- Territorial Integration : An Approach to address Urbanising villages in the Planning for Delhi Metropolitan Area, India    click here to open paper content565 kb
by    Datta, Rupa | rupa@stud.ntnu.no   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This empirical paper advocates territorial integration – focusing on cultural pluralities and natural capital - in planning for Delhi Metropolitan Area, one of the fastest growing megacity-regions in India. Urbanisation pressure of the region is transforming cultural landscape and consumption practice in the rural-urban interface. The paper investigates the dynamic nature and determines restructuring of economic base and socio-cultural activities for sustainability.
Territorial Integration : An Approach to address Urbanising Villages in the Planning for Delhi Metropolitan Area, India

Cities and their hinterland, as urban regions, are ecosystems and also physico-spatial entities. They are as much cultural communities as they are functional societies. The cultural landscape differs from region to region, city to city giving each an identity. Development must be compatible with the culture and needs of a community within a region.

This paper aims to propose territorial integration in spatial planning – that emphasises on the cultural and natural capital of a living space – focusing on the rural-urban ‘interface’ in the territory of Delhi Metropolitan Area (DMA).

Urbanisation results in transformation of landuse, environment and culture of communities, specifically, in the interface, and thereby, altering the city-region’s ecology. The interface is the territory of urbanising villages with different intensities and different scales of urbanisation. The process leads to the formation of ‘urban villages’, which, unlike the western realities, often turns into slums.

The ‘interface’ creates a territorial identity of its own, in terms of socio-culture, livelihood and skill, land ownership and land-use relationships, within the larger growing urbanising region. It shows rural-urban dual-ness in its cultural landscape and community’s livelihood and living pattern. The empirical knowledge on the cases show evidence of this dual and antagonistic nature.

Development planning, ignoring the cultural pluralities that exist in the ‘interface’, will not result in sustainability of the urban region. The present Master planning (top-down) approach for the region, fails to address this crucial situation of the interface and the sensitive human ecological issues. Transformation in consumption practice and land-use pattern, that mainly result in the new cultural landscape, is not determined by planning authorities. This is questioning in terms of future sustainability of the city-region.

The author advocates sustainability policies, for an urban region like the city-region of Delhi, based on mobilisation and participation at local and community levels. Development of an urban region needs to integrate its cultural landscape identity with its political, institutional and economic base. In other words, restructuring of economic and social activities that make use of nature and space of place.
Rural-Urban Interface, Territoriality, Cultural Landscapes, Urban and Urbanising villages
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