Public Participation in Plan Formulation and Implementation

Public participation has gradually emerged in urban planning since 1960’s. China has introduced public participation concept in urban planning practices for over 20 years. The purpose of public participation is to change the pattern of elite planning, ensure the public benefits and democratic rights, improve the feasibility and practicability of the planning schemes together with the democracy in the planning decision making process. 

The approach of planning should be shifted from top‐down to bottom‐up approach to make planning process more inclusive, comprehensive, and sustainable. Greater public acceptability is desirable, to ensure that plans are relevant. People can participate in the development process in the following realms: 

  • Pre‐plan participation in decision making in vision development, for identification of development priorities.
  • Post‐plan participation before finalization and implementation of development programmes and priorities. 
  • Participation during implementation and evaluation of development programmes and project. 
  • Participation and sharing the benefits of development, managing the assets etc. 
  • e‐Platform and crowd sourcing are coming up as new modes of obtaining feedback speedily. 

Taking into account the interest, attitude and behaviour of the people, role of urban development professionals and obligations of local authority, a system of participatory plan approach has been suggested. 

The suggested indirect participation of the people is ensured through elected representatives in the Municipal Council / Corporation and Ward committees. The direct participation can be through individuals, citizens, neighbourhood, business, consumer and other such groups. There are several mechanisms and avenues for people’s participation available today, few of these have been presented below. Such mechanisms and avenues can be used to bring wider and more interactive participation of public in planning and developmental process.

Participatory planning approach

1) Community Design Characteristics 

It is a multiple day interactive meetings, workshops and site walks/visits that fosters diverse and community sourced ideas. 

2) Advisory Committees 

Committees made up of representatives guide planning efforts over an extended period of time while regularly meeting during the planning process. 

3) Low cost Demonstrations and Transformations 

Use of blocks and day to day objects to create a low cost model of proposals for visual understanding. Relatively inexpensive temporary transformations are made to test the project and experience changes.

4) Focus Groups 

Allow small groups of stakeholders to provide their knowledge of a project area and discuss their concerns and issues with local authority staff, planning consultants etc. 

5) Other 

Citizens report card, participatory mapping and participatory budgeting etc. 

People can make contributions to the planning process at the implementation stage only if they are presented with a well-articulated and feasible framework of approaches, objectives, alternatives, etc. The participation of the people in local development programme provides the best guarantee that adequate action will be taken in the area itself. Public participation also creates an awareness of the problem and possible solutions among the people and thereby equip them as citizens to exercise choices relevant to development in a rational manner. When such a participation is institutionalized a stable base is created for decentralized exercise of power both on territorial as well as functional bases. 

People's participation has acquired greater significance in a country like ours which is striving hard since independence to bring an overall socio-economic change through democratic  processes. Community development and Panchayati Raj were aimed at securing people's participation in the planning and execution of the programme as a vital aspect of community development. To expand the democratic basis of development policies and administrative actions public cooperation has assumed great significance. Public cooperation is sought in almost each phase of governance and the entire multifaceted development of the people m the various fields, viz., social, economic, educational, cultural and moral. Involvement and sharing of the people in the process of development, particularly m decision making, planning and implementation is in the interest of good government and good administration. 
In a democratic society participation gives the ordinary citizen a means of voicing his opinion and of showing by his behaviour and action that he is able to take on responsibilities. It gives the ordinary citizen a chance to show his willingness to carry out constructive public work and to demonstrate his good citizenship by other means than periodically exercising his right to vote. Participation involves a factor of determination on the part of the person participating. It is in the sense participation means self-motion. People's participation or involvement can be better understood in four senses: 
  • Participation in decision making 
  • Participation m implementation of development programme and projects 
  • Participation m monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects 
  • Participation in sharing the benefits of development principles 
Public participation is the involvement of people in the creation and management of their built and natural environments. Its strength is that it cuts across tradition professional boundaries and cultures. The activity of community participation is based on the principle that the built and natural environments work better if citizens are active and involved in its creation and management instead of being treated as passive consumers. The main purposes of participation are; 
  • To involve citizens in planning and design decision making processes and, as a result, make it more likely they will work within established systems when seeking solutions to problems 
  • To provide citizens with a voice in planning and decision making in order to improve plans, decisions, service delivery and overall quality of the environment 
  • To promote a sense of community by bringing together people who share common goals 
Participation should be active and directed, those who become involved should experience a sense of achievement. Traditional planning procedures should be re-examined to ensure that participation achieves more than a simple affirmation of the designers or planners intentions.


