New Indian cities must be planned and built around certain key facts:
That we have a huge population.
That while the country’s land mass is fairly large, it is at the end of the day, quite limited as a ratio to the population.
The government would look at completely new green-field cities, but in the first instance, the existing city-scape has to be fixed with all its attendant infrastructure problems that are in place now.
These simple facts should force the country to think innovatively.
The mandate would be to use all the new technologies that are now available to concept-build in existing cities to fix their core problems
This would also be the Policy Frame for building brand new smart cities to predefined core design and structure parameters.
The core concept proposed by The Rising India Party is to go underground to build the core-city infrastructure.
This would be possible to do with most road systems, city rail systems.
Parking, human waste processing cavities interweaving through entire cities with multiple connection points, cable cavities that should be conceived and laid out underground in one cohesive, consolidated design and effort
Where possible, and necessary such as in large metros, underground building can be 10 or more floors deep.
Even factories, and other commercial activities such as malls can be considered to be built underground at levels 1 to 5 deep.
Bulk storage facilities can be built also underground freeing huge amounts of space at ground level for other life-enhancing infrastructure.
Living spaces would be built above ground in high rise configurations that are self-sustaining in energy production, through solar, wind and other renewable models that are available.
All complexes would have water harvesting as mandatory requirements.
Residence clusters would have water processing plants that process kitchen and bathroom, clothes wash or bath water located underground to deliver clean water into artificial lakes, for watering of trees, plants and lawns etc. thus creating local ecologies.
Water bodies would enrich native bird life that is under urban pressure, create fish rearing and harvesting, cool the environment and create a calm living atmosphere for the people of India.
These new population builds would have low cost accommodation for the lower socio-economic strata planned and built into the city infrastructure such that there is no stress amongst any segment of the polulation and there is incentive to grow out of the lower economic states to higher ones.
The city infrastructure would also provide for cheap daily occupancy or a mix of daily, monthly and annual rent deals for hawker stalls by street sides, parks and other places frequented by the public, that are aesthetically conceived and constructed.
Bazaar type atmosphere could be built in parts of the new construction to keep the ancient narrative alive and used to create points of difference with the west.
The government would regulate Shopping Malls through laws that create a fair deal for larger segments of the population.
For example, the builder who constructs such Malls will have to dispose of 60% to 75% of the constructed space in strata titled shops to individual owners to diffuse wealth and opportunity.
They will only be allowed to retain a minority proportion in their corporate hands for rental.
The government would move to setting up task groups who would look at the outermost periphery of each city where the city ends and open land begins.
The government would look at the viability of developing major city extensions in appropriate sections of these available lands.
These new city-capacities would be built to strictly new guidelines where a major part of the infrastructure would be underground to include roads, rail, parking, bulk storage facilities, shopping, manufacturing, etc. while dwelling spaces would be built to high-rise construction models leaving massive open spaces, park-lands, public playing fields, and above ground theme shopping centers in low density frames.
All high-rise building complexes would be designed to be self-sufficient in all manner including schools, hospitals, entertainment, shopping malls / bazaars, sports facilities and complexes etc.
They would have vast underground networks to cater to parking, bulk storage, car parking, driveways, public transport etc.
Once these new spaces are built, the residents of the current haphazard constructions that have resulted in eye-sore city expansion, would be moved to these new spaces and their existing dwelling would be put up for demolishing.
These mass demolitions would create open spaces that would be afforested creating green buffers between the core ancient city and its extension
The same approach would be used in modern hodge-podge growth cities of pollution clusters in fixing the issues as well as simultaneously in city expansion
The public that is displaced would be compensated equal to the space or value of their dwelling in the demolished section. The excess built of the new high-rise construction would be sold to cover costs and create profits.
The new extended city-build would be to the integrated town-ship models stated in the new smart city development detailed here-under.
Where possible, the government would look to redevelop entire suburbs with the participation of the existing local residents.
For instance, take South Extension in New Delhi, it is well past its capacity, way overcrowded, has woeful infrastructure, is built on plots sizes varying from 300 square yards, with two or three floors piled up, and so on.
If it were possible to demolish part of the colony, build deep underground and high rise above ground, it would be possible to provide world class accommodation to its existing residents which could be probably accommodated in 25% of the land mass of the colony.
That would free immense space to redevelop open spaces with parks, lakes, playing fields, walk-ways, cycle-ways, tennis courts and so on, thus, enhancing life for all who reside there.
It would also create more accommodation space for new buyers.
These would all be built under public-private partnership models or would be open to private bidding based on the entire funding being carried by the private enterprise or corporate. Both models would function side by side.
The City Scape would be built around the principles that all commercial structures to be placed by the margins of main roads, with Residential Blocks to be built away from main roads to minimize pollution, noise pollution and create calm, green spaces.
