Main Functions of a New Town

Towns and villages differ from each other where their functions are concerned. Villages are mainly associated with production related to agricultural activities. The surplus is used by the villages in exchange for other commodities, which they themselves do not produce, from other villages or towns. The village, accessible to all others, generally becomes the focal point for exchange of commodities. This village generally develops into a town. Once a town comes up, it acquires one or more of the functions depending on a number of factors. 

1) Processing 

Processing is one of the most basic functions of a town and involves processing of agricultural products, for instance, wheat into wheat flour and oil seeds into oil. The most easily accessible village generally becomes the processing centre. This may have been the reason for the emergence of the earliest towns. 

2) Trade 

After processing, the next level of towns are associated with trade. The towns act as the centres for exchange of processed items or manufactured goods between two or more places. These markets may operate on a daily or weekly basis. Weekly markets are a common feature throughout India. These centres may also specialize in one or more items such as fruits and vegetables, cattle and food grains. 

3) Wholesale Trade in Agricultural Products 

Towns engaging in wholesale trade in agricultural products for the next high level in functional pattern of towns. Transport facility is a crucial factor in such towns. These towns generally fulfill processing functions also. Later, they may develop manufacturing and other services also. They are generally small in size and dispersed, often specializing in one commodity or the other. For instance, Hapur is a wholesale centre for food-grains, Ahmedabad and Tiruppur for cotton, Sangli and Erode for turmeric, Bangalore for silk and Guntur for tobacco. 

4) Services 

In towns, services like education, health, administration and communication, not adequately available in villages, are well developed. Of all these functions, administration is the most important one. A town may be the headquarters of a panchayat union, a state cooperative or a district. Administrative towns also have law courts, police stations, government departments associated with developmental works, etc. Chandigarh is a good example of an administrative town. 

5) Manufacturing and Mining 

Such activities give rise to large towns because manufacturing and mining activities generate large scale employment and give rise to other useful economic activities like trade, services, transport, ancillary industry etc. These activities attract large scale migrations from adjoining regions. Jamshedpur came up around the Tata Iron and Steel Works while Raniganj and Kolar are examples of towns which have come up around mining activities. 

6) Transport 

Transport is a basic necessity for all types of economic activities and for the evolution and further expansion of a town. Many of the towns, therefore, have come up around railway stations or port towns. Railway stations act as the centres for change from road to rail traffic and vice versa and for purposes of trans-shipment, collection, sorting and despatch. Jolarpettai in south India is a good example of a town which has come up at a railway junction. Similarly, the ports act as the centres for change from road or rail to sea traffic. Ports may also develop manufacturing and administrative functions. Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Kandla, Paradip etc., are examples of towns which have come up around ports. 

7) Pilgrimage/Tourism 

Pilgrimage is an important activity associated with travelling and lodging. Thus, at such places transport and lodging facilities also come up. The towns adapt themselves to support a large floating population. Tirupati, Hardiwar, Varanasi, Rameshwaram are some examples of pilgrimage centres while Shimla, Darjeeling, Udagamandalam (Ooty) are some examples of tourist centres.

8) Residential 

Towns with residential functions often come up around big cities where land prices are lower, basic services are cheaper and fast transport links with the main city are available. Sonepat, Faridabad and Gaziabad are examples of such towns around Delhi. These towns have also developed manufacturing functions in recent times. Generally, a town has more than one function, but one or two of these dominate. The functions of a town depend on its location, its infrastructural facilities, and historical and economic factors. The dominant function may be identified on the basis of number of persons involved in that particular activity. 


