Uniqueness and Integration - Strengthening collective identity of Faridabad

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Submission Summary
In western countries, 20th century saw an increasing tendency of segregation of urban structure functionally for carrying out different activities like housing, office, manufacturing and leisure. Clarifications given for such developments include reasons such as functionally homogeneous areas fit efficiently in logics of real estate market and administration. The post-independent India saw urban development policies focusing on growth control strategies of Metropolitan cities and the idea of satellite towns emerged. Faridabad was strategically established in 1950 to relieve the pressure of population growth in Delhi and to decentralize location of industries. Presently the city is acting as a dormitory town, catering only housing needs to decongest population pressure of Delhi. With unvarying homogeneous repetitious sectorial planning, the city lacks in vibrancy, multi functionality and imageability. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of basic human needs theories, an individual aims for more advanced needs after fulfilling fundamental needs. The needs falling in lower categories of Maslow’s hierarchy are fulfilled by basic city planning norms by providing housing, employment opportunities, etc. The advanced needs which are at the top includes belongingness is lacking in Faridabad. It can be catered by designing shared public realm to strengthen city’s vision. Faridabad should be visualized as a dynamic and resilient city that has the potential to absorb, resume and be ready for forthcoming economic, environmental or social shocks such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Draft Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan envisages resilience in its vision by laying inclusive principles in development control. Westergasfabriek (Amsterdam), a nineteenth-century factory has set an efficient example of a brownfield reclaimed blue - green integrated recreation Centre comprising an axial promenade with formal urban plaza in east and an open and naturalized framework in the west. Economically profitable vision that people can relate to, gives the basic framework on how to bring change on ground i.e. local economies should tie well with the skillset and interests of the people residing there. Shared public spaces boost group activity that builds social and cultural capital and this reinforces financial values. Potsdamer Platz (Berlin), a compact area with 35 meter high blocks, dense street plan and plazas containing wealth of activities; has set a good example of designing people centric city Centre which is a commercial success. This paper envisages Faridabad to become a self-reliant city by taking placemaking exemplars from the cities worldwide. To decrease city’s dependency on other cities, intra - city connections has to be strengthened to enhance collective association. Destination-based bus system which connects one destination of the city directly to the other will shift the focus from the major arterial road National Highway of the linear city of Faridabad. Other initiatives to boost Faridabad’s resilience was to commence on green network open space system that can act as an important pedestrian route from the city level greens like Aravali, railway buffers, stormwater drains to the neighborhood level greens. Another major design intervention to magnify economic opportunity and multifunctionality is to design city centers near major transit stations with various built uses. Financing Transit-Oriented Development with Land Values proposes the use of development-based land value capture mechanisms to help overcome this financial hurdle. Faridabad envisions itself as a technologically advanced smart city in future. Simulations which have the capacity to fulfil the capricious needs of people at city scale are leading to the preposition of urban techno-scaping. If city designing is given a human touch of collecting database for resilience, livability, vibrancy etc., then automated technology could be foreseen as the new paradigm for shaping cities for people across social status, gender and ethnicities.
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
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Junior Urban Planner
Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority

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