The Compact City Approach In Developing Countries Environmental Sciences Essay

The construct of ‘cities are engines of growing ‘ is discussed and debated and may even be said to be disputed, but really few would differ that metropoliss are an of import country of intercession in our pursuit for sustainable development. In other words ‘the significance of metropoliss is non in uncertainty. ‘ ( Jenk, M. Burton, E. & A ; Williams K. 1996 ) . Cities are highly complex infinites that endure interplay of legion intricate and interconnected phenomenons. Therefore, it is evident that sustainable urban development would besides imply wise intercession on a host of issues. However, rapid urbanization and population growing particularly in the development states has progressively drawn attending of the policy contrivers and development practicians to the issue of urban signifier and denseness. In the considered sentiment of many, while quest for sustainability would necessitate many-sided deliberations doing prioritization of issues a ambitious undertaking, the issue of urban signifier and denseness is the most indispensable concern for contrivers since ‘the extent to which we can both supply equal lodging to suit the turning population and at the same clip run into other ends such as continuing unfastened infinite, cut downing traffic congestion, and the similar will mostly be determined by how we choose to configure people in infinite and clip ‘ ( Myers, D. & A ; Kitsuse. A.1999 ) . The relevancy of the statement is good acceptable since ‘urban signifier and denseness ‘ straight relates to two most of import concerns – land and environment. While land is a finite and most combative resource, metropoliss being the topographic point with ‘most intense environmental harm ‘ ( White, 1994 ) , any intercession that claims to positively impact both can non be under rated.

The current argument on urban signifier and sustainability basically revolves around the compact metropolis argument. We begin by seeking to understand the construct of compact metropolis since in the presently available literature there is no consensus on the definition of a compact metropolis. More interestingly, it is noted that ‘one adult male ‘s conurbation is another 1 ‘s compact development, adding markedly to the confusion ‘ . The first subdivision of the paper is a commentary on the ramping argument over the compact metropolis vis-a-vis urban conurbation and its deductions towards sustainability. The positions observed in this argument are rather utmost. While the advocators of compact metropolis equate it with sustainable urban development, others conclude that it is ‘unsuccessful, unwanted and impracticable ‘ . And of class, there are positions that suggest a ‘compromise ‘ solution of neither utmost centralisation nor decentalisation. It is apparent that urban signifier – its diverseness, generation and functionality has been researched for a long clip but hunt for ‘sustainable ‘ urban signifier is reasonably new and extensively combative. What is conclusive is that there is a nexus between urban signifier and sustainable development but it is non simple and straightforward. On the other manus there are surveies that wholly depart from the compact metropolis argument by saying that “ gestating the metropolis in footings of signifier is neither necessary nor sufficient to accomplish the ends ascribed to the compact metropolis. Alternatively, gestating the metropolis in footings of procedure holds more promise in achieving the elusive end of a sustainable metropolis ‘ ( Neuman, M 2005 ) . However, even believing so, it can non shrive the metropolis contrivers to wholly ignore the quest for sustainable signifier since in Neuman ‘s ain words, “ one can non overlook the fact that signifier is both the construction that shapes procedure and the construction that emerges from the procedure ” . In other words, the centrality of the urban signifier in the argument for sustainable metropoliss does hold its topographic point of huge relevancy and significance. Accepting and believing that there is a strong relationship between urban signifier and sustainability ; in this paper we attempt the undertaking of ‘search for a sustainable urban signifier ‘ with particular mention to selected metropoliss in the province of Bihar viz. Darbhanga, Bhagalpur and Rajgir.

The metropoliss discussed here are typical representatives of metropoliss of developing states ( and besides an economically backward province with a really low urbanisation degree ) and they adequately bring forth the interesting and complex dimensions of the argument. These metropoliss reflect an bing ‘compact ‘ signifier in footings of densenesss and assorted land usage with apparent ‘sprawling ‘ tendencies albeit more due to lax or non-existent land usage controls than intended policies or intercessions. The metropoliss are large and ( or ) of important importance in regional economic system, expected to play an even more of import function in Bihar ‘s revival and are thereby estimated to go on with the current tendency of rapid population growing. Therefore, a spacial development policy at the metropolis degree becomes imperative. The most pertinent inquiry that confronts the metropolis contrivers for such metropoliss are that of denseness determination and land usage allotment for bettering the functional efficiency of the metropolis and bettering the quality of life of the citizens without compromising the larger environmental, economic and societal issues.

In the context of this overall aim, the first subdivision of the paper explores the presently ramping urban signifier argument in the planning sphere with mention to pack metropolis and urban conurbation. The chief aim of this exploratory survey is non to try a review of the compact metropolis or urban conurbations but to fundamentally understand the perceived costs and associated benefits with each of these urban signifier and their relevancy in the context of metropoliss in developing states so that as an urban contriver pick of urban signifier and denseness while be aftering for such metropoliss become ‘a affair of reason and non mere strong belief ‘ .

