The Counsellor for Science, Education and Culture of the Embassy of France in India, and Country Director, The French Institute in India, Dr Bertrand de Hartingh, was among the eminent speakers at the Smart Cities, Art Cities symposium in Bengaluru, on 31 August, 2019. “There is still a long road ahead. But with the right governmental support, the involvement of the private sector and the driving force of the civil society, nothing is unreachable,” Dr. de Hartingh said.
Other panel members included Abhay Mangaldas,Heritage Entrepreneur & Founder Director of The House of MG, Lakshmi Pratury,Founder & CEO, INK and V. Ravichandar, Honorary Director, Bangalore International Centre. The discussion was moderated by Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts & Symposium.
The speakers focused on the following themes:
* Similarities and intersection points between the various Smart Cities of India – How can we learn from other Smart City models in the country?
* Smart Cities, Art Cities – Preliminary Introduction of Concepts by Moderator
* Discuss the large scale and rapid urbanization of Cities and its suburbs – Impact on standard of living with illustrative examples
* Importance of urban planning with a sensitivity toward preserving and promoting the cultural wealth of the city
* How do we create an accord and audit a narrative of Smart Cities and Art Cities with all relevant stakeholders which doesn’t just amount to building statues?
* Creation and development of creative clusters, cultural centres, art districts and performance spaces to showcase global, local and regional culture
* Use of public spaces to display and showcase Art
* Tapping into and nurturing diverse talent pools with reference to the creative community and providing relevant platforms and systems for its growth
* Assessing the impact of migration and the growing cosmopolitan profile of the city on local arts and culture
* Harnessing and leveraging the cosmopolitan nature and cultural diversity of the city – Fostering interactions with migrant and expatriate communities and harnessing the potential of cross-cultural exchange and collaboration
* Preserving regional culture and the weaving in of migrant culture
* How are mainstream and counter cultures of the city reflected in the Arts and Culture of the city?
PRESERVATION & RESTORATION
* Reinvention of heritage sites and preservation of ancient art and craft forms and traditions – Making heritage relevant
* Conservation and restoration projects and development of state museums
* Challenges faced in the building and developing of arts and culture infrastructure in upcoming smart cities and urban areas
* Enabling the creative community of the city to interact more closely with the industry, policy makers, local bodies and Government to bring about change by educating them and raising awareness
* Role of NGOs and citizen groups – (Bangalore has one of the highest number of activists groups)