Social Scientist. v 9, no. 103 (Dec 1981) p. 53.

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Urban Planning in India

IT was only in the last two decades that a growing "concern" about urban development, regional planning, spatial planning and so on has been felt in India. And this concern has resulted in a) studies of existing urban problems within the given state of conditions, and b) studies of problems which would transform into various degrees of intensity in future.

The internal problems (generally of big cities) are mainly associated with the fast growing population, lack of facilities and sanitation, growing pressure on land, increasing land value, infra-structural set-backs and so on. The broad approaches towards the solution (permanent or temporary) of these problems can be divided into two groups the "programme" approach and the "perspective" approach. Theoretically there is not much difference between these two approaches. The perspective approach (which approaches urban problems with its possible future implications by examining various alternatives in differing situations to deduce suitable policy measures) explicity states the goal and lists the objectives. Programmes are decided by the "validity" of these objectives for action. In one sentence, it becomes a process dealing with realiza-tion-evalution-implementation.1

Following the swelling of the urban population and the consequent problems, within a specific urban context, emerge the problems of a much wider context (spatially, economically and socially). For example, the influx of population into an urban centre has its regional and even national dimensions. At the urban level (strictly within the limits of the city) one may attempt to increase the amount of available infrastructure or try to develop disincentives for the migrating population. At the regional level the same can be extended by the decentralization of the concentrated attraction/ authority/incentives. Here comes the area of spatial planning with its "balanced development" approach, endowed with development dispersal methods of planting "growth points", "service centres" and so on.

Given this background, we shall examine Indian urban planning

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