Nanocity- the idea of a sustainable city ‘with world class infrastructure and to create an ecosystem for innovation leading to economy, ecology and social cohesion’ is taking place near another architecture paradise- Chandigarh, which was commissioned by first prime minister of independent India to reflect new nation’s modern and progressive outlook. Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be ‘unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation’s faith in the future.’
In 1966 French architect Le Corbusier and his team produced a plan for Chandigarh that conformed to the modernist city planning principles of CIAM, in terms of division of urban functions, an anthropomorphic plan form, and a hierarchy of road and pedestrian networks. Chandigarh, for a very long time, was perceived to be an experimental city!
Today after forty some years, Sabeer Bhatia [of Hotmail fame] has embarked upon another multi-billion dollar Nanocity idea in collaboration with Government of Haryana [India] and the faculty and students of UC Berkeley, California [USA]. Nanocity will replicate if not surpass the standards of the Silicon Valley of US.
Spread over 11,138 acres, Nanocity will have about 50% of the area earmarked for parks and green spaces. It will have 4 districts- information technology IT, university, airport and biotech for administrative control.
On the power front, Nanocity would opt for solar energy, wind, geothermal and biomass. ‘We may get energy from Himachal Pradesh. American power company AES Corporation is looking at it,’ Bhatia said. For water, the city would use techniques such as rain water harvesting, waste water management, use of solar geysers and energy efficient lamps. There will be a bus transit system to inter-connect the entire city.
Bhatia is confident that lots of jobs will be generated. ‘For every high-tech employment position introduced, three low wage or informal sector jobs would be created’, he said.
Update: $300 million have been invested for land acquisition and an additional $1.2-1.5 billion investment would be needed for development of infrastructure like roads and sewage system. Nanocity will be ready for occupation in 2010.