Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2024

Reimagining Indian tourist destinations as sustainable cities of the future

Photo by Shashank Hudkar on Unsplash India's rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty attracts millions of tourists each year.  Domestic tourism is also on the rise in India, and being the world's most populous country, domestic tourism itself has a potential to contribute more than overseas tourists. However, the surge in tourism often brings challenges such as traffic congestion, pollution, littering compounded by inadequate infrastructure of tourist locations which are often small-towns. As I wrote of Nainital in my previous post , most Indian tourist destinations are grappling with these problems resulting in destruction of ecology, as well as local culture and heritage. Over commercialization of tourist related activities also leads to depletion of natural beauty offered by many of these destinations.  Many of these issues are complex, and outside the wherewithal of local communities to manage. The only way these problems can be tackled with a government-back

Timeless Adventures: Reimagining History Through Immersive Amusement Parks

I was in Mussoorie last month, this was my third visit to the hill town, my first being about 20 years ago. The small town has gotten more crowded, commercial and almost un-touristy over the years. And then I visited Nainital two days later, which wasn't as un-touristy, thanks to the 'vehicle curfew' imposed between 10:00am and 6:00pm by the local administration. But it was still crowded with tourists, and most disappointing was that tourists were busy enjoying the same things - sugar candy, ice-cream, pizza and burgers which they could enjoy at any 'fair' in their own cities and towns. No one seemed to be genuinely interested in the old-world-charm of Nainital . As I sat on a bench, across this now shut-down library, turned bookshop turned billiards play room on the Mall road, I could sense a pall of sadness that original residents of Nanital must be under. Most tourists wanted the same things over and over again whether they were in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mussoorie,

Dense Forests and Taller Cities: A Vision of the Future

I've written earlier [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] about my musings on contrasting futures that the world faces between cities and suburbs, and my conclusion that ecologically sustainable living is possible only with cluster based human settlement – large metropolises or cities with shared infrastructure which reduces the ecological cost of human lifestyle. But there is one more statistic that keeps veering me towards favouring suburban lifestyle - the potential reverse of human population. India has overtaken China as the world's most populous country in 2023, but India's population growth will come to an end: the number of children has already peaked more than a decade ago and is now falling. [ 4 ] Rapid population growth is a temporary phenomenon in human history - since the 1800s we have added 7x of human population - this has also been possible due to falling death rates, but this was then followed by falling fertility rates sequentially across world regions, which has lead us to