 20 minutes followed by an interactive conversation 

1.00 PM-  2.00PM : Lunch

2.00 PM-  3.30 pm: Urban transformations:

The PILs against Road widening and the laying of the Metro rail in Bengaluru City and the Smart city projects. Leo F.Saldanha

Talk for about 30 minutes followed by interactive conversation. 

3.30 PM-  4.00 PM: Presentation of the current Accessibility Study of the Bengaluru Metro Rail by Janani Suresh

4.00 PM-  5.00 pm: Reflections and Conversations: Leo F.Saldanha, Bhargavi S.Rao, Mahesh Bhat

5.00 PM: Coffee/Tea and Goodbyes

Venue: Environment Support Group


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *