Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Brawl with the Sprawl


While a new year kicked in, I sit here with so many thoughts boggling in my mind and not being able to pen down at least a few. Where do I start and what do I prioritize and what do I omit and what all to include is like a brain fogging question. 
Rewinding the past year, I just want to do a small round up of what happened around me. One major change that had happened last year was that which stands pale and tall and lifeless, which was left after scrapping off the green cover. Just to build those worthless concrete structures not being home for any but to stand proofs as display of the wealth, many trees were uprooted. Though it seems so trivial and common observation in our neighborhoods these days, this seemed a big concern for me.
I used to wake up to a beautiful green cover on all sides of my community, but just to satisfy some peoples investment needs and developers greed, most of it is scrapped off. And I wish at least, they let it out instead of leaving empty flats. I know I have already ranted enough in a previous post about this issue, but this isnt enough to vent out how much I feel for those lost trees. And you may ask, what about the place I live in which once might have been home for many trees. Yes, I do agree and I would like to defend saying that at least my community has planted many trees around and I guess we are one of those few communities in the city who have got a good amount landscaped area. Lucky isnt it?
What to say about the greedy developers?, a developer recently started building up in an empty lot which was long been abandoned. There is a graveyard just beside the property which was the reason why it was abandoned. This developer perhaps saw a great opportunity to turn that lot into a land of gold. The marketing strategies were like, erecting this life size hoardings that said, the property was close to a theatre, close to a famous temple etc, but the fact is above all it is close to a graveyard, where one may hear devil sing a lullaby or one  may wake up to witness a funeral ceremony.  And the esteemed buyers wouldnt want to peep to the lot beside before investing. There is another prestigious builder who uprooted almost thousands of trees to build a commercial and residential structure. They could still have saved some trees if they just went for residential structure but the greed has no end, they wanted more and more.
Not just the cluster of apartment blocks, but even most of the individual homes are also crammed. Sad that these homes that are built in individual lots have no setbacks left whatsoever, all four sides are caged with iron grills as if they self imprisoned themselves, and not even a single plant at times. I would say they just built a beautiful grave not a house, I guess at least a grave would have one small plant over it. One cant breathe the concrete, one only get oxygen from trees and plants not the concrete mass. Recently, there's this lady who shared a photo album on one of the forums I follow, she thought that was the best work of an architect and everyone else poured in appreciations for a design that lacked basic ventilation, breathing space and no setback. I was wondering what sort of an architect one would be if he cant think of ventilating the home with natural lighting but solely depend on power?, and who can't think of giving room for people to walk around but tightly pack with chunks of wood and pop? and lastly who cannot even leave basic setbacks around the house? If you think that, in today's day and age designing for crammed spaces is definitely a skill, I would undoubtedly agree if there is some skill shown but not if its a no brainer job.
Offlate, I have been on a house hunt to rent and some facts I found were so appalling. In the community I live which is of some 500 odd flats, I never thought finding a house for rent would be so difficult when there are so many empty flats. However, I was proven wrong. Many of the landlords arent ready to let, nor even bother to let. They bought and they never cared to look back at it. Either the flat becomes home for beehives or pegion nests or monkey shelters or turns out into a spooky den for Halloween. We snatch the animal shelters and build them a nice concrete shelter and let them live, how compassionate of us? This has been the case in many many communities in this city. And we still build more? 
Its painful to see so many unoccupied homes in these endless communities just adding up to the sprawl. Being in this industry, and understanding the system from inside, I can vouch for one thing...investing in a concrete structure is the worsest option in the current scenario. You are doing nothing but contributing to more deforestation and hike in price by creating unnecessary demand. You are just fueling the developers greed to build maximum no.of flats in a crammed space and make millions out of it. They could still build even if those just for the sake buyers dont buy, but less no.of flats and lesser profit margins. 
I seriously wonder how people are not thinking at all before investing their hard earned bucks, forget about those buyers who buy only for the sake of spending. I can only advise and make you buyers aware that please, please, please look around before you buy, do your thorough research, ask questions, and lastly buy only if it is necessary. And to those individual home owners, please make a breathable home, dont simply build a grave. Do approach a proper architect or engineer before you build a dream house.

Hope you all have a great year ahead.