Localized, Abundant and Circular Economy (LACE) Model (now called as Noida Model*) is an amalgamation of two diverse, synergistic and symbiotic approaches:
a. New Urbanist Regional Planning with Smart Neighborhood/Transit Towns/Eco Villages Approach and
b. Traditional Regional Planning with Vedic Gram Approach (Indigenous approach in India based on classical and folk traditions in the letter and spirit of United Nations Declaration for Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007).
Its key objective is to transform every rural and urban neighborhood to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals enumerated by the United Nations in an accelerated manner based on our holistic design of LACE Model. We focus on leveraging traditional knowledge systems for accelerated achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, Smart neighborhoods and Universal Livelihood Security based on every individual’s uniqueness, social and individual needs and aspirations.
Our purpose is to help a large number of young entrepreneurs and students worldwide to develop prototypes and pilot projects to create millions of ventures worldwide. There are plans afoot to set up 40 such GAIA Innovation Labs in the Delhi National Capital region that incidentally is one of world’s most polluted and environmentally challenged regions as well as deficit in various areas that define quality of life for livable, equitable and sustainable human habitats.
Towards these objectives, it is necessary that every neighborhood must use every inch of land available on ground, on terrace and basement area to become abundant in most to all their daily needs – food, water, education, healthcare, workplace, culture, sports. Other salient features of the LACE model are as follows:
- Every neighborhood must endeavor to become Carbon Sinks with a time-bound target to contribute towards averting climate catastrophe.
- It must eliminate any wasteful use of land and convert existing lawns and ornamental gardens to make way for vegetables, fruits, shade trees and indigenous livestock farms, for harvesting every single drop of rain water, restore its natural waterways and to eliminate, reuse, recondition, repair, recycle and upcycle all its waste – solid, liquid and gaseous within the Smart Neighborhood to become Zero-to-Landfill.
- It must STOP stealing water from elsewhere and reduce its dependencies in a phased but time-bound manner.
- It must make adequate provisions to provide classrooms, workplaces, healthcare and marketplaces within walking or cycling distance within the neighborhood or to adjoining neighborhoods.
- Sufficient public space should be provided within the neighborhood for physical, social and cultural interactions with facilities and programs designed for sports, arts and culture based on traditional – classical and folk practices.
At the core of the LACE framework is to move away from the present automobile-scale form of human habitats to human-scale. This applies for every neighborhood – rural and urban – around the world. Motor vehicles in private usage are a major destroyer of three of the most valuable but misused resources today – space, time and trust. Ironically, looked upon as a great convenience and even liberator of the human race from the stifling constraints of distance and time, our dependence on prevalent usage and attitudes towards motor vehicles threatens the very survival of modern human race down into a vicious cesspool that has hit the rock-bottom with the devious and treacherous Covid Culture. Car Culture creates the graveyards of isolation within communities, families and individuals that makes them pliable for mass formation psychosis even as the human habitat iself ‘sprawls’ to a monstrous automobile-scale size distending even the daily commutes and fulfillment of daily needs. As Robert Malone, a leading voice of sanity amidst the Covid Culture, asks his interviewer: “What the heck happened to Germany in the 20s and 30s? Very intelligent, highly educated population, and they went barking mad. And how did that happen?… When you have a society that has become decoupled from each other and has free-floating anxiety in a sense that things don’t make sense, we can’t understand it, and then their attention gets focused by a leader or series of events on one small point just like hypnosis, they literally become hypnotized and can be led anywhere.”
Car Culture is instrumental in this ‘decoupling’ of human beings infested with ‘free-floating anxiety’ with attention focused on one small point which in case of Covid Culture is a ‘virus’ that is in reality – endemic (it is always present) and exosome (it is released by an external trigger – food, stress, sleep or some environmental changes like the recent rollout of 5G electromagnetic radiations
The colossal destruction of land, time and trust worldwide gets exponentially multiplied to create concrete graveyards or ‘brownfields’ which creates 3 deleterious impacts.
I. impede natural rainwater harvesting and recharging of freshwater reserves as well as underground aquifers,
II. exacerbate urban heating by storing and radiating heat even during the nights and
III. further reinforce the above two, by not allowing indigenous forestry or water reservoirs to come up.
The land use could similarly be used for a variety of other activities such as localized processing of waste into weealth, food production and processing and for education, sports and culture. In our research study, we find that around 30 sq. metres per household is wasted to the Dead Zones created by prevalent motor vehicle usage. Thus for a 10,000 household neighborhood, 300,000 sq. mtrs.is floundered away. Similarly, time lost for longer and gridlocked could be invested for higher economic productivity and more quality time for the family and for the local community which adds up to more than 3 hours per day per person on an average. In many cases of online work and online shopping in non-localized models, the effective land space (ecological footprint of computing and communication infrastructure, packaging and delivery etc.) and time lost (extra hours on digital devices) is nearly the same or even more in some cases.