The 2nd subdivision of the paper analyses the bing form and the tendency of spacial development in the metropoliss of Darbhanga, Rajgir and Bhagalpur. Based on spacial signifier of the metropoliss in footings of denseness every bit good as land usage, this subdivision endorse the pertinence of the urban signifier argument and convey Forth the alone quandary and paradoxes every bit good as restraints that challenge the metropolis contrivers in their pursuit for sustainable urban signifier for such metropoliss.

Understanding the Compact City Debate

Urban signifier and its function in advancing sustainable metropoliss and thereby planetary sustainability is presently one of the most ardent subjects of treatment and argument in the development and environmental sphere. Cardinal to this combative issue is the pursuit for the urban signifier for future development of metropoliss that would impact energy efficiency, cut down C footmarks, promote societal and economic equity and guarantee a better quality of life to its people. While, the indispensable issue in the current argument is how to protect environment, the argument per Se is about every bit old as modern planning system, as has been elaborated in the plants of Michael Breheny ( 2000 ) and Randal O ‘ Toole ( 2009 ) . Harmonizing to Breheny it is the extension of the middle of the roaders vs. decentrists approach to be aftering in their common aim to present liveable metropoliss and better quality of life to the citizens. However, he clarifies “ the motivations for their publicity in the yesteryear have been slightly different from those driving the current argument. ” Toole traces the generation of the compact metropolis argument manner back to 1930, which he argues is basically a unfavorable judgment of the low-density suburb development and infer that Le Corbusier with his Radiant City program is one of the first supporter of compact metropolis construct. Although the compact metropolis term was coined much later in 1973 by George Dantzig and Thomas Saaty, Toole states that the first compact metropolis development jurisprudence is the Town and Country Planning Act passed by the British parliament manner back in 1947 that earmarked green belts and mandated geographic containment of metropolis bounds with proviso for high rise lodging within the metropolis. The construct, he says has found different statement in its favor harmonizing to the altering times. Get downing with the logic of protecting the farm lands, restricting air pollution, cut downing cost of substructure and bring oning better societal interactions, presently climate alteration is being used to warrant the infliction of compact metropolis construct for urban planning in major American metropoliss. He concludes that ‘throughout most of this history, compact metropolis development was a solution in hunt of a job ‘ .

The current revival of involvement in policies for compact metropoliss dates from the late eightiess and has mostly been propelled by the hunt for the planetary sustainability ends on clime alteration and resource usage embodied in the Brundtland Commission Report ( WCED, 1987 ) and UNCED Agenda 21 proposals ( Burgess R. 2000 ) . While the compact metropolis argument has produced a big organic structure of relevant literature but inspite of its frequent use in the planning treatments the term compact metropolis still suffers lack of a normally accepted definition. In the absence of a cosmopolitan definition, the term is used to specify and depict the antonym of urban conurbation and ‘includes many schemes that aim to make concentration and denseness that ‘ can avoid all the jobs of the modernist design and metropoliss ‘ ( Jabareen, Y.R. 2006 ) . Infact, obviously the individual most of import property that is used to depict a compact metropolis is the population denseness. The other chief features of the compact metropolis include regeneration of the urban nucleus, restrained invasion in rural fringe, geographic bound of the metropolis boundary, assorted land usage with higher denseness and publicity of public conveyance as manner of communicating vis-a-vis private vehicles. Based on the reappraisal of literature, research and preservation Neuman provides list of both compact metropolis and urban conurbation that gives a comprehensive description of the two opposing constructs.

Urban Sprawl Characteristics


Low residential denseness


Unlimited outward extension of urban development


Spatial segregation of different types of land utilizations through zoning


Leapfrog development


No centralised ownership of land or planning of land development


All transit dominated by in private owned motor vehicles


Atomization of administration authorization of land utilizations among many local authoritiess


Great discrepancies in the financial capacity of local authoritiess


Widespread commercial strip development along major roadways


Major trust on a filtering procedure to supply lodging for low income families

Beginning: Burchell et Al. 1998 ( as quoted in Neuman, M2005 )

Compact City Characteristics


High residential and employment densenesss


Mixture of land utilizations


Fine grain of land utilizations ( propinquity of varied utilizations and little comparative size of land packages )


Increased societal and economic interaction


Contiguous development

( some packages or constructions may be vacant or abandoned or come up parking )


Contained urban development, demarcated by legible bounds


Urban Infrastructure, particularly sewerage and H2O brinies


Multinodal transit


High grade of handiness ; local/regional


High grades of street connectivity ( internal / external ) including pavements and bike lanes


