1 ELEMENTS OF HARMONIOUS SOCIETIES & CITIES

Half of humanity now lives in cities, and within two decades, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s people will be urban dwellers. Urban growth is most rapid in the developing world, where cities gain an average of 5 million residents every month. As cities grow in size and population, harmony among the spatial, social and environmental aspects of a city and between their inhabitants becomes of paramount importance. This harmony hinges on two key pillars: equity and sustainability. Urban, city and town planning is the integration of the disciplines of land use planning and transport planning. Regional planning deals with a still larger environment, at a less detailed level. Urban planning is concerned with the ordering and design of settlements, from the smallest towns to the world's largest cities. Based upon the origins of urban planning from the Roman (pre-dark ages) era, the current discipline goes back to the synergy of the disciplines of urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture, with minor variations. Another key role of urban planning is urban renewal and re-generation of inner cities by adapting urban planning methods to existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructural decay. Urban planning as an organized science has existed for less than a century. However, most settlements and cities reflect various degrees of forethought and conscious design in their layout and functioning. Discovery of agriculture and the development of technology, particularly before the beginning of recorded history facilitated larger populations than the very small communities of the Paleolithic times, and may have paved the way for the development of stronger, more assertive and coercive governments. A number of cities were laid out according to fixed plans in the pre-Classical and Classical ages, though many tended to develop organically. Designed cities were characteristic of the totalitarian Mesopotamian, Harrapan, and Egyptian civilizations of the third millennium BC. The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley Civilization (in modern-day Pakistan and northwest India) are perhaps the earliest examples of deliberately planned

2 and managed cities. The streets of these early cities were often paved and laid out at right angles in a grid pattern, with a hierarchy of streets from major boulevards to residential alleys. Archaeological evidence suggests that many Harrapan houses were laid out to protect from noise and enhance residential privacy; also, they often had their own water wells for probably both sanitary and ritual purposes. These ancient cities were unique in that they often had drainage systems, seemingly tied to a well-developed ideal of urban sanitation. The Greek Hippodamus (c. 407 BC) is widely considered the father of city planning in the West, for his design of Miletus; Alexander commissioned him to lay out his new city of Alexandria, the grandest example of idealized urban planning of the Mediterranean world, where regularity was aided in large part by its level site near a mouth of the Nile. The ancient Romans used a consolidated scheme for city planning, developed for military defense and civil convenience. A river usually flowed through the city, to provide water, transport, and sewage disposal. Many European towns, such as Turin, still preserve the essence of these schemes. The Romans had a very logical way of designing their cities. They laid out the streets at right angles, in the form of a square grid. All the roads were equal in width and length, except for two. These two roads formed the center of the grid and intersected in the middle. One went East/West, the other North/South. They were slightly wider than the others. All roads were made of carefully fitted stones and smaller hard packed stones. Bridges were also constructed where needed. The city was surrounded by a wall to protect the city from invaders and other enemies, and to mark the city limits. Areas outside of the city limits were left open as farmland. At the end of each main road, there would be a large gateway with watchtowers. A water aqueduct was built outside of the city's walls. Urban development in the Middle Ages, characteristically focused on a fortress, a fortified abbey, or a (sometimes abandoned) Roman nucleus, occurred "like the annular rings of a tree" whether in an extended village or the center of a larger city often on high, defensible ground. A few medieval cities were admired for their wide thoroughfares and other orderly arrangements. Florence was an early model of the new urban planning, which rearranged itself into a star-shaped layout adapted from the new star fort, designed to resist cannon fire. This model was widely imitated, reflecting the enormous cultural power of Florence in this age. All this occurred in the cities, but ordinarily not in the

