13 planned cities

Isaac Mathew
8 min readSep 12, 2016

Edited from Wikipedia city lists the following is a brief investigation into planning in India. As a country we are considered predominantly urban and thus a growing interest in intervening via various programs in cities have risen in the recent past. Planned agglomerations are a rarity when slated against multitudinous other organic developments found strewn across a geography. Since the plan as an instrument is pitted as the future it should inevitably considered a measure to look at all habitat types. Listed south to north as a selected set are a popular cities which are planned. Each city in the list is in three parts a) name with link to respective corporation or associated state website, b) sourced about description, and c) found early stage maps or development plans. Just as buildings have patrons the city plan too seemingly has its benefactors who it owes its form to. Adding to this is the networks which divides the land into an organisation in conjunction to available possibilities a site presents. The planned city or so it seems, becomes at a confluence of the visionary and his grid.

madurai _ It is narrated in legend that Madurai was originally a forest known as Kadambavanam. One day, a farmer named Dhananjaya who was passing through the forest, saw Indra (The king of the gods), worshiping a swayambhu (self created Lingam) under kadamba tree. Dhananjaya, the farmer immediately reported this to King Kulasekara Pandya. Kulasekara Pandya cleared the forest and built a temple around the Lingam. A city was soon planned with the temple as its centre. On the day the city was to be named, Lord Shiva is said to have appeared and drops of nectar from his hair fell on the town. So, the place was named Madurai — mathuram meaning “sweetness” in Tamil.


auroville _ The Mother envisaged to develop Auroville as a township for 50,000 inhabitants with a circular form, covering an area of about 20 sq. km. Auroville received the unanimous endorsement of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1983. It is now administered under the Auroville Foundation Act which provides for the preparation of a Master Plan. The Act provides for the acquisition and transfer of the undertakings of Auroville and to vest such undertakings in a foundation established for the purpose with a view to making long-term arrangements for better management and further development of Auroville in accordance with its original Charter and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.


pondicherry _ If peace and a break is the most sough after, then Pondicherry is surely one of the choicest holiday destinations in South India. The town offers a unique experience with its mix of modern heritage and spiritual culture. With a predominantly historical background, Pondicherry takes one centuries back in time. Puducherry, one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, offers a slew of incentives for investors in tourism infrastructure. Investment opportunities exist to develop star & heritage hotels, amusement parks, multiplexes, food courts, beach resorts, eco-tourism, health spas, art & craft village and other tourism relates products.


amaravati _ The People’s capital of Andhra Pradesh, is envisioned to be a city of world-class standards with a vision of increasing Andhra Pradesh’s prominence in the world. The Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) is leaving no stone unturned to provide cutting-edge infrastructure, comfortable livelihood and immense prosperity for the People of Amaravati. The Land Pooling scheme adopted by Amaravati is the largest and the most successful of its kind in India, and is a manifestation of the people’s desire for a world-class capital. The A bricks initiative is, but a natural step in the direction of People participation in building a true people’s Capital Amaravati.

Detailed Master Plan of Capital city — Amaravati.pdf

lavasa _ Planned hill city held by the private sector accommodating the entire social spectrum, from the diverse Indian populous. Its planning is based on new urbanism where one can live, work, learn and play within walking distances. Life at Lavasa is a year round holiday. The ambiance, the weather, the natural surroundings and the entertainment options all add up to a fulfilling and enriching lifestyle. Residences at Lavasa include lakeside apartments, villas, rental housing and retiree housing in 1, 2 and 3 BHK options. The residential blocks have been carefully planned in order to ensure that people from every socio-economic strata will feel at home here.

Lavasa Master Plan 48x24.pdf

navi mumbai _ The first post-independence development plan for Bombay, formulated by the Mayer-Modak Committee in 1948, suggested satellite towns north of Bombay. Ten years later, the Barve committee suggested the formation of a township on the mainland across the Thane Creek as a counter-magnet to draw away population from the already overcrowded city. This proposal was accepted by the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC). Although the plan lay dormant for a long time, this was the beginning of New Bombay.


gandhinagar city _ is a head center of the Gandhinagar district capital of Gujarat state. There are four Talukas (sub districts) under the capital namely: Maansa, Kalol, Dehgaam and Gandhinagar. Capital contains all departments’ head offices, secretariats of all departments, ministers’ offices, ministers’ residences, legislature house, residence of Governor, office of Governor, all important offices and building. Residencies of government officials and private residents are situated in the city. They are divided in 30 sectors. People from all casts and creeds are residing in the capital.


jaipur _ the capital of Rajasthan state in India was founded in 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a Kachwaha Rajput, who ruled Jaipur State from 1699 — 1743. Initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. Jaipur is the first planned city of India and the King took great interest while designing this city of victory.


fatehpur sikri _ Akbar (1556–1605), grandson of Babur, shifted his residence and court from Agra to Sikri, for a period of 13 years, from 1572 to 1585 to honour the Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who resided here. Akbar revered him very much as the Saint had blessed him with a son who was named Salim in 1569. He raised lofty buildings for his use, and houses for the public. Thus grew, a great city with charming palaces and institutions. Akbar gave it the name of Fathabad and which in later days came to be known as “Fathpur Sikri”.


bidhannagar _ the most important satellite town of Kolkata is situated on the eastern edge of the city. Bidhannagar is named after Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the first Chief Minister of West Bengal, who came up with the township idea to relieve the rising population of Kolkata. In 1947, after the partition of Bengal, people migrated from Bangladesh, thus rapidly increasing the population of the city of Kolkata. As a solution Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy founded the city of Kalyani, but this did not materialize due to its distance from Kolkata. As an alternative solution came the plan of Salt Lake City, now known as Bidhannagar.

Salt Lake City_web.pdf

chandigarh _ the dream city of India’s first Prime Minister, Sh. Jawahar Lal Nehru, was planned by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. Picturesquely located at the foothills of Shivaliks, it is known as one of the best experiments in urban planning and modern architecture in the twentieth century in India. Chandigarh derives its name from the temple of “Chandi Mandir” located in the vicinity of the site selected for the city. The deity ‘Chandi’, the goddess of power and a fort of ‘garh’ laying beyond the temple gave the city its name “Chandigarh — The City Beautiful”.


gurgaon _ is located 30 km south of national capital New Delhi, about 10 kilometers from Dwarka sub-city and 268 km south of Chandigarh, the state capital. Gurgaon is one of Delhi’s four major satellite cities and is part of the National Capital Region. It is within commuting distance of Delhi via an expressway and Delhi Metro. Gurgaon is the second largest city in the Indian State of Haryana and is the industrial and financial center of Haryana. It has the 3rd highest per capita income in India after Chandigarh and Mumbai. Gurgaon is also the only Indian city to have successfully distributed electricity connections to all its households. It is also the IT hub & centre of various BPO companies.

gurgaon masterplan

new delhi _ In 1911 the British Government decided to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi. On 12th December 1911, it was announced that Delhi would be the place of residence of the Viceroy and the new administrative centre. A Committee was constituted to select the site for the new capital. A number of sites were examined and finally Raisina Hill was selected for building the new capital of India. The English town planners led by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and others created the present New Delhi with avenues dominated by the palace of the Viceroy (now Rashtrapati Bhawan), Circular Pillar Palace, known as Parliament Secretariat building, green spaces, parks and gardens.




Isaac Mathew

i think #architecture #art #planning #design #engineering