The Team Developing an Indian State's New Capital Plants a Flag in Sustainability
“I'm confident that we will build the best capital in India. Tomorrow, all over the world, people will talk about Amaravati.”
—N. Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister, Andhra Pradesh, at the Mint Asia-Hindustan Times Leadership Summit
IMAGES COURTESY OF FOSTER + PARTNERS
An Indian state is in need of a new capital—so it is designing and constructing an entirely new city. The Andhra Pradesh government has launched a program to make Amaravati in the southeastern state one of the most sustainable cities in the world, according to designer Foster + Partners. (The current capital, Hyderabad, is shifting to a new state after a 2014 border change.)
The planned 217-square-kilometer (83.8-square-mile) city will create infrastructure that's designed to harness solar power for most buildings and encourage widespread use of electric vehicles. The government chose to build on the banks of the River Krishna to ensure a constant supply of fresh water.
“The design brings together our decadeslong research into sustainable cities, incorporating the latest technologies that are currently being developed in India,” says Norman Foster, founder and executive chairman, Foster + Partners.
Renderings of the Legislative Assembly Building in Amaravati, India
Even the city's centerpiece—a massive pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly complex with cultural spaces and government offices—will focus on the environment. Greenery or water will occupy 60 percent of the space. And the needle-capped legislative assembly building will sit atop a freshwater lake.
Amaravati capital city
ESTIMATED COMPLETION YEAR
2029 (the second phase, encompassing most buildings, will be completed in 2024)
ROOM TO BREATHE
A canopy beneath the Legislative Assembly Building's temple-inspired conical roof will provide shade and cooling throughout the building.