Delhi Choosing High-rise Over Consultative Planning Despite National Consensus On Slums

Posted by Future Cape Town on June 4, 2013

The global community of designers, urban practitioners and community organisers is largely in agreement over what type of urban form promotes inclusive cities: mixed-use, mixed-income neighbourhoods that enable mobility, encourage pedestrianism, and incorporate multi-use public spaces. But the architectural team in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the primary agency responsible for planning and land development in India’s capital, is busy designing high-rise low-income housing that looks like the failed projects of the Bronx and the banlieues. Far from becoming the “world class city” it is striving to be, Delhi is poised to repeat the public housing mistakes of the West…

In the east Delhi neighbourhood of Sundernagari, an intensive community interaction process in designing a pilot project for RAY itself resulted in a design of four-storey cluster units. By maximizing light and ventilation but limiting direct sunlight in the summers, the design ensures year-round energy efficiency. The plan still achieved densities of 600 households per hectare, roughly equivalent to a dense urban slum.

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