Implementation Of Master Plan

Implementation of plan proposals has direct implications on urban growth and development. For this, a vibrant, robust and coordinated network of institutions and information system is essential for full utilization of available financial and other resources judiciously. Besides, a set of tools are needed to implement plan properly. These tools include legal protection of plan, regulatory measures of land use controls, i.e., land and zoning regulations, building regulations etc., controls on development activities and capital enhancement programmes. Other subordinate tools like tax policy, township policy, land acquisition, institutional reorganization, incentives for public-private partnerships etc. must be attuned to the goals and objectives of the master plan.

Further, the plan constantly need its translation into socio-economic and investment programmes. However, spatio-temporal variations in availability of planning tools and their limitations should be recognized during preparation of plan to ensure its successful implementation. For instance, land use zoning or compulsory purchase of land may well exist on paper or in legislation but are not effective in practice. Such exercise enhances effectiveness of master plans and their implementation on ground level. 

The execution of master plan is carried out either by municipality or corporation. For execution a team of experts in Engineering, Architecture, Public health, Sociology, Economics, Finance etc. headed by a Town Planner is required. After the master plan is accepted and approved by the concerned authority, the steps to be taken will be 

  1. To fix the broad policies in connection with various proposals. 
  2. To prepare the list of the urgent works according to their priorities. 
  3. To prepare the detailed estimates of work of top priority. 
  4. To prepare a financial programme. 

It takes many years to complete the works contemplated in the master plan. The cost is also very high amount. So the expenditure will have to be distributed over several years. Moreover, several modifications will have to be made as such no final estimate is made in the initial stage. The most important part of master plan is the reservation of land for road system, open spaces, and public amenities, which cannot be provided for at a later date. Once it is finalized, no building should be allowed to construct which will upset the street system. 

Following inputs from preceding stages and prevailing statutes, a seamless plan implementation schedule must be prepared for development plan. It should contain roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, resource mobilization framework and phase‐wise implementation schedule for planned project activities. The key aspects to be covered in the Implementation framework should be in line with aims, objectives and prioritized projects and schemes. Implementation framework may include the following: 

  • Priorities of projects and research 
  • Phasing of developmental activities 
  • Proposal for land resource mobilization 
  • Investment strategy and promotion 
  • Institutional set‐up 

1) Priorities 

Classify various projects identified as a part of development proposals by priority as under 

  • Essentials (Top priority)
  • Necessary (2nd priority)
  • Acceptable and desirable (3rd priority) 
  • Deferrable (4th priority) 

Projects and research should be identified by phases and implementing agencies (including private and corporate sectors) to be given as per the institutional setup. 

2) Phasing 

Development plan should advisably be in phases of 5 years to coincide with the state five year plans. The targets set for each phase can be assessed as the mid‐term review against the achievements at the end of each phase. For greenfield area phasing could include a ‘zero’ period for approvals, institutional set‐up, initial land pooling and revisiting any strategy. 

3) Proposal for Land Resource Mobilization 

Implementation mechanism detailing approaches for land polling and development in lines with the suggested mechanism in the state perspective plan. 

4) Investment Strategy 

Proposals for fiscal resource mobilization including: 

  • Internal revenue 
  • Grants and aids 
  • Institutional finance 
  • Market borrowing 
  • Private sector finance 

5) Institutional Setup 

 To clearly provide Stakeholders’ role and responsibility and organisation chart.


Sector Plan

A sector plan consists of a group of neighborhoods where it is possible to provide higher order facilities for larger population. 

