Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Call For New Urbanism

Since we are seeing a rapid growth in Delhi, there is a call for new Urbanism, lot of initiatives has been taken at the government and DDA level and we are seeing the concepts of New Urbanism and smart cities being promoted. It is an urban design movement, which promotes walk to work culture, containing a range of housing and job types.

NEW URBANISM is being promoted for Delhi as an initiative by DDA like L- Zone next to Dwarka, which promotes the creation and restoration of diverse, walk to work, compact, vibrant, mixed-use communities composed of the same components as conventional development, but assembled in a more integrated fashion, in the form of complete communities. These shall contain housing, work places, shops, entertainment, schools, parks, and civic facilities essential to the daily lives of the residents, all within easy walking distance of each other. New Urbanism will promote the increased use of trains and light rail, instead of more highways and roads. Urban living shall become the new hip and modern way to live for people of all ages.

NEW URBANISM is the most important planning movement of this century, and is about creating a better future for us all. It is an international movement to reform the design of the built environment, and is about raising our quality of life and standard of living by creating better places to live. New Urbanism is the revival of our lost art of place making, and is essentially a re-ordering of the built environment into the form of complete cities, towns, and neighborhoods - the way communities have been built for centuries around the world. New Urbanism involves fixing and infilling cities, as well as the creation of compact new towns and cities.

Our New Smart Cities shall have following features:

1. Walkability
- Most things within a 10-minute walk of home and work. - Pedestrian friendly street design (buildings close to street; tree-lined streets; on street parking; hidden parking lots; garages in rear lane; slow speed streets). - Pedestrian streets free of cars in special cases.

2. Connectivity -Interconnected street grid network, which disperses traffic & eases walking -A hierarchy of streets, boulevards, and alleys. -High quality pedestrian network and public realm shall make walking pleasurable

3. Mixed-Use and Diversity -A mix of shops, offices, apartments, and homes on site. Mixed-use within neighborhoods, within blocks, and within buildings. -Diversity of people - of ages, income levels, cultures, and races.

4. Mixed Housing A range of types, sizes and prices in closer proximity

5. Quality Architecture & Urban Design Emphasis on beauty, aesthetics, human comfort, and creating a sense of place; Special placement of civic uses and sites within community. Human scale architecture & beautiful surroundings nourishing the human spirit

6. Increased Density
-More buildings, residences, shops, and services closer together for ease of walking, to enable a more efficient use of services and resources, and to create a more convenient, enjoyable place to live. -New Urbanism design principles to be applied at the full range of densities from small towns, to large cities

7. Smart Transportation -A network of high-quality metro connecting cities, towns, and neighborhoods together -Pedestrian-friendly design that encourages a greater use of bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, and walking as daily transportation

8. Sustainability -Minimal environmental impact of development and its operations -Eco-friendly technologies, respect for ecology and value of natural systems -Energy efficiency -Less use of finite fuels -More local production -More walking, less driving

9. Quality of Life Taken together these add up to a high quality of life well worth living, and create places that enrich, uplift, and inspire the human spirit.

Higher quality of life; Better places to live, work, & play; Higher, more stable property values; Less traffic congestion & less driving; Healthier lifestyle with more walking, and less stress; Close proximity to main street retail & services; Close proximity to bike trails, parks, and nature; Pedestrian friendly communities offer more opportunities to get to know others in the neighborhood and town, resulting in meaningful relationships with more people, and a friendlier town; More freedom and independence to children, elderly, and the poor in being able to get to jobs, recreation, and services without the need for a car or someone to drive them; Great savings to residents and school boards in reduced commuting costs from children being able to walk or bicycle to neighborhood schools; More diversity and smaller, unique shops and services with local owners who are involved in community; Big savings by driving less, and owning less cars; Less ugly, congested sprawl to deal with daily; Better sense of place and community identity with more unique architecture; More open space to enjoy.

11. BENEFITS TO BUSINESSES Increased sales due to more foot traffic & people spending less on cars and gas; More profits due to spending less on advertising and large signs; Better lifestyle by living above shop in live-work units - saves the stressful & costly commute; Economies of scale in marketing due to close proximity and cooperation with other local businesses; Smaller spaces promote small local business incubation; Lower rents due to smaller spaces & smaller parking lots; Healthier lifestyle due to more walking and being near healthier restaurants; More community involvement from being part of community and knowing residents.

Planning for compact growth, rather than letting it sprawl out, has the potential to greatly increase the quality of the environment. It also prevents congestion problems and the environmental degradation normally associated with growth. Looking forward for such Smart City in Delhi.

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