As the world is presently moving through a series of lockdowns, vaccinations, uncertainties, and state of emergencies due to COVID 19 Pandemic; there is still a future full of hope, activities and sustainable life. On these lines, the Department of Urban Planning at Lovely Professional University came forward with an exclusively instructive session on World Environment Day 2021. This session was titled “Planning of Housing Environments & Infrastructure in Xenodochial Cities (PHOENIX 1.0)“. Under this, the topic covered was Post-Pandemic Cities and Sustainable Development.

For this virtual programme, eminent resource persons included Regional Director, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, JaiShiv Sharma; Assistant Director, Military Engineering Services, Rajat Kothari; Chairman, Indian Green Building Council (Chandigarh Chapter), Jit Kumar Gupta; Urban Planner, Urban Development & Housing Deptt (Arunachal Pradesh) Abin Tok; Urban Planner, Ladakh  Ecological Development Group, Stanzin Odrai; Director, Planning Tank, Shubham Aggarwal; CEO, Bhole Baba Investments, Himanshu Sethi; Director, Matte Design Creations, Tarun Dalal; and, Engineering Consultant, L & T Infrastructure Engineering, Komalpreet Kaur.

All of speakers held that the challenges in the present scenario demand that the world should have sure access to real-time information that helps cities survive a crisis; urban planners should work to reduce the impact of a crisis on disadvantaged communities; and, public services should be re-designed to cope with sudden and unwanted surges like present pandemic. They talked prominently in favour of good spaces, parks, pollution less transportation, renewable energy, green, clean, hygienic environment with all basic facilities and more. They emphasized to rethink mainly about energy, mobility, environment and innovative policy making about this all.

In fact, World Environment Day is celebrated annually world over. The theme held this year is ‘Reimagine, Recreate, Restore‘, and its focal point is ecosystem restoration. It means preventing, halting and reversing the damage to go from exploiting nature to healing it. Marking the day, current Chief of the United Nations, António Guterres has messaged to the world: “We are ravaging the very ecosystems that provide us with the food, water and resources we need to survive. The Earth is resilient, but she needs our help.”

Noteworthy, the world witnessed a severe outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the last month of 2019.  Since then the governments are working on reducing the crushing impacts. Urban planners have calculated that the cities across the world have suddenly moved from a friendly environment to a strange environment. All of them are now planning to shape cities in such ways that they fight diseases better than before. The variety and imagination of responses to this crisis has given urban planners a huge source of insight. During this national level organization, LPU student of Architecture & Design, Sreevalli Maheshwaram also won ‘Urban Eclectic: Design based Urban Planning Competition for her participation with creative poster.