ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sharing in Cities, and Stacked Streets

How should we distribute land areas between amenities— schools, hospitals, parks—and private plots for homes and jobs? What is the ideal proportion for each? We need to do this for two different situations, greenfield sites and brownfield sites. In greenfield sites, where we start with vacant land, we have considerable freedom to choose our proportions, and the ideal we have selected will be a very useful guide for new area planning. Even for brownfield sites, a notion of what would be ideal proportions for land distribution between amenities and buildable plots would be a useful guide. The article attempts to extract guiding principles and concludes with a detailed study of the redevelopment of BDD Chawls at Worli, Mumbai.

Cities are about sharing. In a city we share schools, colleges and specialised training institutions. We share medical facilities and specialised hospitals. We share school and college playgrounds, pocket parks, larger public gardens and football or cricket stadia. We share theatres and concert halls and places for public gatherings. We share museums, we share a zoo. Even if the sharing is occasional, and the spread-on offer only spottily availed of, it is the possibility of such a sharing that matters. It is an important part of what we call it “a better life.”

We also share the hardware of a city: its water supply, sewage treatment and disposal system, and transport network. All these shared physical and social amenities require land, for which each amenity cannot fall below a certain minimum area without loss of quality of service.

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Updated On : 12th Dec, 2022
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