By: Saori Ogura The indigenous Lepcha people have lived in Sikkim, a world biodiversity-hotspot, for more than eight centuries. Their traditional agricultural practices, hunting and gathering, enabled them to be self-sustaining in the biodiverse forest. Cultivated agriculture began around 1900 with the introduction of wet rice and cardamom. In the 1970s, commercial cardamom got expanded. In 2000, cardamom production collapsed due to disease. My research involves case studies at three scales on land use changes in the Lepcha territory following the expansion of cardamom. The first is a coarse grained GIS study of land use change for the village from 1988 to 2102. The other two are fine-grained key informant interview studies—one on land use change, and the second on the persistence of traditional food crops. I found decline in crop diversity in the area devoted to the monocultural cardamom cash crop system, which regionally resulted in a forest cover increase after the crash of the cardamom, and the persistence of traditional food crops only in the most remote villages.
SmartCity Kochi is a project of TECOM investments (SmartCity Dubai) in association with the State Government of Kerala in India. The project marks the next step in the evolution of an international brand of IT Campus projects focused on creating high-quality workplaces for international knowledge industries.
In Kochi, Smart City is located on a one square kilometer riverfront site with some extreme topography and some extreme environmental challenges. By definition, sustainable design is a central theme in the planning and design of the site, in keeping with the brand name “SmartCity”, and its international profile and appeal. Robert Marshall, Global Director of Planning & Landscape for B+H Architects, has been leading the design and planning of the SmartCity Kochi project and will discuss some of the challenges, issues and opportunities associated with the design of a sustainable high-tech campus in southwest India