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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Designs and the skyline

Tax-paying citizens must be 'much more critical and demanding' to ensure better aesthetics and functionality of the built environment they use, according to city architects and urban planners.

Greater public participation and transparency in design solutions for public spaces constitute the bulwark of a memorandum prepared by the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), West Bengal chapter.

The prescription points, formulated at the plenary session of the two-day conclave of the chapter over the weekend, will be submitted to various government agencies and the civic body.

'We have suggested that any public-space architecture model should be exhibited prominently and if the public doesn't accept it, a design competition should be invited,' said Partha Ranjan Das, architect and urban designer.

IIA's state chapter has also recommended a complete overhaul of the 'obsolete' education system prevalent at the academic institutions.

'The colleges teaching architecture and design must ensure a basic standard among their graduates, since these students would later impact our skyline,' said Das.

An urban arts commission has been proposed to formulate urban design guidelines and ensure a minimum level of urban aesthetics.

'It's important to understand how a new building should co-exist with an old structure,' observed veteran architect-planner Santosh Ghosh.

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