Christopher Benninger On Pune, The Peshwe Era And Lessons In Urban Planning
—-added July 25, 2010 —
Benninger discusses how Pune evolved after the end of the Peshwe era in 1818. How the city witnessed a big decline over the next few decades. How the British reshaped the city with the creation of new areas such as the Pune Cantonment.
“With the demise of Peshwa rule and the coming of the British, Pune changed dramatically, in terms of its urban plan and in mindset. However, the spirit of the people lives on, surging towards the future”
—-original post dated July 11, 2010 —
The famous, award-winning architect and urban planner Christopher Benninger has written a nice piece ‘The Great City Builders’ about urban planning lessons from the Peshwa Era in Pune, in today’s Pune Mirror.
Excerpt: “Pune reached its greatest heights of civility during the Peshwa period, with urban management being a clear, transparent system rather than the haphazard mix of politics and need for power it has become today”
He discusses the various developments from that period – New ‘Peths’, Aqua-Ducts, Roads, Mixed-Use Neighborhoods, ‘Wadas’, etc. He also highlights how the emphasis was less on iconic, grand monuments as compared to the other famous capital cities. Here is one more excerpt:
“The image of every city revolves around some iconic, manmade structures and grand boulevards; not so in Peshwa Pune! While Pune was the capital of an empire, it worked for the empowerment and facilitation of a new nation, not for its subjugation and plunder! “
To read the full article, click here: ‘The Great City Builders’
Also take a look at a couple of previous articles by Christopher Benninger on Pune, in Pune Mirror
Excerpt: “The time has come to rediscover and reinvent Pune, lest modern Maharashtra and all of us who live here, crumble before the forces that dehumanise life. We need to resurrect the city of our dreams”