3 industrial suburbs characteristic of this era which remained disorderly and characterized by crowded conditions and organic growth. In the 1990s, the University of Kentucky voted the Italian town of Todi as ideal city and "most livable town in the world", the place where man and nature, history and tradition come together to create a site of excellence. Many cities in Central American civilizations also engineered urban planning in their cities including sewage systems and running water. In developed countries (Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia), planning and architecture can be said to have gone through various stages of general consensus in the last 200 years. Around 1900, there began to be a movement for providing citizens, especially factory workers, with healthier environments. The concept of garden cities arose and several model towns were built. However, these were principally small scale in size, typically dealing with only a few thousand residents. It wasn't until the 1920s that modernism began to surface. Based on the ideas of Le Corbusier and utilizing new skyscraper building techniques, the modernist city stood for the elimination of disorder, congestion and the small scale, replacing them instead with preplanned and widely spaced freeways and tower blocks set within gardens. No largescale plans were implemented until after World War II however. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, housing shortages caused by war destruction led many cities around the world to build substantial amounts of government-subsidized housing blocks. Planners at the time used the opportunity to implement the modernist ideal of towers surrounded by gardens. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, many planners were coming to realize that the imposition of modernist clean lines and a lack of human scale also tended to sap vitality from the community. This was expressed in high crime and social problems within many of these planned neighbourhoods. Modernism can be said to have ended in the 1970s when the construction of the cheap, uniform tower blocks ended in many countries, such as Britain and France. Since then many have been demolished and in their way more conventional housing has been built. Rather than attempting to eliminate all disorder, planning now concentrates on individualism and diversity in society and the economy. This is the post-modernist era. Minimally-planned cities still exist. Houston is an example of a large city (with a metropolitan population of 5.5 million) in a developed country,

4 without a comprehensive zoning ordinance. Houston does, however, have many of the land use restrictions covered by traditional zoning regulations, such as restrictions on development density and parking requirements, even though specific land uses are not regulated. Sustainable Development and Sustainability Sustainable development and sustainability have become important concepts in today's urban planning field, with the recognition that current consumption and living habits may be leading to problems such as the overuse of natural resources, ecosystem destruction, urban heat islands, pollution, growing social inequality and large-scale climate change. Many urban planners have, as a result, begun to advocate for the development of sustainable cities. However, the notion of sustainable development is a fairly recent concept and somewhat controversial. Wheeler, in his 1998 article, suggests a definition for sustainable urban development to be as "development that improves the long-term social and ecological health of cities and towns." These include compact, efficient land use; less automobile use yet with better access; efficient resource use, less pollution and waste; the restoration of natural systems; good housing and living environments; a healthy social ecology; sustainable economics; community participation and involvement; and preservation of local culture and wisdom. The challenge facing today's urban planners lies in the implementation of targeted policies and programs, and the need to modify existing urban and regional institutions to achieve the goals of sustainability. Aspects of Planning Aesthetics Towns and cities have been planned with aesthetics in mind. In developed countries, there has been a backlash against excessive human-made clutter in the visual environment, such as signposts, signs, and hoardings. Other issues that generate strong debate amongst urban designers are tensions between peripheral growths, increased housing density and planned new settlements. There are also unending debates about the benefits of mixing tenures and land uses, versus the benefits of distinguishing geographic zones where different uses predominate. Regardless, all successful urban planning considers urban character, local identity, respect for heritage, pedestrians, traffic, utilities and natural hazards.

5 Planners are important in managing the growth of cities, applying tools like zoning to manage the uses of land, and growth management to manage the pace of development. When examined historically, many of the cities now thought to be most beautiful are the result of dense, long lasting systems of prohibitions and guidance about building sizes, uses and features. These allowed substantial freedoms, yet enforce styles, safety, and often materials in practical ways. Many conventional planning techniques are being repackaged using the contemporary term smart growth. There are some cities that have been planned from conception, and while the results often don't turn out quite as planned, evidence of the initial plan often remains. Safety and Security The medieval walled city of Carcassonne in France is built upon high ground to provide maximum protection from attackers. Historically within the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the Old World, settlements were located on higher ground (for defense) and close to fresh water sources. Cities have often grown into coastal and flood plains at risk of floods and storm surges. Urban planners must consider these threats. If the dangers can be localized then the affected regions can be made into parkland or Greenbelt, often with the added benefit of open space provision. Extreme weather, flood, earthquakes or other emergencies can often be greatly mitigated with secure emergency evacuation routes and emergency operations centres. These are relatively inexpensive and non-intrusive, and many consider them a reasonable precaution for any urban space. Many cities will also have planned, built in safety features, such as levees, retaining walls, and shelters. In recent years, practitioners have also been expected to maximize the accessibility of an area to people with different abilities, practicing the notion of "inclusive design," to anticipate criminal behaviour and consequently to "design-out crime" and to consider "traffic calming" or "pedestrianisation" as ways of making urban life more pleasant. “To build city districts that are custom made for easy crime is idiotic, yet that is what we do.” – Jane Jacobs

