Craig Hullinger has over 35 years of experience in city planning and economic development. He was the Director of Economic Development for Peoria, Illinois, Village Manager of Olympia Fields, University Park and Minooka, Assistant Manager of Tinley Park, Planning Director for Will County, and a Colonel (Retired) in the Marine Corps Reserve.

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Planned New Town in India

On a wide stretch of land bisected by India’s Krishna River, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, guavas and commercial flowers once sprung from dark soil that people described as a farmer’s paradise.
But the leader of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh saw this as the ideal spot to build a new capital, and in the last four years the land has slowly been transformed.
The crops are nearly all gone now, the farmers having signed over their plots to the state government. Cows meander alongside freshly paved highways, motorized rickshaws haul construction materials instead of crops and giant concrete shells are rising from the earth as the sprawling city of Amaravati takes shape.
Staggeringly expensive and already behind schedule, the city represents India’s biggest attempt at casting off a reputation for urban chaos and pollution and creating a grand, ultra-modern city to match its global ambitions.
Other Indian leaders have sought to put their stamp on the emerging economic power by erecting mammoth statues, demanding eccentric color schemes or clearing slums to create middle-class promenades.
Nothing has matched the scale of Amaravati, which means “abode of the gods.”
Forced to identify a new capital when the state was divided in 2014, Andhra Pradesh leader Chandrababu Naidu turned to Singapore — Asia’s cleanest and most ruthlessly efficient city — to realize his $15-billion dream. It involves transforming 83 square miles of farmland — about 53,000 acres — into a futuristic cityscape of electric cars, green spaces and landmark buildings, including an assembly chamber shaped like a giant upturned funnel.
Within two decades, he expects the city, which had just 13,000 people in 2011, to house more than 11 million.
Perhaps most fantastical – in a country where urban commuters can often watch most of a three-hour Bollywood movie on their phones before reaching the office – Naidu says his new master-planned capital will place almost every employee within a 15-minute walk to work.

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