Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Living Room of the Future…..

I am standing in a living-room-of-the-future. This is on the 25th floor of the newly launched ‘Spring Home’ residences by Orris Infrastructure. It is year 2018. I have just visited the Floreal Tower on the highway which is still a futuristic and curvaceous glory.
Meanwhile, on the patio-of-the-future, just off the living-room-of-the-future, a hologram of a lady tells me that the glass-sided windows of this loft are coated with a self-cleaning glass. Dirt beads up and, when it rains, it’s washed away. “Oh those rainstorms in the tropics!” she says with a slightly stilted laugh. The fresh organic herbal vegetation spread across the patios-of-the-future is beautifully stimulating and also inspiring.
Across the road, I see Orris marketing office and on its glass fa├žade an advertisement is running that can detect if you are male or female and serve ads accordingly. A wall of motion-sensored fans blows when we walk past the skywalk connecting Springhomes and Greenopolis. We also pass a skeleton sculpture on an elliptical trainer. I have no idea what that was demonstrating, but I thought it was funny. There’s also a bar-of-the-future in the Business Square across the road in front of Greenopolis, where you can take pictures that appear on the tables in front of you. You can add icons and hearts and scribble on them and send them to neighboring tables.
This is Tomorrowland. A 1000-acre of contiguous planned integrated development. People live and work here, crafting futuristic crazy ideas. IT companies, luxury brands and MacDonald and KFC aren’t the only ones who benefit from the existence of residents here. It has a movie theater whose temperature could adjust based on a crowd sourced assessment (via mobile apps) of how hot or cold its occupants were, and offices that learn to adjust its energy use around when people are working hardest. A school in partnership with Microsoft and Apple.
Millions of people who can’t live in Gurgaon due to lack of infra, live here instead and a have a comparable quality of life. Metro connecting the two is helping (remember I am in year 2018). People live in New Gurgaon and still party and work in Gurgaon. Some people are always going to want to live in the big cities (however congested and impractical it is), but the prudent people have chosen New Gurgaon, where they have a modern lifestyle and a fulfilling job. Not every city can offer this choice and I see New Gurgaon has proven itself to be just this, especially ‘Tomorrowland’ by Orris.
A smaller-community’s path to outperforming its natural disadvantages depends on it seizing on what it can do that no one else can, like the green buildings and connecting skywalks like a serpentine in this contiguous parcel of 1k acres that Orris has developed for people residing here in. This Tomorrowland by Orris doesn’t have everything. It never will. But it has the perfect ingredients for creating the model integrated development: One of the well planned destinations in Gurgaonwith controllable geographic size (1k acres) for implementing dreams and experiments, and the right intentions and confidence to make the seemingly impractical implementable. It has followed through on the promise made at places like Carnation and Aster Court. This Tomorrowland is today, the single most important development in New Gurgaon. One of the coolest moments I’ve experienced was when I noticed that as I walked through the serpentine skywalk, the regular background Orris music started to blend with the new futuristic music. The blending of styles begins once you start pacing the skywalk. Definitely give it a listen.

[UPDATE: Someone told me on Twitter that Orris actually has not decided on what should be the name for this 1000 acres of development they are doing. When I was at the site with one of their sales person, the guy's business card read OrrisInfrastructure Pvt. Ltd. While this I know is their company’s name but I believe that in that area, anybody from Orris should only refer that area to be Tomorrowland. At any rate, Tomorrowland is a much better name for what they are doing in that area. Consider this free consulting advice. Orris has earned it]

Saturday, 14 December 2013

New Gurgaon – Rebirth of a City

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but……life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves”
                                                            - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

New Gurgaon is proving the above quote true for a city as well. Yes! New Gurgaon is re-birth of the phenomenon called Gurgaon, only better and stronger with healthy finances, strong governance, and professional planning.

Gurgaon was not prepared for its burgeoning population, and as a result it experienced pollution, congestion, localized water and energy shortages, urban sprawl, and a deteriorating quality of life.

Given the same set of conditions, the ability of cities to deliver growth can vary tremendously. Broad economic trends have changed the fortunes of cities throughout history, yet quite often, the difference in growth comes down to how cities are planned and developed. Rapidly growing cities are highly complex, demanding environments that require effective policy over a long period.


New Gurgaon, is not only planned, but carefully grown and adapted, learning from the mistakes made while developing Gurgaon. Unlike in Gurgaon where first the high rise buildings were constructed and then now ways are explored to lay-down roads, in New Gurgaon, first the roads/sewer and other infra was laid and now the buildings are carefully planned with perfect zoning for commercial, institutional and residential areas done by the authorities. Developers like Orris Infrastructure, DLF, Bestech, 3Cs etc. are working towards executing planned green sustainable environmental friendly development that would go a long way in establishing New Gurgaon as the driver for the next round of economic growth in the region.