Community development is described as advancement within the standard of communal existence. It also can be defined as the change or growth of a community over a period of your time. With the community growing more advanced, impressive, successful, stronger, or complete. Development is now beginning to be understood as a process of quantitative and qualitative change in the desired direction. Thus, over the years, not all changes taking place in rural areas were read as signs of development. But, to make it count as an efficient change, it’s important to encourage and support sustainability concerning both economic and environmental aspects. Yet, the question that’s still not fully addressed by the world is: How beneficial are these changes really?

Relevance of community development and architecture in under-developed regions - Sheet1
School in rural india using low-cost construction techniques. ©

It is believed that the pattern of community development is dependent upon the visions and actions of community members, and the circumstances. While urban communities have shown rapid development to become larger, more intensive, or more complex, some rural communities have preserved their traditional pattern of living over many years. Countryside and villages are the parts of the natural environment, which is a condition for their existence and development. Community and economic factors only reflect the pace of that development. Planning the way to use agricultural, forest and built-up land must be treated together. Using any of these three sorts of land shouldn’t have a negative effect on the other two sorts, as well as on the whole environment. 

Relevance of community development and architecture in under-developed regions - Sheet2
Suggested mixed-typology rural area development proposal. ©

This is where the architect plays a crucial role in the moulding and making of a space and region. It is the architect’s responsibility, thus, to not only focus on the health and safety of the space’s users but also to exist symbiotically and blend as well as enhance their surroundings and environment on both local and global levels. Although every architect could participate in the move to sustainability altogether the communities during which they’re involved, both as knowledgeable and a citizen, not all recognize their ability or are concerned about the consequences of their actions on society and ecology.

It is an architect’s role as a professional to preserve, improve, and create the required quality of the built environment under the particular condition of each community. In the rural setting there’s usually undefined precedence of development, therefore preparation for a sustainable. In these underdeveloped regions, the built environment is often neglected; hence the architect has a role to play in rural Community development.

Relevance of community development and architecture in under-developed regions - Sheet3
A school in Rwanda’s Western Province was constructed using scrap material from a former Rwanda Trading Company (RTC) factory. ©

But, looking at today’s times, the current challenge of architecture is to understand the rural world’, an area that has been ignored subsequently for decades as people have focused much of their energy on cities. Lately, a little global trend has begun that understands the necessity to travel to those areas and obtain to understand these communities so as to include, from an up to date perspective, their ways of living, materials, traditional techniques, and vernacular forms to guide the architect to make friendlier, more respectful and harmonious decisions with the natural and social environment in which they are inserted which gives us hope that this year we will probably see more and more architects encouraging the development of projects in rural or under-developed areas; far from the townships and cities, taking inspiration from the topography, natural landscape and traditional constructions that originate there. It is very important for us as a profession to wake up to this notion and this situation that is that hand.

Relevance of community development and architecture in under-developed regions - Sheet4
Rural Community Development  ©

It’s becoming more evident each day that architects and designers are working towards contributing to the creative rural economy by developing value-added rural designs, innovative marketing campaigns for rural tourism and recreational facilities, and creating experimental built forms within the countryside. They are also designing new elements and implementations for traditional construction skills and natural materials like farm-sourced sustainable timber, stone, earth, and wool for insulation, for eco-housing and environmental schemes in both rural and urban contexts.

In the last two decades, countries throughout the world including developed and developing countries were faced with the dramatic impacts of global reformation. This new restructuring is moving rapidly from the era of the nation-states toward a global community dominated by regional market economies and growing interdependence. It has become routine for international observers to point out the surprising changes that have taken place in all aspects of global life politically, economically, socially, and even culturally.

Center for Community Development / OCA + BONINI ©

However, a real “new world order” remains mysterious. While experts may claim the worldwide spread of democracy, political and economic instability has reached an unparalleled level. Among developing countries there remains an economic crisis. The gap between rich and poor has doubled within the past three decades in order that we now sleep in a world during which 20% of its people consume more than 80% of its wealth. While the lower-income to middle-class people constitute the major number of the population they are the ones that are never counted when thinking about the prosperity and evolution of a country or state. Truth be told, rural communities have a better understanding of one another and stronger ties amongst themselves as they float through poverty and long for development.

Hence, the work of architects with regards to community development and architecture in under-developed and developing countries is to stop making all the decisions based on design choices and instead, take on the role of helping translate people’s own ideas for transforming their houses and communities into drawings and models that the broader society can understand. Through such a design process the communities will become empowered, and these designs can speak to the world what these communities or people couldn’t voice out. After all, it is our duty to be vocal and give the world powerful messages through our designs.


A budding designer, writer, and artist, Sumedha Singh aim's for eternity by aiding in creating structures of tomorrow that would preserve the ideas of today. With a profound passion for art and architecture, she longs to educate others about the urban communities according to the requirement of the people of tomorrow.

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