6 City planning tries to control criminality with structures designed from theories such as socio-architecture or environmental determinism. These theories say that an urban environment can influence individuals' obedience to social rules. The theories often say that psychological pressure develops in more densely developed, unadorned areas. This stress causes some crimes and some use of illegal drugs. The antidote is usually more individual space and better, more beautiful design in place of functionalism. Many scholars dismiss architecture’s inherent role in shaping society, just as they dismiss the role that socio-economics play in causing conflict. Perhaps this denial is rooted in fears of moral obligation. However, in examining such cases which rapidly deteriorated into a trash-ridden, mold and rat-infested cesspool of vandalism, drug abuse and crime, one can clearly see that architectural design, specifically a lack of security and amenities, not only encouraged social ills, but simultaneously contributed to social unrest. In her essay “The Architecture of Deceit”, theorist Diane Ghirardo writes, “the position that only formal elements matter in architecture bespeaks a monumental refusal to confront serious problems; it avoids a critique of the existing power structure, of the ways power is used, and of the identity of those whose interests power serves. To do otherwise might entail opening a Pandora’s Box of far more complicated issues.” Oscar Newman’s defensible space theory cites the modernist housing projects of the 1960s as an example of environmental determinism, where large blocks of flats are surrounded by shared and disassociated public areas, which are hard for residents to identify with. As those on lower incomes cannot hire others to maintain public space such as security guards or grounds keepers, and because no individual feels personally responsible, there was a general deterioration of public space leading to a sense of alienation and social disorder. Jane Jacobs is another notable environmental determinist and is associated with the "eyes on the street" concept. By improving ‘natural surveillance’ of shared land and facilities of nearby residents by literally increasing the number of people who can see it, and increasing the familiarity of residents, as a collective, residents can more easily detect undesirable or criminal behaviour.

7 Post-Modern Interpretations of Community Security are reflected in the work of postmodern theorists Jane Jacobs and Oscar Newman wherein both single out the need for security in urban contexts. The two differ only in the way in which they seek solutions to insecurity; Jacobs focuses on the role that a community’s citizens play in indirectly deterring crime, while Newman focuses on the aspects of specific physical design that directly dictate safety. Both physical structures and the people who inhabit them have been shown to have reformative powers in a public housing complex. However, this realization also means that poor architectural design, which discourages community relationships and eliminates physical boundaries, can also result in increased rates of crime and feelings of isolation. Findings also support the argument that in order to have concern over politics, the fundamental needs for physical security, i.e. housing, must first be met. Only after abject poverty is addressed can one truly focus on issues of politics and nationality, or “self-actualization.” According to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, developed in the 1940s and 1950s, basic physiological requirements such as food and shelter lie at the foundation of human needs. Housing is one of the important prerequisite of the three basic needs of a living being to be able to survive. Humans need food, clothing and shelter as much as any other species. These are followed next by the need for physical security. Maslow notes that adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting), and that children more acutely display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe. Tertiary needs include those for love and a sense of belonging, as well as requirements for self-esteem, and finally self actualization. The "broken-windows" theory argues that small indicators of neglect, such as broken windows and unkempt lawns, promote a feeling that an area is in a state of decay. Anticipating decay, people likewise fail to maintain their own properties. The theory suggests that abandonment causes crime, rather than crime causing abandonment. Some planning methods might help an elite group to control ordinary citizens. Haussmann's renovation of Paris created a system of wide boulevards which prevented the construction of barricades in the streets and eased the movement of military troops. In