Contents of a Sector Plan 

  • It is a detailed site plan with broad identification of residential clusters 
  • Allocation of commercial areas and other facilities based on access requirement 
  • Formation of a boundary depending on circulation pattern and administrative setup 
  • Social and physical infrastructure to be allocated based on development control norms laid down in master plan 
  • Traffic links to be identified between arterials and collector roads 

Functions of a Sector Plan 

  • Each sector plan has to identify the various neighborhoods with population ranging from 3500-15000 
  • It is the lowest level plan for the implementation of the various levels of planning proposals extensively detailed out


Local Area Plan

A local area plan (lap) sets out a strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of a specific area within a local authority and for a timescale as specified by the authority.

Contents of a Local Area Plan 

  • Land use zoning & density 
  • Public open space 
  • Private open space 
  • Car parking 
  • Provision of infrastructure 
  • Conservation of built heritage 
  • Conservation of natural environment 
  • Provision of traveler accommodation 
  • Community facilities 
  • Design and development standards

Functions of a Local Area Plan 

  • A local area plans gives plot level detail 
  • It is also used to check if the master plan is confirming with land


Zonal Development Plan (ZDP)

Zonal development plans are the next level hierarchical policy plans after the master plans which detail out the broad objectives of the master plan at comparatively smaller regions while incorporating the guidelines and proposals by the master plan without deviating far from the primary goal of development set by master plan. Unlike master plans here these zonal plans are prepared for shorter terms with more focus on detailing. 

The Zonal Development Plan details out the policy of the master plan and acts as a link between the layout and the master plan. Indian master plan approach was fundamentally guided by the British town planning legislation. And further integrating the western concept of 'zoning' into the master planning lead to the preparation of new lower hierarchy development plans called 'zonal development plan' handling more comprehensive and more focused objectives derived from the master plan. 

As the city is in its initial stage of growth there is urban agglomeration taking place into the city which usually derived due to one or a few unique characteristics spreading almost homogeneous throughout the city. But as the city keeps growing bigger, there are different new characteristics brushed without the prior knowledge on different parts of the city holding huge population. This arises new problems with solutions generally out of the scope of the single character oriented Master plans which treats the whole city equal and develops the regulations based on the common or prominent character of the city with major aspects in detail. Also it is impossible to advocate these changes into the master plan due to its long term visionary approach. 

At this point the Authorities have come up with such inspiring solution of preparation of separate development plans for different smaller regions called zones which are divided based on the broad prevailing character of the area. Now, having an opportunity of independent planning for each zone, these zonal development plans put their focus on those sub objectives developed according to the uniqueness of the zones. Coming to the question of legality of the zonal development plans, though both zonal plans and master plans are approved and authorized equally by the State Governments, any changes or amendments are directed only towards the statutory master plan which reflects those changes onto the lower hierarchy plans further. Most development authorities prefer the development of these zonal plans simultaneously with the preparation of the Master plans to provide immediate aid as tool to the Master plan implementation at ground level.

The master plan divides the city into subdivisions or zones. Criteria’s followed are: 

  • Physical and Historical growth 
  • Character of land 
  • Intensity of land use 
  • Circulation pattern (Railways, Major arteries etc. ) 
  • Municipal boundaries, election and census wards 

Contents of a Zonal Plan 

  • Land use plan confirming to the master plan 
  • Location and extent of land uses 
  • More detailed circulation pattern 
  • Special objectives of the zone if any 
  • Allocation of use zones into further use premises 

Functions of a Zonal Plan 

  • A zonal development plan details out and elaborates the policies of the master plan 
  • Acts as a link between the master plan and the layout plans 
  • Contains a land-use plan for the development of the zone and show the approximate locations and extents of land-uses proposed in the zone 
  • The schemes and layout plans indicating use premises should confirm to the master plan 

ZDP to be prepared by the local planning authority may propose or provide for all or any of the following matters. 

