Urban Redevelopment: A measure to contain the Urban Sprawl


Most cosmopolitan cities of the world are facing the problem of urban sprawl at present. According to the United Nations, Urbanisation in the Indian context will increase to a staggering 50% by 2050. Rising employment opportunities have attracted rural migrants to relocate to the cities, putting high pressure on the available land and amenities. A cautious approach is required to combat this paradigm shift to minimise human suffering and slum development. The priority is, therefore, to develop a sustainable-redevelopment model and promote it evenly for inclusive city development all over India.

The expansion of cities that urban population growth entails cannot be contained merely by a horizontal expansion of cities; instead, it must make adequate room to accommodate it in more innovative, more inclusive and sustainable models. In this context, the redevelopment of under-utilised central urban areas is a step in that direction, which needs to be seen with a fresher perspective as a model for urban development. The goal is to transform low-density areas into a high-density mixed-use development with adequate infrastructure to cater to the new inhabitants. The major challenge regarding the planning is to design a new user-effective space that efficiently deals with the persisting problems and meets the future needs.

Supporting the notion of the redevelopment of ineffective planning of city core areas, prominent residential colonies of Central Delhi, initially developed for the government employees in the 1960s, will be redeveloped to accommodate mass housing and its supporting infrastructure. These colonies have a tremendous opportunity to set an example as a self-sustainable dense urban community model owing to the sheer scale of the project. However, there are several concerns regarding the redevelopment schemes, the most prominent being its environmental impact concerning growing density and its direct influence on the infrastructure and resources. 

As part of the strategy, the majority of social infrastructure facilities have been reserved in original locations for the benefit of the community by emphasising creating systematic development for residential and commercial use in a phased manner. The existing footprint of the buildings provides a blueprint for future development with sensitivity toward its context and climate. As a result, the buildings are planned to respect the existing green pockets and prominent trees.