High grade of imperviable surface coverage


Low unfastened infinite ratio


Unitary control of planning of land development or closely coordinated control


Sufficient authorities financial capacity to finance urban installations and substructure

Beginning: Neuman, M. 2005

Irrespective of the definition and the properties, for its supporters ‘the compact metropolis represents a quintessential physical response to many urban jobs, such as land ingestion in periphery countries, energy and resource waste, air pollution, handiness, and societal segregation. It is practically their equivalent word for the sustainable metropolis. ‘ ( Neuman, M. 2005 ) . Harmonizing to Jabareen ( 2006 ) while there are multiple aims to be achieved by sustainable urban signifier the most of import are reduced use of car and energy ingestion, decreased waste and pollution, saving of unfastened infinite and eco-system and liveable and community-oriented human environments. The protagonists every bit good as booster of compact metropolis theory forcefully argues that the virtue of the compact metropolis is that it delivers most if non all of the major aims of a sustainable urban signifier.

The statements in favor of the compact metropolis are many. One of the earliest and likely the first statement for compact metropolis is the demand for saving of the farming area ( by cut downing conurbation, advancing infill development and renovation with higher densenesss ) for turning nutrient. Although the cogency of the statement in the context of USA has been widely debated and said to be excess ( Toole, R. 2009, & A ; Gordon, P. & A ; Richardson, H.W, 1997 ) on the land that USA has a major job of agricultural excesss and the per capita universe nutrient production has increased well in the past decennary and the bing malnutrition is a job of poorness and distribution and non scarceness. The statement though may keep good for developed western states like USA, it does non go needfully excess for states like India which has achieved impressive growing in agricultural productiveness but besides has a billion ( and turning ) population to feed.

Another statement that finds protagonism for compact metropolis development is the sensed positive effects in travel and conveyance in footings of energy efficiency and decreased pollution. As Neuman ( 2005 ) summarizes, the statement is based on the premiss that compact metropolis by character is high denseness with assorted land usage where metropolis inhabitants can populate near to work and can walk or utilize rhythm thereby cut downing the demand for travel for work or leisure. Besides, equal densenesss provide the needed threshold for a feasible public conveyance / theodolite system. A widely quoted survey by Newman and Kentworthy ( 1989 ) of travel behaviour in 32 metropoliss claimed that ‘levels of auto ownership and usage are significantly less in higher denseness countries of metropoliss at all degrees of wealth ‘ . Infact, it is this sensed effect of reduced car dependence that made compact metropolis a much acceptable urban signifier for practicians and politicians likewise in USA. It is reflected in the words of Ray Lahood, Secretary of Transportation in Obama disposal – who says the aim of the policy that requires metropolitan countries to follow compact-development policies or hazard losing federal financess is to ‘coerce people out of their autos ‘ ( as quoted in Toole 2009 ) . The statement that at first case appears infallible has been criticized for its faulty methodological analysis every bit good as strongly negated by empirical surveies by Michael Breheny ( 1998 ) , Peter Hall ( 2001 ) , and many others. Density and transit energy usage is deduced to be decrepit co-related to population denseness whereas the same showed much stronger co-relation to the fuel monetary values and income. The research workers are far from consentaneous on whether compact metropolis would really and sufficiently cut down the dodo fuel ingestion and nursery gas emanations.

A in-between way solution is proposed by Salingaros ( 2006 ) : “ Ultra-high denseness urbanism creates more jobs than it solves, in the signifier of energy trust that draws on the resources of an tremendous environing part and shortsightedly depends on an uninterrupted supply of inexpensive oil. Our lone option is the smaller-scale, compact metropolis, ideally surrounded by and shut to agricultural lands for local supply. We should bring forth feasible colonies at optimum densenesss for the human scaleaˆ¦.. ”

Similar position is reiterated in Erling Holden ‘s analysis of Norse towns of Greater Oslo and Forde that concludes “ sustainable urban development points towards decentralized concentration i.e. comparatively little metropoliss with a high denseness and short distances between houses and public/private infinites. ”

The other important benefit of the compact metropolis as proposed by its advocates is the economic viability in footings of supplying substructure to the community. It is argued that the per capita cost of supplying quality substructure is significantly high in instance low-density thread development compared to high denseness communities. The cost difference has been calculated to be fringy in US which harmonizing to Toole most homebuyers would lief pay ‘in order to hold a good-sized pace and non portion a wall with the next-door neighbours. ‘ However, this statement has peculiar cogency for metropoliss in developing states with much lower per capita income for the homebuyers ( even a fringy addition in cost is estimated to do it do it unaffordable for a big ball of population ) and urban local organic structures which are financially weak establishments with really limited capacity for immense investings required for supplying equal services, professed to be necessarily higher in a low denseness conurbation state of affairs. The economic viability statement is non restricted to the substructure issue merely, but it is besides projected as the path to affordable lodging for the disadvantaged community. The statement being – land usage ordinances, edifice criterions and zonings prevent the developers from edifice at higher densenesss which if allowed would be more profitable and would therefore could be made available at more low-cost cost to the homebuyers who are presently priced out.

