The lecture took place on two occasions (October 3rd and 31st, 2022) at The Hague Academy for Local Governance - a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to strengthen local democracy worldwide – offering practice-oriented training in The Netherlands and abroad. Khandekar participated in their session as an Expert to speak about various developmental aspects of mega/complex projects. His engagement in the session resonated with the objective set out by MyLiveableCity (MLC) – to make cities sustainable, inclusive and liveable for all. Mega projects are complex because they invariably address landscape, environment, sustainability, affordable housing, innovation via technology, and culture of cities – the themes that define MLC’s knowledge inventory.
What makes these projects successful, he says, is that “contrary to the designer’s instinct to design everything, large and complex projects are only successful if the lead designer gives a broad vision - within which other designers can help to enrich the design. As the lead designer, one must be optimistic that those who follow will have the quality to enrich the design. It is with this optimism that one chooses the other designers (architects who design individual buildings). The principles I have written down will have to be adapted to local conditions. But, in broad terms, they will lay down a solid basis for successful projects.”
“My lecture to the participants - who are mid or senior level bureaucrats part of the Executive Master’s Program at the King Saud University - was about Design and Management of Complex/ Mega Infrastructure and Urban Projects.”
The 10 Principles formulated by Shyam Khandekar are :
1. Do not see infrastructure in solitude.
2. Simultaneous multi-disciplinarity can be very rewarding.
3. Simultaneous development of design together with infrastructure will lead to greater environmental and societal benefits.
4. Large scale / mega projects have a knock-on effect.
5. Large projects have a long period of realisation.
6. The cheapest solution is not necessarily the best.
7. View any megaproject as a cultural act.
8. Create a sense of place - an identity - based on landscape and climate.
9. Let history and heritage play an important role in design.
10. View any form of infrastructure as an opportunity to create public domain - accessible to all.
For more information on each principle formulated by Shyam Khandekar, visit and follow our social media platforms on Instagram (@mlc.global), Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.” Chetan Kulkarni, Chief Editor of Digital Platforms at MyLiveableCity authored this brief summary of the two-part lecture by MLC Director Shyam Khandekar at The Hague Academy for Local Governance given to participants part of the Executive Master’s Program on Urban Planning at King Saud University (Saudi Arabia) in a long session about the “Urban & Infrastructure Development of Mega/Complex Projects.
All Photos: Shyam Khandekar