Another day passes and with it another journey full of memories and incredible sights implants itself in my head. Bargain shopping in the local markets, getting lunch with new friends, and befriending rickshaw drivers culminates into a perfect off day before starting fresh this morning.
Today we made our way to Teri University where we met some of the students and heard a couple of lectures on the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) as well as on infrastructure and equity. From the lectures, I was able to learn a lot about the logistics that go into development as well as getting to understand the impact of government a little better than before. From the first speaker, Sahil Sasidharan from DDA, I learned a lot about how the planning department in Delhi has had multiple master plans with regards to the growing city but still has troubles with how incredible fast the growth is increasing. Unless you're in the city, it's really hard to understand just how much development planning and execution really needs to be done in order to sufficiently provide the city with what it needs. Not to mention making everything in a fairly inexpensive manor and pleasing the government. Let's just say I definitely have a ton of respect for anyone who takes on such a daunting challenge...
As for the second speaker, Dr. Geetan Tiwair from IIT Delhi, the lecture focused more on infrastructure and equity. Overall, I really thought she was a great speaker and presented extremely interesting and relevant information. One of my favorite portions of her talk focused on the amount of disparity between transportation methods in Delhi. She talked about how the rich would only ride bikes and walk 5% of the time compared to the poor who were around 66%. It was interesting to hear how most people travel less than ten kilometers to work. Thinking about that really put transportation in a different perspective for me. Ever since I can remember, most people I have known have driven cars to work. No buses, no bikes, no motorcycles, just cars. It really made me think about the possibility of having it another way or if that change could ever be made in the US.
To wrap up the session at Teri, each group split up and had to make their "ideal" city on a sheet of paper. Let me tell you, this sounds easy, but its not... After lots of arguing and discussion our team settled on a riverside city that had its main source of industry as fishing. I think we did a great job with the little time we were given and felt our city was plausible (maybe). From here, we boarded the bus once again as we awaited the afternoon adventure.