The advocates of the compact metropolis construct besides put forth that it is positively associated with cultural development, societal diverseness every bit good as coherence and societal equity. This statement has particular entreaty for metropoliss in developing states and particularly India where the authorities is committed to inclusive metropolis that aims to advance societal equity. Findingss of survey by Elizabeth Burton ( 2000 ) based on 40 four societal equity indexs in 20 English metropoliss is deserving observing:

“ It is evident from the findings that the denseness of urban signifier may act upon societal equity in a assortment of ways, some positive and others negative. It is besides clear that the single constituents of concentration are likely to be associated with widely different effects. Furthermore, it appears that some facets of societal equity are more strongly related to compactness than others: for some indexs, there is a clear nexus with concentration, whereas for others, there is merely a limited association or an association that is meaningless.

When looked at in its entirety-that is, as a combination of all the different indicators-social equity has a limited relationship with compactnessaˆ¦

The findings besides suggest that, wholly, as expected ; lodging term of office and structural alterations in employment have a greater influence than concentration on societal equity. ”

Gordon and Richardson ( 1997 ) analyses the impact of all of import properties of compact metropolis get downing with saving of agricultural land to energy nest eggs, efficiency additions, equity and conclude that “ rating of these issues does non back up the instance for advancing compact metropoliss. ” Neuman ( 2005 ) summarizes the argument with regard to all major properties by stating ‘relationship between concentration and sustainability can be negatively correlated, weakly related or correlated in limited ways. ‘ To reason, the reappraisal of the presently available literature on sustainable urban signifier or compact metropolis argument as it is popularly called throws up more confusion than elucidation, since the research community is unable to reason with any assurance or absolute lucidity which policies will hold what effects ( Breheny, M. 1996 ) . However, even when the research community is mostly open on the cogency of the compact metropolis as a sustainable urban signifier it has found protagonists in authorities across the universe both in the developed western states every bit good as developing states in Asia.

Relevance of Compact City Debate for Developing States

Interestingly, the argument is largely confined to the metropoliss of developed states largely USA, Europe, Japan and Australia ( Burges, R. 2000 ) . The same argument in the context of metropoliss in developing states about has a consentaneous voice. Harmonizing to many the already prevalent high densenesss particularly in the metropolis nucleus make the compact metropolis argument redundant for developing states. “ What is the sense it is often asked, of farther compaction given that densenesss are already high and associated with a scope of jobs including substructure overload, overcrowding, congestion, air pollution, terrible wellness jeopardies, deficiency of public and green unfastened infinite and environmental debasement ” ( Hardoy et al, 1999 as quoted in Burgess, R. 2000 ) . It is argued, redensification of interior metropolis may connote black societal and environmental effects given the bing rate of high densenesss and sub-optimal infrastructural installations. Katie Williams ( 2007 ) besides infers a similar decision by saying that ‘urban compression achieved through a procedure of intensification, is entirely inappropriate for metropoliss in developing states. ‘ Inapplicability of redensification or intensification procedure is about incontrovertible but the compact metropolis argument in developing states, it must be understood is non merely about intensification of the metropolis nucleus but besides about make up one’s minding the denseness, location and land usage form for inevitable future enlargement. Since planning is chiefly about ‘how we decide to populate in the hereafter ‘ the denseness argument or argument for a sustainable urban signifiers for these metropoliss are non merely pertinent but indispensable for two grounds:

In future these metropoliss do non devolve into worse pandemonium than what it is today doing the planning intercession a instance of excessively small excessively tardily.

More significantly, if we agree that sustainable signifier is merely non about denseness but besides land usage form that has far reaching deductions for energy efficiency, the argument assumes greater relevancy in the context of developing metropoliss.

