City Study Circle
Forum for town planning
On the 25th of May 20 people joined at
the SAWCHU building.
What goes into making a townplan;
how to approach the planning
what is the background work and
To illustrate some broad aspects of
the planning process Lalit made a presentation of the plan of
Mayapur. He had himself, with a team of 20 people including
senior planners and architects, in consultation with leading
experts from India and abroad, worked out the plan over a period
of two years.
Mayapur is promoted by ISKCON as their
world headquarter. Its location is 120 km north of Calcutta. At
its centre, the town will have a temple that is to be 'the
biggest religious structure in the world'. Most work in the town
will be related to the temple. The brief given by the client
wanted the town initially be planned for a residential population
of 50.000 within an area of 656 acres and anticipating a
visiting population of 100.000 per day.
The broad project brief led to studies
and research in two specific areas.
1) Town form and structure
(Land use, activities, local
economy and employment, town layout, urban design
guidelines, architecture, infrastructure etc).
An approach strategy/diagram
(framework) was prepared to devise the activity structure.
A parallel process started to
prepare for the baseline studies of and around the site,
related case studies, literature review for standard
Land potential exercise was
Based on the temple's intake
capacity, calculations where made to find out generation of
jobs (in town and outside to support all related
facilities), and assuming a ratio of working population
(30%) the figure for the total population was arrived
Based on the desired density, a
pattern area was worked out to house these many people. It
was made clear to the client that it is not possible to
house 32.000 people in the available 656 acres. A figure of
13.000 people was agreed as the final residential
Nature and scale of activities and
facilities were worked out to support the anticipated
residential and visiting population.
Details of urban design
guidelines/code, major town squares, housing samples,
catalogue of vernacular elements were provided.
Sustainability related studies...
2) Regional development study
regional economy and employment, flow of goods and
Identification of 10 villages for
pilot projects (out of 350) based on the following set of
parameters: - Settlement patterns.- Studies of amenities.-
Regional agriculture.- Regional industrial base.- National,
regional and local level linkages.
In the project brief one could also read the following:
Housing, facilities, and
workplaces will be located near to each other so that the
distance people need to travel are minimised...
Walking and cycling are efficient,
good for health, and minimal in their social and
environmental impacts. Good routes for pedestrians, cyclists
etc., will be provided throughout the settlement, with
natural shade along these routes to make them pleasant to
use in all the seasons...
Good public transport will be
Neigbourhoods will be totally car
In spite of the great differences beween Mayapur and
Auroville, the primary planning process is similar, demanding a
clear brief by the 'client', and a proper planning office with
necessary funding to make sensitive research into the background
of the city plan.