  • Laying out or relaying of land either vacant or already built upon as building sites 
  • Construction, diversion, extension, alteration, improvement or closure of lanes, streets, roads and communication 
  • Construction, alteration, removal or demolition of buildings, bridges and other structures 
  • Land acquisition by purchase, exchange or otherwise of any land or other immovable property within the area included in the ZDP whether required immediately or not 
  • Redistribution of boundaries and the reconstitution of existing plots 
  • Disposal by sale, exchange, lease or otherwise of land acquired 
  • Transport facilities, water supply, lighting etc. 
  • Drainage inclusive of sewage and of surface draining and sewage disposal 
  • Allotment or reservation of land for public purposes 
  • Defining, demarcating of the reconstituted plots 
  • Construction of buildings, housing or resettlement of persons displaced by ZDP’s 
  • Demarcation of places or objects and building of archaeological, religious, historical or environmentally sensitive areas 

Contents of Zonal Development Plan 

1) Introduction 

  • A brief introduction to the city comprising its regional setting, functional character growth trends.
  • Development plan / Master plan context 
  • Interdependence of zones on other parts of the city 

2) Site Background and Analysis 

  • Land use distribution and analysis 
  • Population and density 
  • Built‐up area, character, extent and delineation 
  • Transportation: Circulation network, traffic flow (people and goods) and terminal facilities 
  • Physical and social infrastructure 
  • Land ownership 
  • Slope analysis 
  • Micro‐zoning hazard mapping 
  • Green cover: Parks/open spaces, forest, orchards, green belts, etc. 
  • Site potentials and constraints 
  • Security mapping: Specifying relatively safe and unsafe areas, streets etc. 
  • Types of housing subsystems: low cost housing, affordable housing 

3) Conceptual Framework 

  • Planning parameter 
  • Planning concept and hierarchy till community level 
  • Projected requirements 
  • Urban design framework 

4) Proposals and Development Strategy 

  • Land use plan 
  • Proposed circulation system 
  • Proposals for physical infrastructure 
  • Proposals for community facilities 
  • Strategy for new development, redevelopment and improvement 
  • Proposal for integrating and developing urban villages 
  • Proposals for informal sector 
  • Strategy for rehabilitation/regularization of unauthorized colonies 
  • Strategy for maintenance of services 
  • Provision for facilitating physically challenged and disabled in urban development 
  • Proposals regarding vending zones: Transit oriented markets and market streets can be pedestrianized or only NMVs and buses be permitted in vending zones. 

5) Conservation and Improvement of Environment 

  • Conservation and Improvement of land profile 
  • Proposals for conservation and improvement of rivers streams and water‐sheds 
  • Conservation and Improvement of green cover and landscape 
  • Conservation of heritage areas/zones 
  • Energy efficient and environmentally sustainable development 
  • Provision for rainwater harvesting and common infrastructure at LAP level 
  • Integration of proposals regarding air water and noise pollution control 
  • Security mapping: Focusing on provision of appropriate street furniture including lighting, spacing of police booths. Consideration is recommended for providing security for women 

6) Compliance of Government Policies 

  • State Land Utilization Policy 
  • State Perspective Plan and/or State Urbanization Policy 
  • State Urban Housing or Affordable Policy 
  • Township and Integrated Township Policy 
  • Rainwater Harvesting Policy 
  • Energy Policy 
  • Disaster Management Policy 
  • Industrial and Service Sector Investment Policy 
  • Barrier‐free Environment for Physically Disabled 
  • Information Technology Policy 
  • Tourism Policy 
  • Other Policies 

7) Zoning Regulations 

  • Definitions of various use zone premises 
  • Use restrictions (uses permitted, conditionally permitted and uses prohibited) 
  • Proposal for mixed land uses 
  • Strategy for non‐conforming land uses 
  • Strategy for hazard zone and regulations 
  • Proposals for meeting women’s needs: mixed use development with focus on street activities/ TOD/ space for street vendors/encourage areas to be active at various times of day and night 

8) Development Regulations 

  • Building regulations and building bye‐laws 
  • Urban design of major hubs, if required 
  • Architectural Control, if necessary 
  • Specific development controls for heritage areas and other special areas traditional areas as defined by the local authorities if any may be provided 

9) Resource Mobilization and Implementation 

  • Institutional set‐up for Implementation 
  • Physical Infrastructure development cost including annual and 5 year phasing 
  • Resource mobilization for implementation through public private and other sectors 