UNCHS estimates that the proportion of the universe urban population would lift to 61 per cent by 2030. Population growing will be peculiarly rapid in the urban countries of less developed parts, averaging 2.3 per cent per twelvemonth during 2000-2030.A Almost all the growing of the universe ‘s entire population between 2000 and 2030 is expected to be absorbed by the urban countries of the less developed parts. The overpowering urbanisation projected for developing states in the following two decennaries, validate Burgess ‘s ( 2000 ) observation that ‘the success or failure of these policies will depend on their coincident application in the developing states ‘ . Besides, it would be erroneous to compare high denseness nucleus countries in these metropoliss to pack signifier and all its efficiencies because ‘sprawl ‘ when defined as “ deficiency of continuity in enlargement ” ( Clawson1962 ) or as “ a specific signifier of suburbanization that involves highly low -density development at the far borders of the settled country, distributing out far into antecedently undeveloped land ” ( Downs 1994 ) is every bit much in being in these metropoliss. The causes and manifestation of conurbation in developing states may be rather apart from the western metropoliss and particularly America, its being with all its sensed deductions can non be ignored. Even Richard Moe ‘s definition of conurbation as a “ ill planned, land -consumptive, automobile-dependent, designed without respect to its milieus ” is rather pertinent in the context of developing states.

The haphazard, helter-skelter and inaesthetic and inefficient development observed in the fringe of these metropoliss matches Roe ‘s description of conurbation in about all but one parametric quantities i.e. car dependance. Since auto ownership is closely associated with high income degrees, the bulk of population in these metropoliss shows dependences towards public conveyance or non-motorized vehicles. Therefore, while usage of auto or transport-related C emanations may non be the cardinal focal point of argument as in developed states but the quest for sustainable urban signifier, remains a large challenge and dashing undertaking for contrivers since they grapple with metropoliss which are compact but congested and helter-skelter and are besides sprawling or demoing marks of thread development with serious deductions for environmental sustainability issue, in add-on to the more urgent issue of supplying economic chances and better quality of life for 1000000s of people. In other words, they represent the paradox of high-density sprawling metropolis. An effort has been made to understand these challenges in the specific context of metropoliss in developing states. Darbhanga, Bhagalpur and Rajgir in Bihar are taken as representative instance surveies, whose current denseness, spacial signifier and land usage form has been analyzed to contextualize the argument of compact metropolis as a sustainable urban signifier.

Challenges for metropoliss in developing states: lessons from Bhagalpur Darbhanga and Rajgir

In Asia, the compact metropolis thought has been enthusiastically embraced ( Williams, K. 2007 ) and the same can be said to be true for Indian metropoliss. However, there are really few empirical surveies or subjective diagnosing of the relevancy of this urban signifier in functioning the double aim of sustainable development and guaranting better quality of life to the citizens. Besides, the limited literature available on compact metropolis argument for developing states is constantly limited to the national capitals or large metropolitan metropoliss, which to some extent falsify their relevancy to the larger context since metropoliss like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore although are characterized by high residential denseness, with their high per capita income and besides high value existent estate are non typical representatives of metropoliss of developing states. The metropoliss chosen here are from Bihar, which is one of the poorest provinces in India and has a really low degree of urbanisation ( 10.46 % , as per Census 2001 ) . The metropoliss considered in this paper viz. Bhagalpur, Darbhanga ( Class- I metropoliss ) and Rajgir ( Class- III ) are presently non the preferable finishs of planetary capital but have tremendously important in the regional economic system by virtuousness of their size, growing and the possible to chart the economic revival of Bihar. These metropoliss are analyzed to acknowledge the compact metropolis argument in the context of developing states since their organic enlargement, high population growing rate and about non-existent formal planning patterns makes them better representatives of the complexnesss and challenges of planning for ‘sustainable urban signifier ‘ in metropoliss of developing states like India.

Bhagalpur ( an industrial town ) and Darbhanga ( a territory headquarter ) are Class – I metropoliss and their population harmonizing to Census 2001 is 3.4 lacs and 2.8 lacs severally. The current population denseness of the towns is 113 ppha in Bhagalpur, 139ppha in Darbhanga and 7ppha in Rajgir. The nucleus country denseness in Bhagalpur is 283ppha and 363 ppha in Darbhanga. The denseness of 7ppha in Rajgir, which is a tourer town, may look incredibly low, but excepting the hills and H2O organic structures within the metropolis bounds, ( where built physical enlargement is non executable ) the overall denseness works out to be 22 ppha. Core country denseness is every bit high as 110 ppha ( Ward No. 13 ) . Density features and vehicle ownership in these metropoliss are summarized in the tabular array below.




Gross densenesss ( ppha ) *




Vehicle ownership ( % ) **

Use of public transport**

Possibility of infill development


( nose count 2001 )


town denseness ( ppha )

highest ward denseness

highest zone denseness ( group of wards )

least zone denseness ( group of wards )



car/ landrover













Largely cars followed by rhythm jinrikisha, pacing and coachs.

low.Existing additive metropolis along main roads and river, non much range for infill development.












Autos, Cycle rickshaws, mini-buses.

