(GIST OF YOJANA) Restructuring Urban Galaxies

(GIST OF YOJANA) Restructuring Urban Galaxies


Restructuring Urban Galaxies


  • India has unique characteristics with a hierarchical network of varied sizes of urban settlements like metropolises, cities, and towns. 
  • They appear like ‘urban galaxies’ – with naturally developed scales between entities, interconnected and located within easy reach. 
  • These networks have their unique lifestyles, and unique patterns of habitat based on local resources, climate, and available characteristics of the land. 
  • The connections and the spread of the developments appear like a ‘biological’ growth, with adaptation, mutation and replication.

Sustainable development of Indian cities and towns:

  • Due to our development focus of concentrating around one place/city, all the institutions and employment opportunities, we are denuding the smaller towns in the region of their small-scale crafts and industries, encouraging migration and overburdening the mega-cities.
  • Expansion means larger distances, and more time and energy to commute for living, working, or cultivating the mind and the spirit.
  • Sustainability ensures long-lasting development without becoming unduly centralised.
  • By improving the infrastructure, the functioning of megacities and metropolises can be greatly improved.
  • Organically developed sustainable interdependent habitats will necessarily have characteristics like empty tracts between entities, shorter movements linked by locally-developed transport systems and a few access points to heavy motorised traffic.

Important lessons for planning in traditional lines:

  • Planning is not merely about physical growth, but also about spiritual and cultural growl which depends on the availability of resources. 
  • Several studies reveal that each area had specific culturally-oriented rules which defined their needs and regulated the consumption of resources for that purpose. 
  • One can notice the unique and virtuous skills of the local population across the country. This is achieved by decentralisation and by allowing self-discovery for the human energy to find particular avenues of exploration within the regional context of resources and values. 
  • Planning must look at multi-nodal conglomerates, and not the single-large banyan trees that can expand infinitely, absorbing smaller entities on the way and obliterating their strengths.
  • Planning must focus on conserving and developing a natural network of important water bodies with a water supply and irrigation systems, forests and animal life. 
  • Non-motorised transport encourages greener, quieter, and less polluted habitats.
  • ‘Appropriateness’ therefore, has been a virtue that has guided scales and life-fulfilling characteristics of each habitat in India. This is the secret of their survival over centuries, in spite of floods and famine.


  • Developing smaller towns of around one lakh population as growth centres and developing them as magnets will give other villages and smaller habitations the chance to learn, earn and develop without sacrificing their time and energy in communication and travel — preferring to stay nearby our parental region means enrichment in a community for family and individual life.



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Courtesy: Yojana