Brahmastan is a principle of Vedic architecture and community planning that designates the center point of a geographical area. Vedic architecture is based on Vastu Shastra. Brahmasthan has to be free from any obstructions and is often to be well lit from above, by skylights for instance.
Now that the explosion of expansion rather than the growth of the cities has given little regard to planning, natural laws and foresight. The loss of open spaces and greenery is detrimental to our physical and mental health. The smart cities will never truly be smart unless this environmental imperative is incorporated into their plans.
Children brought up in green spaces (at home, school and commuting) were found to have better attention, memory and overall development, according to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
A Japanese longitudinal study in 2002 in the megapolis of Tokyo found that living in a greenery-filled neighbourhood that allowed easy walking was correlated with lower mortality risks.
“The relation was generally present at all degrees of urbanity,” said a 2006 study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. “The overall relation is somewhat stronger for lower socioeconomic groups. Elderly, youth, and secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from presence of green areas in their living environment than other groups in large cities,” it said.
In Bengaluru, each person had 1.73sq. m of open space in 2007, with more than 70% of the population having access to no more than 1sq. m, according to an Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore thesis by D.S. Ravindran, an Indian Forest Service officer. The international norm is of 11sq. m per person and developed countries tend to have 20sq. m per person.
In this context a valuable question arises. Are Indian cities doomed to be dull, grey, hot and angry, congested concrete heat islands, inhabited by people on the edge of their tempers and resilience, with children destined to never fulfil their potential?
A great open space is envisaged at the center point of a geographical area, its heart, the Brahmasthan, or residence of Brahma, is inspired by divinity. Brahmastan, an open space with lush greenery can make the lives of that area more humane and healthy. Congested surrounding are the reason of unrest and unhealthy.
Samar Halarnkar editor of IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, public-interest journalism, non-profit organization, who also writes the column Our Daily Bread in Mint Lounge has raised the most important question in his article, “The search for Brahmasthan” published in livemint.com, regarding the importance of environmental equilibrium for not only human beings but also for all the living beings..