Very low – Linear town wedgd between river and two conveyance corridors. Compact development












Largely Tongas, Cycle jinrikisha, Kahar dolis ( during tourer season ) .

low-due to spiritual nature of urban nucleus, hilly townTable: Intra metropolis Density Variation in Bhagalpur Darbhanga & A ; Rajgir

Beginning: Own computations based on nose count informations and study

Even by conservative appraisals, the population is expected to about duplicate – to 5.7 lacs in Bhagalpur and 4.8 lacs in Darbhanga in the following 20 old ages. Rajgir though relatively a little town with population of 33 thousand turning at an mean decadal growing rate of 43 % is expected to be merely above 1 lac by 2027.

While functional feature of these metropoliss are rather distinguishable and different from each other, what is uniquely common between them are their signifier which is instead complex but interesting. Traveling by the features of compact metropolis and urban conurbation as listed in the old subdivision all three metropoliss represent features of both, albeit in changing grades. While Bhagalpur and Darbhanga can be said to be more compact, Rajgir manifests more straggling features with thread development along major spinal columns and incontiguous development.

An analysis of the denseness and land usage form shows ( See Maps ) that the metropoliss have the undermentioned features of compact metropolis:

High residential densenesss

A typical form of denseness, with a extremely heavy nucleus and lesser densenesss in outer countries.

Assorted land utilizations

Fine grain of land utilizations ( propinquity of varied utilizations and little comparative size of land packages

Increased societal and economic interactions

Cities besides show disposition of ‘sprawl ‘ as manifested in:

Unlimited outward extension of new development

No centralised ownership of land or planning of land development

Wide spread commercial strip development along major roadways

Great discrepancies in the financial capacity of the local authoritiess

Major trust on the filtering procedure to supply lodging for low-income families.

The end point effects being:

Overcrowding and congestion

Overloaded substructure

Poor lodging

Lack of green unfastened infinites

Rampant environmental debasement, including pollution of air and H2O

Health jeopardies

Poor quality of life for bulk of the citizens and particularly the economically and socially disadvantaged groups.

This intercrossed character of the metropoliss ( that more or less combines the negative traits of both the signifier ) coupled with projected population growing rate airss two of import challenges for the urban contrivers:

Density paradigm and spacial enlargement

Land usage form

The bing denseness form makes ‘expansion ‘ of the metropolis an inevitable pick as against redensification of nucleus – reaffirming the statement of Williams ( **** ) and Burgess ( **** ) . Infill development – the professed redress for conurbation in metropoliss in western states is non a executable option in Bhagalpur and Darbhanga since in the absence of green unfastened infinites or recreational green the cultivable unfastened land serves as the much needed ‘lungs ‘ of these metropoliss. The proportion of open/ cultivable land to entire metropolis country in Bhagalpur and Darbhanga is 15 % and 12 % severally. About 4-5 % of the metropolis populations in both the metropoliss are engaged in agribusiness that supply to the local vegetable demand giving the metropolis a ‘green metropolis ‘ ticket. Conversion of these infinites for farther compression may non connote loss of support for little and hapless husbandmans it may even spell an ecological catastrophe and impairment of the quality of life by adding to the already bing high pollution. The above issues coupled with the possibility that the nest eggs on substructure through compaction procedure may non be significant and may even be negative tips the pick towards enlargement of the metropolis bounds.

The resulting challenge, before the contrivers hence is to make up one’s mind the future denseness and location of the spacial extension – accordingly the urban signifier that will guarantee optimum usage of valuable farming area while guaranting an energy efficient metropolis, economic efficiency of extension of basic services every bit good as a sensible travel ( both in footings of distance and travel clip ) . It is the inevitableness of the ‘expansion ‘ option to guarantee better quality of life to the citizens that portray the first paradox for the sustainable urban signifier in developing metropoliss. Expansion requires transition of farming areas, which has been statistically proved inconsequential for western metropoliss ( Richardson & A ; Gordon, 1997 ) but the issue is of huge significance in Indian context where it may good connote loss of support for little husbandmans. Besides, while sporadic and self-generated transition of land in the fringe for residential utilizations is an ongoing procedure, big graduated table transition through acquisition for non-residential utilizations and even residential development is a volatile issue that frequently meets with political opposition. This socio-political world restrains the professional judgement of contrivers and instead induces a pick of medium – high denseness development necessitating minimal spacial enlargement. The spacial enlargement program is besides constrained by the metropolis construction and topographic characteristics.