8 Rome, the Fascists in the 1930s created ex novo many new suburbs in order to concentrate criminals and poorer classes away from the elegant town. Other social theories point out that in Britain and most countries since the 18th century, the transformation of societies from rural agriculture to industry caused a difficult adaptation to urban living. These theories emphasize that many planning policies ignore personal tensions, forcing individuals to live in a condition of perpetual extraneity to their cities. Many people therefore lack the comfort of feeling "at home" when at home. Often these theorists seek a reconsideration of commonly used "standards" that rationalize the outcomes of a free (relatively unregulated) market. Slums The rapid urbanization of the last century has resulted in a significant amount of slum habitation in the major cities of the world, particularly in developing countries. There is significant demand for planning resources and strategies to address the issues that arise from slum development. Many planning theorists and practitioners are calling for increased attention and resources in this area, particularly the Commonwealth Association of Planners. When urban planners give their attention to slums, one also has to pay attention to the racial make-up of that area to ensure that racial steering does not occur. The issue of slum habitation has often been resolved via a simple policy of clearance. However, more creative solutions are beginning to emerge such as Nairobi's "Camp of Fire" program, where established slum-dwellers have promised to build proper houses, schools, and community centers without any government money, in return for land they have been illegally squatting on for 30 years. The "Camp of Fire" program is one of many similar projects initiated by Slum Dwellers International, which has programs in Africa, Asia, and South America Urban decay Urban decay is a process by which a city, or a part of a city, falls into a state of disrepair and neglect. It is characterized by depopulation, economic restructuring, property abandonment, high unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and desolate urban landscapes. Many planners spoke of "white flight" during this time. This pattern was different than the pattern of "outlying slums" and "suburban ghettos" found in many cities outside of North America and Western Europe, where

9 central urban areas actually had higher real estate values. Starting in the 1990s, many of the central urban areas in North America have been experiencing a reversal of the urban decay of previous decades, with rising real estate values, smarter development, demolition of obsolete social housing areas and a wider variety of housing choices. RECONSTRUCTION AND RENEWAL Urban Renewal Historic, religious or social centers also need to be preserved and re-integrated into the new city plan. A prime example of this is the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan, which, after decades of civil war and occupation, has regions that have literally been reduced to rubble and desolation. Despite this, the indigenous population continues to live in the area, constructing makeshift homes and shops out of whatever can be salvaged. Any reconstruction plan proposed, such as Hisham Ashkouri's City of Light Development, needs to be sensitive to the needs of this community and its existing culture, businesses and needs. Urban Reconstruction Development plans must also work with government agencies as well as private interests to develop workable designs. Transportation Planning Very densely built-up areas require high capacity urban transit, and urban planners must consider these factors in long term plans. Although an important factor, there is a complex relationship between urban densities and car use. Transport within urbanized areas presents unique problems. The density of an urban environment can create significant levels of road traffic, which can impact businesses and increase pollution. Parking space is another concern, requiring the construction of large parking garages in high density areas which could be better used for other development. Good planning uses transit oriented development, which attempts to place higher densities of jobs or residents near high-volume transportation. For example, some cities permit commerce and multi-story apartment buildings only within one block of train stations and multilane boulevards, and accept single-family dwellings and parks farther away.

10 City authorities may try to encourage lower densities to reduce infrastructure costs, though some observers note that low densities may not accommodate enough population to provide adequate demand or funding for that infrastructure. Increasing development density has the advantage of making mass transport systems, district heating and other community facilities (schools, health centres, etc) more viable. However critics of this approach dub the densification of development as 'town cramming' and claim that it lowers quality of life and restricts choices. Problems can often occur at high residential density areas. These densities can cause traffic jams for automobiles, yet are too low to be commercially served by trains or light rail systems. The conventional solution is to use buses, but these and light rail systems may fail where automobiles and excess road network capacity are both available, achieving less than 1% commuters. The Lewis-Mogridge Position claims that increasing road space is not an effective way of relieving traffic jams as latent or induced demand invariably emerges to restore a socially-tolerable level of congestion. Suburbanization In some countries, declining satisfaction with the urban environment is held to blame for continuing migration to smaller towns and rural areas (so-called urban exodus). Successful urban planning supported Regional planning can bring benefits to a much larger hinterland or city region and help to reduce both congestion along transport routes and the wastage of energy implied by excessive commuting. Environmental Factors Besides community centers and playgrounds, the other major amenity that dramatically improves living conditions by ensuring the presence of residents and providing clear definitions of public and private space is landscaping. In 1922, in his planned “Contemporary City for 3 Million People,” Le Corbusier explained that planted areas are, “the only way to promote healthy conditions and create a tranquil atmosphere.” He went on to note that “the new spirit of architecture and the emerging art of urban planning can satisfy our deepest needs by bringing nature into the city landscape.” Surrounded by these new high-rises, he acknowledged that “we must bridge the painful gap between man and his city by introducing a means that fits into both scales… we must plant trees!”