Developing New Towns

For developing new small towns, it is important to know the possible line of selection of the various socio-economic components. Following important components should be give due consideration. 

i) Demographic Factors 

Growth rate and the size of settlement must be taken as an important factor, because over a period of time the population would increase and would promise the effective developmental possibilities of a small settlement into a future new town.

ii) Occupational Structural Pattern 

This needs a check-up of census figures for knowing the occupational pattern of the already existing villages for various economic activities. The check-up would tell the occupational engagement of manpower in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. The ideal occupational pattern would be about 60% in the primary and 40% in the combined secondary and tertiary sectors. 

iii) Locational Proximity 

The developing new towns should have two functional spatial dimensions; first of all, it should have resource base and second, it should be in proximity to the urbanized industrial centres. This later approximation in spatial location would accelerate a rapid rate of socio-economic development. 

iv) Nodal Location 

The nodal points with better transport linkage offer good opportunity for the development of a node as an important nuclei. Its transport links with adjoining areas offer several opportunities of growth. Thus, it can be rightly pointed out that, transport development is an imperative necessity because, the links of small towns with rural settlements and cities would create more employment possibilities. 

v) Power Supply and Provision of Water 

In the sixth plan, there is a programme of industrialization for decentralized electric power generation. This will open immense possibilities which would develop industrialization in the rural areas. The provision of water supply for industries, is another factor for the development of settlements. There must be protected water supply for the growth of a settlement. 

vi) Agro-Industrial Development and Employment Prospects 

The economic control of the small towns with agro-industrial base has to be identified in the prosperous agricultural areas, it will generate employment prospects and thus, rural migration to urban areas can be minimized. 

The concept of new towns has become acceptable to many on the following considerations.

i) New towns are to provide manpower for new industrial growth outside the main concentration of population. 

ii) New towns are the instrument to relieve congestion in the overcrowded urban centres. 

iii) It is to provide an urban centre for a rural population and to solve rural unemployment. 

iv) New towns are the ready-made media to populate underdeveloped areas. 

v) Finally making of new towns provide a new capital city and extra urban growth to be at par with development. 


Designing a New Town

A new town built on land strongly controlled under unified public or semi public ownership, should be distinguished by combination of town and country life style and of environment, an uninterrupted greenbelt encircling and intersecting the town. A planned urban community that combines residential, commercial and recreational areas. Due to increasing population, we provide new town for reducing the burden of the city. Designing a new town for self-sufficient and providing housing, commercial, basic facilities and recreational area . 

New towns are playing in the economic development of the countries they are emerging in, it is clear that economic motives are the dominant factor behind most new town initiatives. The present new towns are populated by the middle and upper classes, while the lower income groups live in the old city or in self organized cities and slums.

The New Town Movement 

The new town movement refers to towns that were built after World War II and that have been purposefully planned, developed and built as a remedy to overcrowding and congestion in some instances and to scattered and settlements in others. The main reason for it was to decongest larger industrialized cities, rehousing people in freshly built, new and fully planned towns that were completely self-sufficient and provided for the community. 
Records exist of plans for new towns back as far as the ancient Egyptians. Most of the “planned towns” in history were based on providing for military, trade or harbor needs. The idea of planning a city for the needs of the people who would live there didn’t crystallize until the end of the 19th century when Sir Ebenezer Howard, first suggested a series of “garden cities” north of London. However, it was another 50 years, at the end of World War II, when these garden cities really began to flourish. 
The world was moving into a new era of rapid urbanization. The problems of pollution, traffic congestion and the impersonalized isolation of urban sprawl were growing. The concept of creating new towns spread across Europe with the creation of planned communities to deal with these problems. These “new towns” sought to plan in advance the design and growth of cities. Some of the key features were: 
  • Pedestrian friendly walkways separated from vehicle traffic to promote the safe movement of people between neighborhoods, schools and shopping 
  • Architecturally innovative housing 
  • Community owned land to create activity areas and a sense of openness 
  • Community works of art 
  • Close proximity of commercial and industrial parks for people to live close to where they work 
  • A development philosophy to respect the land 

Need For New Towns 

Developing new towns for various purposes, such as, to exploit natural resources, to provide raw material to industries, to serve nuclei and act as catalytic agents for stimulating economic growth in backward areas, for administration and for special purposes. Although in most cases new towns are expensive to build and they take several years to develop fully, still they offer several benefits. Building of new towns does not mean that, we should stop the growth of major cities. Major cities develop, but new towns reduce the rate of growth of metropolitan cities. In this regard it is necessary to prepare national and state physical plans. The national physical plan should be the physical and ecological guide of the policies, programmes and strategies relating to population changes and distribution. 