Furthermore, where there is scenic topography, such as by sea-side, river-side, dense green spaces etc., the building architecture would need to such that the first-row dwellings would be of limited height, say no more than 4 floors, the next row higher, the next higher till the highest buildings would be in the last rows so that the views are uninterrupted for the lower building structures.
It would also be advisable to build in broad quadrants, or U-shaped space use plans, with high-rise buildings on the periphery and the center left green and open for creating spaces that everyone can enjoy light and openness.
These would form basic guidelines for smart cities amongst others but the final configurations will be worked out with the full engagement of architects and space planners.
The government would get out of all activities that are best left to market forces and opportunities created within a fair and non-partisan policy frame that creates opportunities for large segments of the population.
Existing cities would be recreated-reconstructed by expanding outward.
This would be done by designing and providing dwellings and commercial areas patterned on the above model with composite residential, commercial and industrial planning and market places, with better road and transport systems built mostly underground, open spaces, parks and public facilities such as playing fields, sports facilities etc.
Street side bazaars would be built areas built in into the new cityscapes, in part along-with modern shopping infrastructure. The bazaar designs would occupy smaller areas and would be aimed at maintaining the Indian civilization old lifestyle for our future generations and tourists.
The Bazaar designs would be in line with local flavor in different part of the world to help preserve local culture.
The city design would need to build arts and crafts nooks for artisans to ply their trade. These would be subsidized by the government and would comprise holistic and integrated design, production, sales and marketing spaces that would be made available to artisans and crafts men to ply their old skills and crafts.
The new infrastructure would also provide for skilling and on-going education hubs.
City planning would plan to provide for a number of Street Hawker spaces, to keep the old Indian earning narrative entrepreneurs from the lower socio-economic strata who ply their wares, often with variety and excellence in food, art, and other wares opportunities while maintaining an essential form of the Indian cultural ambiance.
Another feature of the new smart city, the government would mandate for architects and builder to provide in all building structures in high rise construction, at various levels, for every 10-12 floors, space for gardens, and public gathering spaces.
All such clusters would also have rooftop gardens that could also be used for growing vegetables and flowers.
These spaces would be provided for a mix of fees. A percentage would be free commercial spaces.
The space ratios required to make such integrated population clusters would be worked out on root costing plus margin basis and such costing would include finance and interest cost.
The government would provide root funding but will invite private sector and bank funding to enliven the economy and reduce the burden on the public exchequer.
These would be provided free of cost to poor individuals looking for opportunities of startups in small street businesses for limited period segments till they start to do well enough to come into the pay as you use narrative.
Business incubation infrastructure spaces would be built and made available to individuals entrepreneurs who might want to start new businesses and the government would subsidize them as start-ups; something new in any area of business including services such as food, software, consultancy or other value- add lines that can be thought of in due course.
This would unleash a huge amount of opportunities in India; against the current system which it is extraordinarily unfair, unfriendly, and stressed out with draconian rules and laws used to harass the population in every way including in terms of the permitting, and provision of livelihood by utilizing available city spaces to help the poor earn a living.
Police are always chasing them and extorting money from street poor and petty street hawkers.
The concepts laid out in this core Policy document, where underground spaces would be heavily used to improve the quality of city life would require new technologies.
These would be called for from within the nation from the private sector, and globally where such is not immediately available.
Indian corporates, entrepreneurs, living in India or domiciled overseas would be encouraged to tie up with global entities who have the required technologies and methodologies to become partners in the India-build story.
This would be very attractive to businesses that have little expansion at home and who are largely tied into the China growth story.
The governments stated aim would be to import machinery in the first instance if not available but Indian corporates, industrial houses and entrepreneurs will be incentivized to set up manufacturing plants as fast as they can to supply all the machinery, equipment that would be required to carry out such a massive nation-building project.
For example, a very large number of boring machines and the requisite building and regulatory expertise which would be brought into play.
An open-door policy inviting global companies including Indian business groups and individual engineers, experienced Indian engineers with turnkey setup projects or factories on concessional basis and or any person of any nationality who has experience in the turnkey projects in high-end technology, would be shown open doors.
Indian corporates, industrial houses and businesses would be encouraged to buy in expertise through employing duly qualified and experienced people from anywhere in the world.
These high-end people would be offered Indian dual citizenships and enhanced lifestyle package through their employers as part of the master-nation-build plan
Research and consultancy groups would be set up to bring the vision into reality
The nation would move to encouraging industry to design and build the needed for this immense new-deal national project.
Global nationals would be most welcome to adopt India as its next boost to their careers and aspirations if they can bring such capacities to India, on their own or with Indian business partners.