11 Environmental protection and conservation are of utmost importance to many planning systems across the world. Not only are the specific effects of development to be mitigated, but attempts are made to minimize the overall effect of development on the local and global environment. This is commonly done through the assessment of Sustainable urban infrastructure. In Europe this process is known as Sustainability Appraisal. In most advanced urban or village planning models, local context is critical. In many cases, gardening and other outdoor activities assumes a central role in the daily life of the inhabitants. Environmental planners are focusing on smaller systems of resource extraction, energy production and waste disposal. There is even a practice known as Arcology, which seeks to unify the fields of ecology and architecture, using principles of landscape architecture to achieve a harmonious environment for all living things. On a small scale, the eco-village theory has become popular, as it emphasizes a traditional 100140 person scale for communities. An urban planner is likely to use a number of quantitative tools to forecast impacts of development on the environmental, including roadway air dispersion models to predict air quality impacts of urban highways and roadway noise models to predict noise pollution effects of urban highways. As early as the 1960s, noise pollution was addressed in the design of urban highways as well as noise barriers. The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment can be an important tool to the urban planner by identifying early in the planning process any geographic areas or parcels which have toxic constraints. Light and Sound The urban canyon effect is a colloquial, non-scientific term referring to street space bordered by very high buildings. This type of environment may shade the sidewalk level from direct sunlight during most daylight hours. While an oft-decried phenomenon, it is rare except in very dense, hyper-tall urban environments, such as those found in Lower and Midtown Manhattan, Chicago's Loop and Kowloon in Hong Kong. In urban planning, sound is usually measured as a source of pollution. Another perspective on urban sounds is developed in Soundscape studies emphasising that sound aesthetics involves more than noise abatement and decibel measurements. Hedfors coined

12 'Sonotope' as a useful concept in urban planning to relate typical sounds to a specific place. Light pollution has become a problem in urban residential areas, not only as it relates to its effects on the night sky, but as some lighting is so intrusive as to cause conflict in the residential areas and paradoxically intense improperly installed security lighting may pose a danger to the public, producing excessive glare. The development of the full cutoff fixture, properly installed, has reduced this problem considerably. Process Blight may sometimes cause communities to consider redeveloping and urban planning. The traditional planning process focused on top-down processes where the urban planner created the plans. The planner is usually skilled in surveying, engineering or architecture, bringing to the town planning process ideals based around these disciplines. They typically worked for national or local governments. Changes to the planning process over past decades have witnessed the metamorphosis of the role of the urban planner in the planning process. More citizens calling for democratic planning and development processes have played an important role in allowing the public to make important decisions as part of the planning process. Community organizers and social workers are now very involved in planning from the grassroots level. Developers too have played important role in influencing the way development occurs, particularly through project-based planning. Many recent developments were results of large and small-scale developers who purchased land, designed the district and constructed the development from scratch. Recent theories of urban planning, espoused, for example by Salingaros see the city as an adaptive system that grows according to process similar to those of plants. They say that urban planning should thus take its cues from such natural processes. CONCLUSION Housing and environment play the most important role towards development of harmonious cities and societies. Equity and sustainability are the two key pillars on which the harmony among the spatial, social and environmental aspects of a city and between their inhabitants hinges. Urban, city and town planning is the integration of the

