Date: 11th September, 2013 Gloria Ganguly
Two officials said that government will consider spatial development plans before clearing projects under the second phase of its flagship mission on urban renewal starting from 2014. This means, that the city authorities will have to justify projects based on their impact on a complete, spatial view of the city.
According to their land use, Indian cities are divided into zones, such as commercial zones, residential zones and mixed land use zones. Whereas spatial development plans are thought to be more comprehensive as they consider not only the city, but the adjoining region and its impact on the region.
Spatial plans are easier for citizens to understand and engage with because there are plans at each level. It is easier to engage with citizens at a ward level than at the city or regional level.
The new requirement marks a departure from the first phase of the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission), to receive support for urban infrastructure projects, under which planners drafted city development plans which focused on zoning. In 2005, JNNURM began and focused on urban reforms and planned urban development. Under the urban development ministry a central committee sanctioned projects related to water supply, sewage and urban transport, among other centrally sponsored schemes.
One of the officials quoted above said that the funding for the making of these plans will also be provided by the urban development ministry. Jana Urban Space Foundation, a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit working on urban planning, which has laid down the national urban spatial planning design (NUSPD) guidelines—submitted to the government in April—based on which spatial plans will be developed by cities.
Mr. Ramesh Menon of Certes Realty Ltd. said that spatial development has six layers: heritage; economy; mobility and networked infrastructure; affordable housing; social infrastructure; environment protection and disaster zones. It will be a blueprint for the city in terms of social infrastructure. Planning for schools and healthcare, among other things, will be a part of it and once a project is authorized, it will become embedded and it will be easy to bring about any development project.
Spatial planning is at three stages –
- regional development plan,
- city plan
- Neighbourhood plan.
Cities with a population of more than 10 million like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, need regional plans. In smaller cities need only two levels of planning.
As the guidelines say there needs to be a link between regional and neighbourhood plans and timelines for planning and revision processes. The most pressing challenges of urban growth will be in the 468 cities and their surrounding regions. Dealing with the spatial implications of the growth of these 468 cities will impact the quality of life of 70% of the current urban residents as well as the future of an additional 225 million that will become urban residents.