Process of Planning and Designing a New Town

Planning is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal. The process of planning includes the determination of objectives and outlining the future actions that are needed to achieve these objectives. Various steps that are followed in the process of planning are:

1) Identifying the problem 

It involves the identification of the aim for the fulfillment of which the plan is being formulated. If a new plan is require or the modification of an existing plan could help in achieving these aims. 

2) Gathering information about the activities involved 

An effective plan needs complete knowledge of the activities involved and their effect on other external and internal activities. 

3) Analysis of information 

This information is then analyzed minutely and the information related with similar subjects is classified so that similar type of data can be kept together. 

4) Determining alternate plans 

There are alternate plans available for the achievement of the objectives and ingenuity and creativeness are required as some plans are also developed at this stage. 

5) Selecting the plan 

At this stage the plan which is acceptable to the operating personnel is proposed. The adaptability and the cost of the plan are also taken into consideration. 

6) Detailed sequence and timing 

Detailed like who will perform which activity under the plan and the time within which the plan should be carried out is determining in this step. 

7) Progress check of the plan 

The provisions are made for the follow up of the plan as the success of any plan can be measured by the results only. 

8) Implementation 

Implementation is the carrying out, execution, or practice of a plan, a method or any design, idea, model, specification, standard or policy for doing something. As such, implementation is the action that must follow any preliminary thinking in order for something to actually happen. 

9) Monitor and Control 

Managers must continually monitor the actual performance of their work units against the unit’s goals and plans. Manager’s also need to develop control systems to measure that performance and allow them to take corrective action when the plans are implemented improperly or when the situation changes.


Concept of New Towns

World civilization is growing and cities are expanding to their outer city limit which leads to an urban sprawl and the formation of suburbs. Specialized city suburbs have been developed over time which eventually separates the inhabitant’s social connection from the main city center. As a result, the city has exceeded its outer boundaries and leaves limited space for further urban development. When population and housing demands increased, government authorities, sought out for new and other options; the development of new towns. 

New town, a form of urban planning designed to relocate populations away from large cities by grouping homes, hospitals, industry and cultural, recreational, and shopping centres to form entirely new, relatively autonomous communities. The first new towns were proposed in Great Britain in the New Towns Act of 1946; between 1947 and 1950, 12 were designated in England and Wales and 2 in Scotland, each with its own development corporation financed by the government. The new towns were located in relatively undeveloped sites. Each was to have an admixture of population so as to give it a balanced social life. 

A new town is a new settlement built on either rural land transformed to urban land use or on new reclaimed land. The objective of developing new towns is to become a self-sufficient town. New towns seem to be the answer to the urban sprawl and suburban dilemma where there are low economic job opportunities creating a high percentage of commuting. This however becomes a mutual problem for new towns as they evolve making them dependent on neighboring towns and cities for employment and various types of social services. Another issue that new towns have to deal with is the identity crisis which links to its lack of history. This therefore leads people to the misconception of new towns as suburbs.

A more consistent definition of a new town is best described by the International New Town Institute as (INTI) human settlements that were founded at a certain moment in history by an explicit act of will, according to a preceding plan and aiming to survive as a self-sustaining local community and independent local government, able to play a role in the ongoing development of the region in which the new town is located. 

A new town has been interpreted as a relocation of housing for overpopulated cities or a safe suburban living area for the middle class family. A new town is not an extension of an existing town or city. It is a blueprint plan of a new settlement before it was built. New towns were also characterized as a new concept of lifestyle: ‘living in a green and healthy environment’ after much destruction to existing cities and towns during World War II. New Towns became the answer to divert over populated and congested cities to a new location of a new town. The development of new towns has served as relocation for the over spill of existing cities. It should not be forgotten that new towns also exploits rural land that may have served for other land use developments such as for farmland or nature and recreation area.


Metro Region Concept

A metropolitan area (metropolis) is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure and housing. A metro area usually comprises multiple jurisdictions and municipalities, neighborhoods, townships, boroughs, cities, towns, exurbs, suburbs, counties, districts, states and even nations. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions. Metropolitan areas include satellite cities, towns and intervening rural areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban core, typically measured by commuting patterns. 