Bhagalpur and Darbhanga are instance in illustrations. Bhagalpur is a additive metropolis and the presence of river on its North and west restricts enlargement on these two sides obliging spacial enlargement program towards east and south. Similarly, in Darbhanga besides a additive metropolis, the pick of enlargement location is acutely limited by presence of river on its West and high inundation prone countries in South and south E. Therefore, while a unvarying all around enlargement to the current metropolis bound would be ideal, the topographic restraints influence the pick. The fiscal position of the urban local organic structures of these metropoliss is besides an of import determiner. Expansion program besides needs to guarantee that it does non imply a immense investing and high care cost for supplying improved handiness every bit good as substructure installations to the enlargement countries. The obvious effect of integrating the societal, economic and topographic concerns is that the urban growing boundaries for a 20 twelvemonth skyline for these metropoliss are kept to the lower limit. The gross denseness of the metropoliss ( even with the executable enlargement options ) is non reduced but is estimated to either remain same or is increased since the bing population in the enlargement countries is besides added to the entire metropolis population. In Bhagalpur after a spacial enlargement program that adds 1369.5 hour angle of land ( 45 % of its current country of 3017 hour angle ) the gross denseness accounting for the jutting population additions to 130ppha. In Darbhanga, after adding 1360.1 hour angle to its bing metropolis country of 1918 hour angle, the gross denseness remains about unchanged ( 140ppha compared to the current 139 ppha ) . In instance of Rajgir, nevertheless even without any enlargement, the gross denseness for Rajgir town in 2027 is estimated be around 21 ppha, and excepting the undevelopable land, the denseness works out to be 69 ppha. The metropoliss continue to hold high ( gross ) denseness development, or retain their compact nature when defined in footings of denseness. While critics warn that compaction may take to ‘worsening of bing environmental, wellness and societal conditions ‘ ( Burgess 2000 ) the same i.e. compaction at the metropolis degree ( though non entirely of the metropolis nucleus which in some instances may demo dedensification tendency ) in most instances is an inevitable world of metropoliss in developing states as evident from the instance of Bhagalpur, Darbhanga and Rajgir. This significantly increases the importance of efficient land usage program and substructure installations so that the congestion, herding and hapless environment that presently characterizes these metropoliss are adequately rectified to accomplish the overarching aim of be aftering intercession i.e. sustainable development with better quality of life for the citizens.

The land usage facet of compact metropolis argument in developed states basically revolves around intensification of activities or advancing a assorted land usage form. The boosters of compact metropolis basically knock the zoning Torahs and attendant segregation for a disconnected metropolis. The review of districting or segregation is good articulated in the undermentioned observation of Andres Duany ( **** )

“ This segregation one time applied merely to incompatible utilizations is now applied to every useaˆ¦ As a consequence, the new American metropolis has been likened to an unmade omelet: eggs, cheese, veggies, a pinch of salt but each consumed in bend natural. Possibly the greatest sarcasm is that the industry need non be isolated any longer. Many modern production installations are absolutely safe neighbours, thanks to germinate fabrication procedures and improved pollution control. A comprehensive mix of diverse land uses is one time once more every bit sensible as it was in the pre-industrial age. ”

In obvious contrast to the land usage form in western metropoliss, the metropoliss of the development states are marked with a high grade of assorted land utilizations. All the metropoliss discussed here reflect similar form. The metropoliss are dominated by both place based artisanal and frequently informal production system or small-scale industries scattered throughout the metropolis. It is typical to happen coincident being of commercial, residential, spiritual every bit good as agricultural utilizations along a individual street in these metropoliss, which is unimpeachably a effect of absence of be aftering intercessions and non due to command development that promotes sustainable and compatible assorted landuse. The current land usage pattern adds certain plangency and character to the streetscape, and has its benefits largely in footings of travel behaviour and form but is non without jobs. The bing assorted land usage form while adding to the plangency of the on, does come with jobs of congestion, pollution and associated wellness jeopardies in these metropoliss. The complex undertaking for the urban contrivers is to work out a wise mix of land usage that promotes environmental sustainability without compromising the vivacious character of these metropoliss. On one manus, the range of intensification of activities is necessarily limited and on the other, to follow the western illustration of advancing acute zoning and segregation rules is non merely impossible at times but can besides be unsuccessful for these metropoliss. It is imperative for the contrivers is to consolidate the benefits of assorted land usage planning that has developed over clip by supplying ( presently inadequate ) efficient infrastructural installations. For illustration, the silk industry in Bhagalpur is largely a place based industry geographically concentrated in the western portion of the metropolis. The country shows marks of environmental emphasis with inauspicious impact on quality of life. The socio-economic worlds, fiscal irresistible impulses and the intrinsic home-work feature of the industry make it necessary that the state of affairs is corrected through improved infrastructural installations instead than segregating or relocating the industry. Similarly, in Darbhanga, little graduated table place based industry is scattered all over the town interspersed with commercial development along the major roads giving a assorted land usage character to the whole metropolis. Application of advanced engineering in industries may do the zoning construct redundant as professed by Duanny for American metropoliss but it would be an unrealistic premise for metropoliss like Bhagalpur, Darbhanga or any other metropoliss in India. The lone plausible solution in Indian context would be to germinate an efficient zoning or location of industries and other activities that would, incorporate pollution, safeguard the environment particularly of the environmentally delicate countries like rivers and H2O organic structures without compromising the travel behavior/pattern of the people. Since landuse has dominant influence on travel form, sing its impact is an indispensable pre-requisite for these metropoliss where the auto ownership is exceptionally low ( see tabular array ) and public conveyance system is non adequately developed. The bing land usage pattern makes most of the activities accessible by pes or by non-motor vehicles to bulk of the population. A landuse program that drastically alters this work-home relationship can be a dual edged blade for developing states. In the absence of commensurate development in public conveyance it may imply going larger distances in non-motor vehicles connoting farther adversity, higher travel clip and decreased quality of life for certain section of population. In other scenario, of improved economic position the auto ownership may lift drastically and in that instance, without matching addition in route infinite or betterment in design efficiency it may connote route congestion and pandemonium adding to the pollution and compromising the sustainability issues. While the challenge for the American metropoliss is to ‘coerce people out of their auto ‘ in developing metropoliss it is about striking a right balance in the land usage form that will consolidate and better the current travel behaviour and forbid a displacement towards private and motorised vehicle as in western metropoliss which is much criticized for its C pes prints. The industrial location determination besides has bearing on the inclinations of the metropoliss to sprawl – frequently observed to be associated with an imprudent location of industries.