13 disciplines of land use planning and transport planning whereas Regional planning deals with a still larger environment but at a less detailed level. Harmonious societies and cities develop as a result of synergy of the disciplines of urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture along with urban renewal and re-generation of inner cities by adapting urban planning methods to existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructural decay. Harmonious societies and cities are in consonance with the concept of sustainable development and sustainability, with the recognition that current consumption and living habits may be leading to problems such as the overuse of natural resources, ecosystem destruction, urban heat islands, pollution, growing social inequality and large-scale climate change. There is an advocacy now for the development of sustainable cities which include compact, efficient land use; less automobile use yet with better access; efficient resource use, less pollution and waste; the restoration of natural systems; good housing and living environments; a healthy social ecology; sustainable economics; community participation and involvement; and preservation of local culture and wisdom. Harmonious societies and cities combine in them all the aspects of planning like aesthetics, safety and security and above all inclusiveness so as to be accessible and secure for those with different abilities with structures designed from theories such as socio-architecture or environmental determinism by making provisions for individual space and better, more beautiful design in place of only functionalism. Jane Jacobs’ "eyes on the street" concept for improving ‘natural surveillance’ helps residents easily detect undesirable or criminal behaviour. Slums and urban decay are dealt with smart options through projects initiated for slums and wider variety of housing choices for the inhabitants through mutual consent and partnership. REFERENCE Andersen, Hans Skifter, (2003). Urban Sores: On the Interaction between Segregation, Urban Decay, and Deprived Neighbourhoods ISBN 0754633055. Deirdre Roy, Megan. (1968-1998). Divis Flats: The Social and Political Implications of a Modern Housing Project in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Iowa Historical Review

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Helfritz, Hans (April 1937), "Land without shade", Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 24 (2): 201–16. Eapen J. (1997), Indus River Valley Civilization. 000). "Planning in the Face of Conflict", ISBN 0-415-27173-8, Routledge, New York. Garvin, Alexander (2002). The American City: What Works and What Doesn't. New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-137367-5. Grogan, Paul, Proscio, Tony, (2000). Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival,. ISBN 0-8133-3952-9. Hogan, Michael, (1973). Analysis of highway noise, Journal of Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Volume 2, Number 3, Biomedical and Life Sciences and Earth and Environmental Science Issue, pages 387-392, September, Springer Verlag, Netherlands ISSN 0049-6979 Jacobs, J. 1961. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Newman, O. (1960). Defensible space theory: The modernist housing projects of the 1960s. The Christian Science Monitor: Kenyans buy into slum plan, 26 May 2004 UNHABITAT, 2008, State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009 - Harmonious Cities, ISBN: 978-92-1-132010-7. Wheeler, S. (1998). "Planning Sustainable and Livable Cities", ISBN 0-415-27173-8, Routledge, New York. Wikipedia, (2008), Urban Design and City Planning For a New Generation of Planners. the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_planning".

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Matheos Santamouris (2006). Environmental Design of Urban Buildings: An Integrated Approach. Tunnard, C. & Boris Pushkarev (1963). Man-Made America: Chaos or Control?: An Inquiry into Selected Problems of Design in the Urbanized Landscape, New Haven: Yale University Press. Notes Urban Planning, 1794-1918: An International Anthology of Articles, Conference Papers, and Reports, Selected, Edited, and Provided with Headnotes by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University. City Planning According to Artistic Principles, Camillo Sitte, 1889 Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, Ebenezer Howard, 1898 The Improvement of Towns and Cities, Charles Mulford Robinson, 1901 Town Planning in practice, Raymond Unwyn, 1909 The Principles of Scientific Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, 1911 Cities in Evolution, Patrick Geddes, 1915 The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch, 1960 The Concise Townscape, Gordon Cullen, 1961 The City in History, Lewis Mumford, 1961 The City is the Frontier, Charles Abrams, Harper & Row Publishing, New York, 1965. Urban Development: The Logic Of Making Plans, Lewis D. Hopkins, Island Press, 2001. ISBN 1-55963-853-2

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