At first, the ‘metropolitan district’ was used in 1910 in the Census of Population carrying a central city of 50,000 or more population and all adjacent minor civil divisions having a population density of 150 or more persons per square mile. By 1940, the concept of the metropolitan district had lost favour because the possibilities of correlating local data with district data were limited. 

Besides this, the metropolitan district did not truly represent social and economic integration with the central city. Therefore, a new areal unit, the standard metropolitan area, came into vogue in 1949. It was defined as made up of counties instead of minor civil divisions. It was succeeded by the ‘Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area’ (SMSA).It is defined below as it existed in 1970. 

A contiguous county will be included in an SMSA if: 

(a) At least 75% of the resident labour force in the county is in non-agricultural labour sector 

(b) At least 30% of the employed workers living in the county work in the central county or counties of the area. 

A contiguous county which does not meet the foregoing requirements will be included in an SMSA if at least 75% of the resident labour force is non-agricultural and meets two of the following additional criteria of metropolitan character and one of the following criteria of integration. 

(i) Criteria of Metropolitan Character 

(a) At least 25% of the population is urban. 

(b) The county had an increase of at least 15% in total population during the period covered by the most recent two censuses. 

(c) The county has a population density of at least 50 persons per square mile. 

(ii) Criteria of Integration 

(a) A least 15% of the employed workers living in the county work in the central county or counties of the area, or 

(b) The number of people working in the county who live in the central county or counties of the area is equal to at least 15 per cent of the employed workers living in the county, or 

(c) The sum of the number of workers commuting to and from the central county or counties is equal to at least 20% of the employed workers living in the county.

As stated above it seems that metropolis is primarily a demographic concept. But this may be emphasized once again that metropolis is much more than an agglomeration. It possesses distinct character and functions which are not likely to be found either in agglomeration or in conurbation. In metropolitan cities each function has benefited from the conditions which brought about the other functions and has found reasons for developing there itself. 

There the powers of attraction make them bigger and bigger, and consequently enormity of their size increases their power of attraction. This is happening in Mumbai which has grown tremendously during 1901-1991 by 1000 times. Mumbai has simultaneously an international port, one of the biggest commercial marts, an important industrial node of the country and a cosmopolitan centre. After analyzing the conditions of this development, it may be observed that out of 300 cities with population over one million in the world (1991), more than 50% are sea ports. In reality, ports possess immense potentials to concentrate functions, because, on the one hand, they are by definition commercial places, and on the other, they attract manufacturing industries by the materials of all sorts which they receive from various parts of the country. 

Even in the days of the ancient Mediterranean civilizations, and also, during the colonial times, the great commercial connections were then maritime links with the metropolis. The eastern and western sides of the Atlantic in Europe and America therefore, have great ports. Metropolitan cities acquire a sort of permanence and remain evergreen over time.

Metropolitan Cities in India 

The Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 defines a metropolitan area in India as, an area having a population of ten lakhs or more, comprised in one or more districts and consisting of two or more municipalities or panchayats or other contiguous areas, specified by the Governor by public notification to be a Metropolitan area. 

In India, the Census Commission defines a metropolitan city as one having a population of over four million. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat and Nashik are those Indian cities that have over 4 million people. For these million plus cities the Census definition of an urban agglomeration requires that it should be a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining urban growths or two or more physically contiguous towns together with adjoining outgrowths. 

There are 53 urban agglomerations in India with a population of 1 million or more as of 2011 against 35 in 2001. As per the preliminary results of the Census 2011, released by the Registrar General of India, Greater Mumbai with a population of 18,414,288 continues to be India’s biggest city, followed by Delhi - 16,314,838 and Kolkata- 14,112,536. These three cities are India’s mega-cities with 10 million plus population. But, when we consider Urban Agglomeration as an extended city comprising built up area of central core and any suburbs linked by continuous urban area, we have a change at the top. Delhi NCR, with the inclusion of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad becomes the No.1 urban agglomeration with a population of 21,753,486, ahead of 20,748,395. 