10) Implementation Framework 

  • Phasing and prioritization of development 
  • Development Management 

11) Annexures

  • Detailed scaled maps of prevailing situation 
  • Detailed scaled maps of existing land use 
  • Detailed scaled maps of proposed land use 
  • Detailed scaled maps of proposed location of infrastructure and social services 
  • Detailed scaled maps of vending zones in the planned local area 
  • Any other proposal necessary for the development of the zone or ward or area


Important Aspects of Preparing Master Plan for a Town

In the beginning, a ‘Master Plan’ is prepared, which identifies the long-range, comprehensive planning by or for a government agency as a foundation for the overall land development policies within specific corporate limits. The master plan deals with the natural city or a town as a whole. It offers a broad, general picture of the projected spatial pattern of the total metropolis. Three aspects of the master plan may be studied, each of which represents a major historical emphasis on city planning. 

1) Land Use Pattern 

Planning for effective use of land within the town/city limits involves decisions regarding: 

  • The various types of utilization that require distinctive subareas. 
  • The percentage of the total occupied space that should be apportioned to each type and the grade of utilization. 
  • The proper location within the city/town of each type of functional area. 

2) Land Utilization 

The master plan or the general plan has to give scope to various categories of land utilization, both public and private. Three major categories of private land use are common stores, factories and residences each may be subdivided further. Factories may be separated into at least two subtypes, Tight’ and ‘heavy.’ Residences may be divided into three subcategories by value low, medium and high and into two or more subcategories according to the intensiveness of utilization. 

Commercial establishments may be divided into subcategories such as wholesale and retail, with the latter further subdivided. In addition, storage and switching facilities may require separate areas in connection with heavy transportation lines. Public land utilization, such as parks, playgrounds and civic centres, also have to be provided for in the city plan. However, the most extensive form of public land utilization streets spread throughout the city is in no need for a separate demarcation of space. 

3) Spatial Locations for Each Category

In determining the spatial location for each category, various types and grades of subareas available in the city are indicated on the master plan map. The planner then considers the following to determine which land has to be allotted to which category. 

  • The kinds of services to be performed within the city. 
  • The ideal locations for stores, factories and residences. 
  • Significant characteristics of the urban site that suits this ideal pattern. 
  • The existing heritage of the past construction that gives the city its present spatial pattern. 
  • The trends of the spatial change that already have started but have not run their full course. 
  • Anticipated effects of any new inventions. 

With these considerations in mind, the planner undertakes to formulate a general map of the most efficient spatial pattern. This plan is usually effected within a time span of 20 to 50 years. The planner has to recommend to appropriate officials such controls and changes as will further the realization of this pattern. The ideal master plan places every category and subcategory in a subarea of a city that 

  • The total cost of moving men and materials from place is minimized 
  • Safety and beauty are maximized 
  • Constructive social contacts are stimulated 

In formulating these proposals, the planner can utilize a generalized description of the ideal spatial pattern of a city or study the various types of city planning recommended by the experts.He needs to make detailed studies of the unique characteristics of each city and to modify the generalized ideal pattern so as to fit the local conditions and needs. For an already existing city/town, the urban planner ordinarily finds that the basic pattern of heavy transportation already has been established. The major system of streets has been laid out and the locations of the central business district and of major secondary commercial centres have been fixed, and that many areas of light and heavy industries have been established. Even though he must begin with this existing pattern and has numerous decisions to make regarding future changes. 

Industrial Location 

Although the planner has the choice to assign industrial locations to various typical positions, such as near the central business district; along the lines of heavy transportation and at breaks in transportation within the city; and at the periphery or in the nearby hinterland, etc., he has to make an effort to place them in the periphery. The planner should also provide a plan for peripheral and hinterland industrial areas, to prevent the loss of property values for the property owners of these areas.

Sometimes, it may so happen that the new industrial areas may generate many more factories, the plan has to provide for the growth of these interdependent industries, which cluster in adjacent sites, so that they can serve one another more effectively and also obtain cheaper and more efficient heavy transportation services. In addition, the urban planner needs to prepare for the expansion or migration of certain industrial areas within the city and also the migration of some industries to the city. Consequently, the planner has to make a detailed study of the factors affecting a particular city before determining the size and location of its industrial areas. 

