“A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.” – Rebecca Solnit

10 Characteristics of a Planned City- Taking Inspiration From Corbusier’s Chandigarh -1
Conceptual sketch of urban planning @Behance

In pre-classical and classical ages the number of cities was being laid out according to the plans and many tended to develop organically. But, as per the present scenario, the government has recognized urban planning as the measure to eradicate the problems occurring in such organically developed cities. But the question is, “Why urban planning?” “Why has it become so important?” “What parameters is it constituted off?”

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Organic and planned economy @JoshKim

Urban planning is defined as the art of giving suitable structural shape and design to cities and towns. Within itself it is constituted of the various processes for public welfare like the designing of buildings, it’s transportation networking systems, as well as good amenities. Due to the over an increase in population and the scarcity of resources, it has become a much-needed discipline. It is important to take the measures and to use the land and infrastructure in the best possible way. It has become significant and Urban Planning does come out to be the desired need of the present economy.

Community life requires measures and necessary infrastructure with human settlements. Thus, the designing of the physical conditions is necessary for the engagement of a peaceful and healthy urban lifestyle. The idea of having a planned city is a framework that helps the leaders to transform vision into implementation. The planned city is defined as the “well-prepared city” as it does constitute the framework for the growth with an idea to enhance the livability, prosperity, and equity. Planned cities act as a valuable force enforcing sustainable development and balancing the demand for goals with the need to protect the environment. The idea is thus, to study the major characteristics of planned cities, in context the planning of Chandigarh city, India designed and planned by Le Corbusier (with examples for each character).

1. Grid

In grid planning, the division is made out of the streets intersecting at right angles, forming a grid. Grid plans being the first measure for carving out the planned economy facilitate development because developers can subdivide and auction off large parcels of land. However, grids can have a disadvantage too because long, straight roads allow faster automobile traffic and increase the collision points.

For example, Chandigarh city in India is being designed on the grid-iron layout by Le Corbusier.

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Grid-plan @landlab.files

2. Sector

The primary module of a city”s design is a Sector. The sector is defined as the self-sustainable unit constituting of the mixed land-use typologies. Each SECTOR is a self-sufficient unit having shops, schools, health centers and places of recreation and worship. Chandigarh city has a primary module of sector size 800M by 1200m.

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Sector @landlab.files

 

3. Hierarchy of green areas

A Hierarchy of Green Spaces can be observed in both the layout ranging from Public Greens at City Level to Semi-Private to Private Green Areas.

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Chandigarh @landlab.files
  1. City Level Public Green Space with Artificial Water Body.
  2. Free- Flowing Green Space, connecting the entire site.
  3. Semi-Private Green Areas for neighborhood pockets.
  4. Private Green Areas for Residential Units.

 

4. Central business district

The central area of a city in which a concentration of certain retail and business activities takes place, especially in older cities with rail transportation.

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CBD @landlab.files

The Central Sector of the city, Sector 17, is the main Public Congregation area of the city. It houses all major Shopping Complexes, Sports Facilities and Congregation Spaces.

5. Hierarchy of circulation

A well-defined hierarchy of Circulation based on Le Corbusier’s V7s road-system designed to lead traffic into the city and to distribute it right up till the dwelling unit. Marg refers to the important avenues (V2), while Paths were referred to as less important streets (V3).

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Concept of 7Vs @Chandigarh.gov

6. Emphasis on family-life and community living

In context to Chandigarh sectorial planning, emphasis on community living can be given by designing schools along with green belts safe for children, dispensaries, shopping, community centers, centrally located at a 10 minute walk distance and bus stops on the main road within walking distance, parks within 300m, meandering profile of the V4/V5 to enable slow carriageways, comfortable vehicular and pedestrian access right to the doorstep of the house, and Inter-sectoral connectivity along with NS green belts.

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Sector size @Chandigarh.gov
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Standard sector size @Chandigarh.gov

7. TOD- Transit Oriented Development

Transit-Oriented Development is an exciting fast-growing trend in creating vibrant, livable, sustainable communities. Also known as TOD, it’s the creation of compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use communities centered around high-quality train systems. This makes it possible to live a lower-stress life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival.

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Tod @MEDIA4PILLAR

8. Land-use mapping

It signifies on identifying the map of “land use”, that identifies parts of a city and the major activities (land use) that happen there.

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Land-use @ijsr.net

9. Mixed-use development

Mixed-use development works against the trends to create inclusive, connected communities(Luis Zamorano,2014). In mixed-use areas, you can find housing, restaurants, services, schools, cultural facilities, parks, and more. This connectivity reduces the need for private vehicles, thus increasing the viability of public transport(EMBARQ,2017).

The image here shows the inclusion of mixed-use development in sector 8, Chandigarh.

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Sector 8 @erealto

10. Norm and social role conflict

The urban community is characterized by the norm and social role conflict. Factors such as the size, density and heterogeneity of the population, extreme occupational specialization and the class structure prevalent in the urban context lead to such a state of affairs.

Like if there ever existed the absence of uniform and fixed social norms in Chandigarh, individuals or groups often have seen divergent ends.

Planned cities, by staying ahead of the challenges and establishing connections with the long-term vision does have the right policies on density, land-use, public life and layout of the infrastructure improves the quality of living.

Cities will always need urban planning. That’s why it is important to use it all over the world and especially in underdeveloped countries. Although the cities will always face challenges and unpredicted situations, without urban planning they would fall apart and be damaging to its inhabitants(Terri Little Haven, 2017).

Author

NOOREEN AFZA is a student of Bachelors in architecture who aspires to be privileged enough to influence the millions of minds out there, positively. She loves architecture as much as she respects the words winding-up its whole essence together. Her character is defined by being bold and influential through her writings. 

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