Another factor that restricts the possibility of in-fill development is the presence of heritage character in many of the urban nucleus countries. Darbhanga and Rajgir are instances in point. With a important heritage zone at the bosom of the two towns, the heritage character has to be given primary importance. Any proposal for redensification in and around heritage zones could adversely impact the heritage character of the towns. Rajgir is an built-in portion of the Buddhist circuit of tourer finishs in Bihar pulling people of all religion, non merely from India but from universe over. It has Centres of spiritual every bit good as historical involvement set amidst pristine background which adds to the appeal of the tourer Centres. Since the economic system of the town is chiefly dependent on touristry it is imperative to keep its character, which in bend implies necessity of advancing purely a glandular fever landuse form and zoning ordinances for the heritage countries that support the touristry activity of the town. Due to this consideration, particularly in instance of Rajgir, the densenesss are low, redensification of interior ain can non be considered. Rajgir is non a compact metropolis, with low interior town densenesss, and a inclination to sprawl. The sprawling in Rajgir can be mostly attributed to the location of regulation mill towards the E at an approximative distance of approximately 3km from the metropolis bound. Due to heritage concerns, and outgrowth of an urban conurbation, Rajgir exhibits the other extreme of the landuse challenge whereby stringent districting becomes an inevitable pick. The Rajgir illustration conveys the inevitableness of reacting to metropolis specific concerns while turn toing the issue of sustainable urban development.


The urban signifier for sustainable development is as valid a challenge in developing states as it is for states in USA UK and Australia. The subjective diagnosing shows that complexness of metropoliss and the differences in socio-economic and cultural worlds culminates into a multiplicity of issues that make pick of an appropriate urban signifier an highly dashing undertaking. The Bihar experience reconfirms Haughton and Hunter ‘s observation ( quoted in Jenk, M. Burton, E. & A ; Williams K. 1996 ) :

“ The sustainable metropolis is non rooted in an idealised version of past colonies, nor is it one given to the extremist casting-off from its ain peculiar cultural, economic and physical individuality in the name of the latest growth craze for urban alteration. ”

In footings of pertinence of the compact metropolis theoretical account to Indian towns, it can be concluded that pertinence of compact metropolis theoretical account when defined in footings of redensification of the nucleus is an absolute impossibleness for metropoliss in developing states. At the same clip, restricted spacial enlargement options due to varied grounds implies that extended suburbanization that eased congestion in the nucleus countries for industrialised metropoliss in the West is non a executable option for these metropoliss. Consequently, the gross denseness for these metropoliss even in future is expected to stay comparatively high.

In the context of the Indian towns typically represented by Bhagalpur, Darbhanga and Rajgir, a mix of compact metropolis theoretical account and green metropolis ( planned enlargement ) theoretical accounts are recommended for future development. While the assorted nature of other cardinal nucleuss should be allowed to go on, an urban reclamation plan becomes imperative to ease the force per unit area on urban nucleuss, while at the same clip, there needs to be planned development of newer countries to run into future demand. The challenge for the contrivers is to germinate a development theoretical account that combines characteristics of compact metropolis with green Fieldss development ( planned and environmentally friendly enlargement ) , while at the same clip, trade with the undertaking of easing congestion, pandemonium and overcrowding that loosely marks the high denseness development in these metropoliss, which has to be addressed through advancing wise assorted land usage program supported by efficient substructure installations.