This is roundabout the same level of shortfall of locally available space time and trust required for the Localized Abundance and Circular Economy – LACE framework to create human habitats locally as well as globally that are livable, sustainable and abundant (i.e. they heal, repair and enrich natural ecosystems rather than depleting them) and offer a high quality of life at the same time to people around the world.
This involves creating walking and cycling friendly zones in neighborhoods by restraining motor vehicles use other than low-powered ultra-light electric mini bus or rickshaws that do not severe walkers and cyclists. At the same time, motor vehicles have exclusive access to seamless, Right of Way network of ‘motoring tracks’ where slow moving modes are restrained. Like air traffic, there is a Land Traffic Control that operates and manages road and rail traffic with effective load balancing to achieve optimal speeds of 60kmph as well as safety and security with Zero Tolerance to accidents and improprieties.
On the user side, this is accessed through a GAIA Earth Community mobile app. Besides Smart Mobility, this app will have features for smart water management, smart waste management and smart farming, forestry and indigenous livestock management in urban and rural areas. In line with LACE framework, human habitats in forests, villages or cities are zero-to-landfill by treating all solid and liquid waste locally and eliminating gaseous waste; zero-water-waste by tapping every drop of rain water as well as net Carbon Sinks that help us stabilize the dangerous levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions globally.
There is an outstanding and long unmet demand for products and services based on the LACE model. Policy advocacy effort is however required to inform and shape public opinion on how our solution approach can be an effective game-changer to address a variety of highly vexatious, frustratingly and seemingly intractable problems of traffic jams, pollution, open sewage drains, man made disasters, desertification and global warming. The key policy changes required are in following areas:
- Change the Motor Vehicles Act and Land Use act to allow only walking and cycling friendly in neighborhoods by restraining motor vehicles use there other than low-powered ultra-light electric mini bus or rickshaws that do not severe walkers and cyclists
- Change the Motor Vehicles Act and Land Use act to allow only high speed motor vehicles on seamless network of Right of Way arterial roads. For grade separation foot over road ramp bridges are created at appropriate locations for walkers, cyclists, light-weight hand or cycle carts as well as disabled on wheel-chair only.
- Make it mandatory for every neighborhood to become Zero-to-Landfill and create by-laws to regulate localized recycling/upcycling of waste. Localized production units must be set up for biodegradable substitutes for plastics and other toxic, non-biodegradable stuff.
- Make it mandatory for every neighborhood to become self-sufficient with respect to water by tapping every drop of rainwater, reclaiming natural sources and storing it for fair and equitable use. Deterrent Water Tax must be levied on water imported from outside the neighborhood.
- Atleast 60% of land space must be reserved in every neighborhood for forests. Another 10-20% must be reserved for farming, pastures and livestock sheds. There should be no impervious surface and the total built-up area including roads must be restricted to less than 20%, the lower the better.
Inaugural pilot project in PalamVihar in Gurgaon in March 2006 of Smart Mobility model
In a working session to invite participation of existing transport operators in PalamVihar for the Pragati Project mentioned how existing laws came in the way of high occupancy, shared use of vehicles. The findings of the session are as follows:
- A large number of vehicles, in PalamVihar and in other areas in Delhi NCR are operated as taxis, even if they do not have a permit.
- Many operators cannot afford high cost and other charges related to taxis at the rates that their customers can afford or are willing to pay.
- For many vehicles, more than 1 year but less than 3 years old and in good operating condition, which their owners would like to register as taxis. They cannot do so under the present law as vehicles are eligible for taxi permit only till 1 year after purchase, even if they are in good operating condition.
- Unlawful use of vehicles registered as private vehicles, but plying as taxis, also has the collusion of a number of passengers who prefer to hire private vehicles rather than taxis. So as to avoid paying multiple taxes/toll charges etc. applicable for entry or period of stay in different states – Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttaranchal – for which taxis are charged much higher than private vehicles, even if they are running on high occupancy under the present law.
- Transport operators also pointed out that they do not carry more than one or two passengers – even if they find passengers wanting to go on the same route and at same time – to avoid being pointed out at the check-posts as a taxi service and thus avoid paying taxes or penalties.
- Even vehicles registered as taxis further require a stage carriage permit to pick and drop passengers at different points as may be required to run at high occupancy under the present law.
- Due to the uncertain nature of this business, many of the transport operators are unable to expand their fleet. They further added that many of the unemployed village youth in the area (2 of whom attended the meeting), who see demand for additional transport service are unable to raise loans for vehicle purchase from banks and remain unemployed.
