Berjis Driver

The grass is greener (and smarter) on the sustainable side of future city plans

A 2018 UN report projects that 68% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. Urban centres already face various challenges posed by climate change. If sustainable urbanization is not accounted for, these will only get bigger in the future. However, Bergis, an urban planner and architect by training, sees only opportunities for improving the status quo. He believes that green ideas will reduce disparities, improve accessibility and quality of life in cities. Work like this supports SDG 11 by creating literal blueprints for sustainable cities. The Indian government is working on similar goals through the Smart Cities Mission and the AMRUT Mission. Through his work, he ensured that the development plans for Amaravati City, an upcoming city in Andhra Pradesh, prioritised sustainability and harmony with the existing environment.

He has worked with Government authorities to help Kandla SEZ secure its platinum rating from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), the highest possible level of sustainability possible. Today, he works with Waatavaran, an NGO that seeks to slow down climate change and its impact on vulnerable communities. Bergis’ work helps cities and human settlements more resilient to climate change, and reduces their impact on their environment, which in a country like India, where 70% of its cities will be built in the next 10 years, cannot happen too soon.