Vijayawada (AP): Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today asked architects and planners to strive towards research and innovation to make cities happier and safer while upholding the country's culture and protecting the nature for a better future.

Addressing the third convocation of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) here, he wanted the planners to also address the phenomenon of rapid urbanisation and moderate the effects of migration to urban areas.

"One must evolve ways to augment the infrastructure and facilities available in rural and peri-urban areas. There is a need to amalgamate tradition and technology to improve the built environment and also work towards sustainable development.It is important to create amenities in rural areas that are on par with urban centres," Naidu said.

He, however, cautioned against turning rural areas into concrete jungles, stressing that there should be a perfect blend of modernity and tradition.

It was also important for architects and city planners to uphold "our culture and protect nature for a better future," he observed.

Environmental protection and sustainability were the watchwords now and this was particularly important for professionals involved in designing new buildings.

The need of the hour was to promote eco-friendly green buildings which use less water and optimise energy and take full advantage of digital technology to build smart buildings with automated operations, the Vice-President said.

Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Union Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam, SPA Chairperson Brinda Somaya, Director Meenakshi Jain and others attended.

Earlier, the Vice-President inaugurated new buildings of the SPA built on a 9.6 acre site in the city at a cost of Rs 153.66 crore.

He inspected a photo exhibition and presented mementos to the students.

Naidu appreciated the SPA staff and students for having documented the heritage town of Amaravati last year.

Research is in progress to make available credible data of the heritage town in whose vicinity the new state capital is shaping up.

The vice-president also expressed happiness over SPA offering its research, consultancy and advocacy services to the state government in developing the new capital city Amaravati. (PTI)

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