Petition to safeguard Right to Clean Air in Delhi National Capital as a Fundamental Right and therefore stop all sources of pollution
- Delhi air is dangerously polluted and its polluters are guilty of genocide. Children who tend to breath twice faster than adults and are thus even worse affected. Pregnant women, elderly and sick are facing inhumane crises.
2. In such a scenario and getting worse every year, we shall urge the judiciary to take the most stringent action against the polluters and declare a 20-year Environmental Emergency till the time pollution abates to safe levels according to global standards.
3. Towards this following immediate steps are proposed
a. Make a 3km radius around every metro rail station as Car-free Zone. Only walking, bicycling, wheelchairs and ultra-light electric vehicles should be allowed within this zone.
b. Adequate arrangements should be made to facilitate parking and maintenance of these vehicles in this Zone.
c.Arrangements should be made to dispose of all the surplus vehicles in an eco-friendly manner.
d.Land freed from under the earlier parked vehicles for localised water harvesting and storage, localised waste management to make Delhi Zero-to-Landfill as well as significantly enhance tree cover, vegetable and fruits gardens and indigenous livestock sheds – cows, buffaloes, horses, donkeys etc. to meet requirements of good quality milk and milk products and for manure and pest control using dung and urine.
e.Similarly, land released will be used for localised production of household goods, and to provide education, health, justice, culture, sports etc. locally so as to provide universal livelihood security as well as to provide high quality of life.
Previous international papers by Chandra Vikash Global Sustainability Expert
- Proceedings of Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in 2004 in Japan
MOBILITY(XS) : A ROAD AHEAD FOR URBAN TRANSPORT
Urban Transport is at crossroads. Users do not get the level and quality of service that they pay for by direct or indirect means in a fair and equitable way. One road leads to MobilityXS. This is based on a pathbreaking review of our usage and attitude, environmental constraints and a comprehensive study of enabling technologies. It metamorphoses the public-private transport categories. In turn, users have a wider choice of the travel experience that they co-create and customize to personal preferences. They avail of vastly superior travel experience at a given price point in this model than at present. In a wholesome approach to our needs of a livable society, users can choose to walk or cycle comfortable distances in a friendly environment that is sequestrated of motorized traffic. Fast moving motor vehicles run uninterrupted of slow moving traffic and move much faster than at present with a combination of innovative traffic control measures and in-vehicle navigation sensors in the new system.
2. Proceedings of Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in 2009 in Sweden
PUBLIC ROADS AS SERVICE MARKETS PAVING THE WAY FOR CIVILIZATION 2.0
We need to fundamentally rethink public roads as service markets – such as for phone, electricity, airlines, or restaurant– to provide advance booking and reservation for travel at assured speeds on selected time and routes; value plans suited to road usage levels and access privileges; travel advisory to optimize time, cost, comfort and convenience; emergency services and multiple payment options etc. Innovative use of technologies in Intelligent Transport Systems can enable these public road services. The real challenge is to detach public roads system from general tax collection and other fixed duties and charges. Simplistic and piecemeal road user “charging” schemes fail to tie the ends and have been rightly rejected in various referendums. With their multiplying effect through the transport-land use system on our time, health and our disposition and on efficiencies in goods movement, a well-evolved public road services market creates “net savings” for road users along with indirect social and ecological benefits.
- Proceedings of Workshop on Sustainable Transport with Community Solutions at Ohio, US in 2009
*This concept note is based on a presentation by the GAIA Innovations Lab (GIL) team at the World Congress for New Urbanism and SDGs Conference in Australia on 1-2 November, 2018. GIL is now part of Gaia Earth Sansad (www.gaiasansad.org). It is now called as ‘Noida Model’ with our plans to launch a global pilot in Noida region comprising two districts of Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad in Delhi National Capital Region.
Chandra Vikash (50) is a strategic thinker, innovator and innovation coach. In his work in various companies – SAIL, Arvind Mills, TCS, Mastek, Logica, Reva Electric Car Co., Erehwon Innovation Consulting and Vertebrand Brand Consulting – and entrepreneurial ventures over past 22 years, he has always valued and upheld social and environment responsibilities as symbiotic and synergistic to commercial success, persisting against several odds and deeply entrenched perceptions.
At present, he is the Convenor of GAIA Earth Sansad (www.gaiasansad.org ) which is working towards creating a truly democratic and representative world body with a comprehensive grassroots-to-global governance system and structures. Earlier, he founded TEN Systems in 2007, a company that develops smart and sustainable solutions in the areas of Transport, Energy and eNvironment and IndianDynamics.com in 1999. He studied for his Bachelor in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (1993) and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata (1997). His wife Alka is a Hindustani classical singer and music teacher . They have two daughters Akarshita (18) and Parnika (13).