Commercial Location 

Commercial areas ideally depend for the location and size both on the functions they are expected to perform and on the size and location of the population they will serve. In general, the major shopping goods and luxury goods centre should be planned for the middle or the centre of the city/town. This area normally is expected to expand slowly in the direction of greater population growth. With increase in the widespread automobile transportation, the larger shopping centres or commercial centres can also be located in the peripheral or outlying locations. The planner, however, has to provide for parking facilities and less traffic so that city dwellers may not face the inconvenience. 

Residential Location 

Within the built-up area of the city, some old residential districts will sometimes require extensive reconditioning or complete remodeling. Sometimes, the existing single family areas will need to give way to more intensive types of residential utilization. Sometimes, it may so happen that new residential areas have to be curved out in the peripheral regions or in the suburban areas. 

The general plan or the projected plan when made initially should place areas of multifamily residences close to busy centres of dominance especially the central business district or close to the streets or transportation lines that give ready access to such centres. Smaller areas of intensive utilization may be planned to take advantage of exceptional amenities. Expansion of residential areas into unoccupied land presumably follows the principles of distribution. Under the influence of individual and rapid speed transportation, residences will probably become more decentralized but larger numbers of peripheral communities will grow. 

City Beautification 

City beautification, which was emphasized to a very great extent in the ancient and medieval ages, has taken a backstage in recent years. Nevertheless, it deserves careful consideration by the urban planner. One major aspect of beautification, which claims the attention of many planners, involves the design and erection of an imposing civic centre. The planned civic centre counteracts the random erection of public buildings in scattered locations among other structures. When visitors visit this city, they will gain a more favourable impression of the metropolis and local residents will develop a greater civic pride if public buildings such as the corporation, public library and museum are grouped together in a beautiful civic centre. 

Other types of civic beautification projects involved in master planning include the selection of large and small parks to preserve exceptional beauty spots and make them available to the public and the designing and planting of parkways and residential streets so as to enhance their beauty. 

Buildings : Old and New 

The city/town consists of buildings that vary in age and condition. Cities require old buildings, else it is impossible that vigorous streets and commercial centres grow in them because if the cities consist of only new buildings, the enterprises that can exist there are automatically limited to those that can support the high costs of new construction. For example, well financed supermarkets, chain restaurants and banks, which are capable of paying high costs, use these buildings. But in a city, there are some small investors and shopkeepers, who cannot pay high costs; to cater to such people, old buildings are a must in a city. It is the same with respect to residential places also some people who can afford new buildings will reside in these buildings, some others prefer to reside in old buildings. 

The only harm of aged buildings is the harm that eventually comes of nothing but old age. In some cities/towns, some of the older buildings, year by year, are reconstructed or renovated. Over the years, therefore, there will be a mixture of buildings of many ages and types. With the passage of time, high building costs or new buildings of one generation become bargains or old buildings of the next generation. The colonies built up all at once usually change little physically over the years. But after many years, almost all the buildings in these colonies become old and dilapidated. 

Slum Clearance 

Many cities contain extensive areas of closely packed deteriorated dwellings, often called slums. To make the city more beautiful, the local authorities have to undertake to raze a few blocks of slum dwellings and to build new residences. At such times, city planning officials may be asked to study the local area and to make recommendations about its spatial layout. If a slum clearance project is to cover only one of several deteriorated sections of a city, the planner may first be asked to make recommendations as to which specific locality should be rebuilt. In carrying out this preliminary task, he starts with some estimate of land space that will be needed and proceeds to select one or more areas of that size. In deciding which area to recommend for reconstruction, he collects the data covering such points as follows. 

  • The number of structures unfit for human use. 
  • The number of dwelling units lacking adequate lighting. 
  • Delinquency rates. 
  • Income to the city from taxes as compared with the costs of expenditure on the police and health services. 

The planner should also take into account the location of various deteriorated areas as related to the anticipated changes in the total spatial pattern of the city. He then recommends for rebuilding only such areas as will be needed for residential utilization throughout the normal life of the proposed new dwellings. The planner then presents all these data to the officials.Based on all these data, the officials then select a slum area for clearance. The planner then has to prepare a map showing the recommended pattern of land utilization. He has to estimate the amount of space needed by store, shops, schools and playgrounds. He should also decide on the preferred locations for each type of utilization. 

