Save the environment: ‘Eco-friendly architectural designs key to healthy future’

Experts say unplanned urban development has led to several diseases.


Our Correspondent June 22, 2014
Hassan said the alarming level of pollution had disturbed the ecosystem, especially for birds. PHOTO: FILE

FAISALABAD: Urban development experts on Sunday stressed the need to introduce changing architectural designs in line with climate changes to deal with impending dangers of environmental pollution.

They were speaking at a seminar on Sustainable Development of Modern Universities at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) on Sunday.

Archblue Consultants Chief Executive Officer Najamul Hassan said, “We have been blessed with immense resources but we are destroying them.”

He said increasing pollution, melting glaciers and related climate changes posed serious challenges. “There is need to promote an eco-friendly environment to ensure a better future for the coming generations.”

Hassan said the alarming level of pollution had disturbed the ecosystem, especially for birds. He said unplanned and haphazard urban development had resulted in a number of diseases, including mental stress and heart and respiratory problems.

“To meet these challenges, we have to change our lifestyle and devise a development-oriented strategy for the next 50 years in line with needs of the growing population,” he said.

UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the university was evolving a plan for the development and protection of heritage and changes to cope with devastating effects of air pollution.

He said the UAF’s Postgraduate Agriculture Research Station (PARS) stretched across 650 acres, and under a master plan, the area would have lush green landscaping.

“Likewise, buildings at the UAF campus and PARS would be built in view of climatic changes.”

Khan said sufficient plantation would be ensured along new pavements. He favoured eco-friendly structures that would help maintain room temperature in accordance with weather conditions.

He said engineers were working on a plan to benefit more from solar power.

“This will help lessen dependence on other means of electricity and save the environment from pollution,” he said.

He said air pollution caused by factories and vehicles was a major health concern. He said water polluted by sewage and chemical wastes caused several diseases.

Engineer Asim Raza said the rational use of resources was a prerequisite to meet emerging challenges. “There is a need to redefine our comfort zone,” he said. He said the use of electricity and water consumption must be rationalised.

“Eco-friendly implements must be considered in infrastructure development. Some universities are adopting paper-free teaching and studying mechanism in their bid to contribute to a healthy environment,” he said.

Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Director Prof Asif Ali Khan said rapid urbanisation and changing consumption patterns along with a lack of solid waste management was aggravating the problems.

“Devastating effects of climate change are visible. The polar ice caps are melting, water supplies around the world are shrinking and extreme weather patterns are becoming more common,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2014.

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