TODAY -

A smart city Imphal and the Venus Project

Yumnam Devjit *

A view of Imphal City
A view of Imphal City : Pix - Deepak Oinam



Nikolai Kardashev, a soviet astronomer proposed a method of measuring a civilizationís level of technological advancement, based on the amount of energy a civilization is able to utilize. It has 3 categories namely type I, II and III.

Type I utilizes only resources available on its home planet, type II from its local star and type III of its galaxy. Physicists consider our present state as type 0, as we depend on fossil fuels as our primary source of energy. We are yet to utilize the energy of the earth to its full potential.

The transition from a type 0 to a type I civilization is going to happen in our life time within the next 20 to 30 years. This will not be a smooth transition; it will result in a complete rebooting of the economic, social and political setup of the present. It will be an abrupt transition, forced upon us by the end of oil.

Those who can adapt will flourish and those who canít will perish. The smart city Imphal that we are going to build today will be the city that faces the challenges of the type I civilization tomorrow. With more and more people adopting the urban lifestyle and moving to Imphal, the success and failure of the Manipuri civilization depends on how well adapted Imphal is to tackle the new scenarios.

If anybody wants to understand what the type I cities of the future will look like, then there is no better source other than The Venus Project. The Venus Project is the brainchild of Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadowes.

Describing it in their words ďThe Venus Project proposes an alternative vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straight forward redesign of our culture in which the age old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable.Ē

I will be discussing about The Venus Project in more detail in my subsequent articles. If you are interested in knowing more about their works then you can look it up at their website www.thevenusproject.com. Before I go any further I would like to appreciate the commendable work done by Impact news in bringing to light the issues involved in building a smart city of Manipur. I wonít be inspired to write this article if it werenít for their effort. I salute and thank the men and women behind impact news for their work.

Experience tells me that writing a long article is not particularly reader friendly; it discourages people to read. But with regards to smart city Imphal there are lots of issues that need to be discussed thoroughly before any decision is made in the smart city plan for the benefit of the people of Manipur.

Keeping this in mind I am breaking up the write up into a series of articles. I am writing these articles as a concerned citizen of Manipur, with the hope that at least some of the points I regard as crucial for the future of Imphal and Manipur is taken into consideration in the final plan.

Starting out on a blank sheet let us first discuss the things that matter. Letís not get our minds clogged by bureaucratic mambo jambo like so many crores of budget, PPP model, so many acres of land, etc.

For those of us who live here in Imphal city. Imphal is our home, and when we think of home we donít think how much it cost or how big it is or how smart it is. When we think of home we think of happiness, family, love, friends and a good and meaningful life.

Let us start the conversation about building up our Imphal city with this in our mind and not 250 acres of green land, 100 crores investment and blab blab. The redesigning of the Imphal city will fail to succeed if it does not embody the spirit of a nurturing and loving home.

Some of the issues I consider important while redesigning Imphal are:

1. Designing the city to bridge the widening divide between the various communities of Manipur.
2. Designing a city that provides liberties and freedom to the people as opposed to a police state like we have been for a long time.
3. Designing Imphal so as to reduce the occurrence and impact of bandhs and blockade on normal life.
4. Promote physical and mental health of the people.
5. Protecting the environment and reducing the damage caused by environmental calamities and global climate change.
6. Promoting trade, innovation, social mobility and equality

Keeping these things in mind I will present various ideas and proposals as to how to design Imphal city. Thank you and do read and comment on my upcoming articles on a smart city Imphal.


* Yumnam Devjit wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at yumnamdevjit(aT)gmail(dOT)com
This article was posted on December 04, 2015.


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