He has to then recommend on how much of land has be utilized for residential purposes and also indicate the size and location of individual structures on a map. Usually on an in lying slum clearance area, the structures rebuilt are aimed at multifamily, low cost residences, generally fewer in number and higher in grade than those replaced. If a considerable slum area is cleared at one time, the planner can ignore the previous pattern of streets and can shape the area almost as if he were beginning with vacant land. Ideally, he places heavy traffic streets only among the edges of a neighbourhood and uses narrow, curved secondary streets to divide the neighbourhood into large residential super blocks, and provide necessary access to and from homes. These features of local street plans for slum clearance areas are much like those characteristics of the peripheral preplanned communities. 

Streets and Transportation Facilities 

The planning of streets and transportation facilities relates so intimately to the spatial structure of the city that the two cannot be separated. The major function of urban transportation is that of connecting one area with another so that men and materials can move with greater safety and less cost. Sometimes, some specific projects may create problems for transportation. Thus, a multiplicity of transportation and communication facilities confronts the city planner. Some facilities link the city with the hinterland and some others link with other cities, towns and villages. 

City planning has to deal with the routes of heavy transportation and location of terminal facilities and other problems that involve street use. It should also take into consideration the congestion and danger created by the large volume and potentially high speed of urban street traffic. Three aspects have to be considered while planning the streets, traffic counts and calculation of street requirements, elimination of bottlenecks and dangerous intersections, and special high-speed expressways and bypass routes. 

Traffic Counts and Major Street Pattern 

Sound planning of the major street system requires for the quantitative determination of needs. To determine these needs, the traffic engineers count the number of vehicles using each major street at different hours of the day and on various days of the week. Such traffic counts measure the total volume of traffic and the size and hours of peak loads. Sometimes, the engineers have to survey the origin and destination of the traffic to determine how much traffic can conveniently be diverted from the more congested streets to alternate routes. Using such data, engineers calculate the number and width of streets needed and make recommendations for new construction or for changes in the existing streets. 

Elimination of Bottlenecks and Dangerous Intersections 

One best method of lessening the traffic congestion on certain streets is the elimination of bottlenecks. If, throughout most of its length, a busy road is broad enough to handle the ordinary volume of traffic, then there will not be any problem of congestion. But at any point on the road, there is a narrow street or a bridge, it interferes in the ordinary movement of the traffic. The planner usually recommends the widening of such narrow places. 

Sometimes, if the bottleneck results from on street parking, the planner has to recommend the elimination of the practice or he may introduce a system of ‘one-way’ traffic streets. If peak loads result in congestion during morning and evening hours, and if the highway has four or more traffic lanes, the planner may recommend the use of movable directional signs so placed as to permit a greater number of lanes to be used in the direction of heavier traffic. 

Another major problem is traffic intersection or traffic caused due to intersecting streets. Collision and injuries are common at such places, which can be greatly reduced by overpasses and underpasses. These can eliminate cross traffic. At times, the planners can work out a system that provides for entrances and exits to facilitate the movement between cross streets or intersecting streets. 

The planners can provide for two special categories of highways to manage the traffic – high speed expressways and bypass routes. The former should ordinarily extend from the city centre outward through less populous areas into the hinterland. Such expressways can be entered only at designated points, with entrance and exit lanes especially designed to lessen the danger and to minimize interference with speeding traffic. The second highway should provide for slow traffic. These routes should lead through traffic around rather than through areas of congestion. Thus, planners can recommend a number of methods to overcome bottlenecks including the barriers caused due to pedestrian traffic.


Delhi Master Plan 2021 by Delhi Development Authority (DDA or MPD 2021)

Delhi master plan tries to address numerous problems which are faced by residents in the city and provide policies to solve these problems. Study of master plan of Delhi is also important as it acts as guideline for various other cities and is one of the most comprehensive master plans. It remains one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world. Therefore it becomes important to look at the state of urban planning in the city and to constantly evolve and evaluate the strategies for managing its growth and development. The master plan for Delhi is supposed to be the main policy document for this purpose, a legally enforceable text which lays down the planning strategies and development controls applicable to the city. 

