Industrialization is often seen as a process of mass production that leads to the mass decline of the environment, the air quality and thus a decline of urban life. No doubt, urban agglomeration leads to opportunities to nearby areas but it also strips away the cultural and social fabric of the city.
Jamshedpur– A successful urban agglomeration.
But the city of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand stands again all these stereotypes. It is India’s first planned industrial city. Despite being majorly industrialized, it has managed to be the 15th cleanest city in India.
To understand the impact of urban agglomeration and modernization we need to understand the three basic dynamics – cultural, social & Political.
Cultural dynamics – A bridge to gap the old and new city lifestyle.
Jamsetji Tata’s philanthropic motives and strong business sense helped him identify the potential of this land thus giving rise to the planned industrial hub – Jamshedpur. The culture of this newly formed city thus turned out to be an amalgamation of the western influence, the developed urban life and the rural culture of the existing inhabitants and the tribal settlements. The establishment of the steel city and other industrial complexes led to the influx of migrant population and thus the need for recreational activities and other daily life activities, spaces like JRD sports complex, Beldih Club and Golmuri golf course, etc. took shape.
With heavy industrialization felt the need to maintain clean air quality, green cover, and wildlife in the city, thus giving rise to parks like Jubilee Park, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary and Tata steel zoological parks. The increasing modernization and western influence led to fading away from the original traditions and culture. To counteract these issues, tribal culture and practices were given importance with the establishment of the Tata Tribal Culture Centre and other events that encouraged the tribal culture and traditions. The cultural dynamics of Jamshedpur hence reflect and balance between the influence of the western culture and the traditional practices.
Social & Political – The buffer that the industrial city needs.
The city has been successful in carving out its niche on the Map of India. The fact that it is an industrial hub with a lot of potential opportunities, the city has turned home for people from different parts of the country. This has led to new social dynamics with people of different age groups, lifestyles and thus different social spaces for themselves. This is evident from the presence of various street food joints, pubs, discotheques and social gathering spaces like various restaurants, worship places, Multiplexes, and Malls. The social life of this vibrant city is a unique amalgamation of traditions, customs, and a broad outlook. The people of Jamshedpur are culturally sensitive and believe in keeping pace with modern developments in lifestyle.
The development of the Jute industry initially made the eastern region industrially advanced. Jamshedpur is also known for its city management structure as a large part of the Jamshedpur city is governed by the Tata group that manages the provision for basic urban services in the city. The planning was incorporated to achieve the characteristics of the garden city, traffic segregation, street hierarchy and create units that are self-sufficient in civic amenities. The planning of Jamshedpur speaks of the organic growth as well as planned efforts by Tata Group and government authorities to convert the company town to an industrial city and into the present-day urban agglomeration.
The initial planning of Jamshedpur, as well as the new adaptations made for the urban agglomeration, reflects the main motive of creating a lifestyle to accommodate a good work-life balance and thus enhance worker productivity. Though urban designers are rarely seen discussing Jamshedpur, it is one of the most successful examples of urban planning. The planning here revolves around achieving the functional ‘industrial city’ and breaking the stereotypes that an industrial city is always congested with heavy smoke and chemical effluents. The city has emerged out quite well by following its logic of growth driven from examples of local topography, rural-urban mitigation, housing to workplace proximity, the need for buffer spaces and other spaces for cultural, social and political activities thus establishing a quality of lifestyle.