- Towards Compact Cities: “in-between” zones as resource. Case: Delhi    click here to open paper content861 kb
by    Chopra, Divya | divyac_26@yahoo.co.in   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Against the prevailing expansionist approach this paper discusses directions of urban re-structuring as manifested in the Indian capital city of Delhi and explores a strategic developmental and planning approach within the ‘compact city’ framework.
This paper seeks to discuss the emerging directions of urban re-structuring and change as visibly manifested in city conditions of this part of the world with the Indian capital city of Delhi forming a potent case for the same. More specifically, the case locates itself within an interstitial “in-between” pocket of Delhi and explores a strategic developmental approach within the ‘compact city’ framework towards future planning possibilities.

The Indian metropolis is inherently a palimpsest with multiple temporal, cultural and spatial layers as against the idealistic and somewhat simplistic distinct (functional) zones as our planners have conceived them to be. Today, Delhi is being confronted with massive internal demands of growth and intense external pressures of globalization. Over the years, the planning process focusing on expansion based strategies has added new layers to the existing multi-layered structure of the city constantly overlooking the inherent complexities of existing layers and their inter-relationships. The disjunction between such frameworks and internal city structure has resulted in planning “gaps” and the formation of left-over, “in-between” zones. Recognition of such “in-between” areas has yet to find adequate and focused attention by planners, designers and architects alike. These spaces arise from an evolution of the urban environment, attached to diverse mutations, social and economic conditions and political decision making. They are rather well defined, such as industrial waste lands, abandoned, neglected or vacant lots, spots which have remained a subject for reflection, having disparate scales. “In-between” as a concept thus gives a new reading of the city, a new layer that has a vast capacity for integration and internal redevelopment against unnecessary sprawl.

After four decades from its conception, the present Master Plan of Delhi has finally realized the futility of expansionist strategies towards accommodating growth demands and has alternatively highlighted generation of adequate urban re-development measures within inner city areas as a vital component of future development strategies for Delhi. The case study shared through this paper explores such a possibility at this opportune moment.
Compact city; urban re-structuring; in-between zones
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