Delhi is the capital city of India and home to a population of almost 16 million people. It remains part of the largest urban agglomerations in the world. This large population makes planning of immense importance for providing good quality of life to its citizens. The history of planning in Delhi is centuries old much before India got independence and after independence the planning has been done by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which prepared master plans for planned growth of the city. Master plan for year 1962, 2001 and 2021 has been made till now with increase in Urbanized Land and improvement in successive plan and aims at developing Delhi into a world class city. 

Master plan has been prepared while keeping in mind the larger context i.e. National Capital Region for integrated growth of the city with surrounding area. Master plan gives detailed information in form of various chapters such as shelter, transportation, industry, trade and commerce, land use, development code etc. these chapters gives well defined hierarchy, sizes & regulations for various facilities which needs to be provided. Various lower order plans like zonal plan, sub zonal plans, layout plans are made on the basis of policies provided in the master plan. The National Capital Region of Delhi is the 6th largest urban area in the world with a population of about 16 million people. Cities of such huge magnitude, having a population of over 10 million, are in fact now classified as ‘Mega Cities’.

                                                              Delhi master plan regions

But with the growth of such large urban areas also comes the problem of managing them well to ensure good quality of life for the residents. The existence of such large numbers of people densely packed into compact regions leads to ever increasing burdens on the resources available in the cities. Housing, waste management, slums, transportation, have emerged as some of the most pressing problems in urban areas along with the overall issue of effective utilization of land. It is in dealing with such problems that urban planning comes to the fore, in order to provide a comprehensive development strategy for the city with a forward looking approach. The city may thus get divided into administrative and uses based zones with separate plans for the same along with an all-encompassing master plan for the city as a whole.

Need of Master and Regional Plan 

Delhi Metropolitan city, the National Capital, has recorded an unprecedented growth during last several decades. In order to save Delhi from population explosion, it is necessary to regulate growth in the areas around it. The decennial growth rate has been as high as 90% during 1941-1951 and over 50% since 1951-1961 to 1981-1991. The explosive rate of growth in its population has been a cause of serious concerns to the govt. and all the concerned city authorities. The need for Regional approach to planning was felt as early as in 1959 when the draft master plan for Delhi was prepared. A statutory organization called “National Capital Region Planning Board” was set up in March 1985 to plan and promote the balanced and harmonious development of the region. 
The population increase has heavily strained the infrastructural facilities and its resources. Therefore it was felt necessary to invest in selected settlements outside the metropolis at appropriate distance and also, in impulse sectors to relieve Delhi from its present avoidable pressures. In the regional context, it is necessary to adopt a ‘poly-nodal’ model than a ‘mononodal’ model one.  

Delhi Master Plan Model 

Comprehensive planning model for the city to achieve balanced growth and built environment. Comprehensiveness in city planning refers primarily to an awareness that the city i.e. a system of interrelated social and economic variables extending over space. 
  • Geddesian triangle model of land use integration in terms of folk, work and place 
  • Integrated in time with reference to having a plan period 
  • Planning having a multi-disciplinary nature covering social and economic aspects
                                                               Delhi master plan 2021 

Conclusions over Delhi Master Plan 2021 

MPD 2021 provides scope for vast development within Delhi through the new land policy involving private participation. The Delhi Master Plan 2021 along with inviting private participation through opportunity for large scale development in Delhi, lays down norms to check unplanned growth and violations by developer entities. Though the land pooling model proposed by MPD 2021 brings in a remarkable change in the way private participation is perceived in the context of Delhi; it can be expected to impact the cost of new housing units. It will be interesting to witness the various parameters of land sharing, infrastructure provisions, mandatory EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) and LIG (Low Income Group) housing provision and premium factor for being located in Delhi impacting the pricing of the MIG (Middle Income Group) and HIG (High Income Group) housing segment. Market participants have been provided with good opportunities. However, the implication of different facets of regulatory and realty market characteristics / occurrences captured in this white paper will need to be analysed further to make an informed decision for benefiting from each opportunity.