As of 2011 census of India, there are 46 metropolitan cities in India and the top ten are, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat and Visakhapatnam.


Subdivision Practice in Town Planning

Subdivision and site design standards are used by communities to regulate how parcels of land are divided into developable lots, and how those lots are subsequently designed and laid out through the development process. Subdivision typically includes the creation of a sketch plan (showing basic lot layout and provisions for public infrastructure), and subsequent creation of a more detailed preliminary plat (indicating building footprints and specific measurements), and then culminating in a final plat that creates the new lots. Abbreviated procedures are typically established for minor subdivisions that involve the creation of just a handful of lots. 

Site design standards are related and define the basic parameters for development on individual lots, including maximum or minimum lot size, how buildings are situated on a lot, traffic and circulation patterns, pedestrian connectivity, preservation of open areas, and avoidance of hazardous areas. 

Communities increasingly consider hazard mitigation when adopting site layout standards. For example, applicants are required to avoid mapped hazard areas (like floodplains) in new development or to develop strategies to mitigate the hazard risk. In terms of hazard mitigation, the primary benefit of adopting effective subdivision and site design standards is to ensure that new development occurs in a high quality, well designed manner that avoids potential high hazard areas, in addition to meeting other important community goals. Other benefits include: 

  • Effective at managing new development in growing communities. Clearly defining hazard areas allows elected officials to say no to new development in unsafe areas. 
  • Provides additional protection for defined hazard areas without negotiation on a case by case basis. Approval criteria can be stated in the code, making expectations clear to the developer and the decision makers. 
  • Can be tailored to fit a common set of review procedures. Adding natural hazards as a component of existing subdivision regulations can be done relatively easily through an ordinance amendment. 
  • Relatively easy to maintain over time, following initial adoption.

Subdivision of Land 

Earlier in every city much land is either vacant or inefficiently used – speculative prospect. Various methods have been proposed to emphasize taxation on land. Necessity for regulations over the subdivision of urban land was urgent, since use and development of land constitute a right best owed by the community upon the individual and this right may be withdrawn if he violates the conditions. A piece of land divided into more than 8 parcels, each of which is to be sold separately is called Layout, whereas less than or equal to 8 divisions is called a subdivision of land. 
To the land developer the subdividing of land is primarily a matter of profit. To the community, it is a matter of public concern, activities determine quality of living. Many elements in the overall plan are realized at the time the land is developed, highways, streets and alleys, sewer and water lines, power lines, schools, transportation lines, police and fire protection etc. 

Subdivision Procedure 

  • Land is surveyed 
  • Officials records consulted – proposed highway, special easements, right of way etc. 
  • Amenities, cultural and social facilities 
  • Refer Subdivision ordinances
  • Planner or engineer to prepare preliminary plan – include size, shape no of lots, location of streets, radii, drainage, utilities etc. 
  • Estimate is prepared – cost of development 
  • Tentative map is file with local agency – approval obtained else incorporate suggestion made, if any and re-submit

Sub Division Practice 

Local Administration and Social Welfare Department Kerala building rules 1984. In the case of residential development, every plot shall have an average width of not less than 7.5 m and an average depth of not less than 12m. In the case of row housing where side open spaces are not required , plots shall have an average width of not less than 4.5 m and an average depth of not less than 10 m. Area of any newly subdivided, reconstituted or building plots shall not be less than 1.2 Ares (120 sq.m). Every plot shall have a frontage of not less than 6 m on any abutting street. 
According to Rule no 27 of KMBR, for developments including land subdivision and plot development for residential use.- All new developments including land subdivisions and plot developments shall be subject to the following, namely:- 
  1. The area of any newly subdivided plot, reconstituted plot or building plot shall be not less than 125 square meters with an average width of 6.m: provided that for row housing where side open spaces are not required, it is sufficient if the plot has an average width of 4.50 m. 
  2. Every plot shall have a frontage of not less than 4 meters on any abutting street. 
  3. Every street shall have not less than 7.00 meters width and shall be motorable. 
  4. When the area of the land under development work, layout or subdivision is 50 Ares or more, ten percent of the total area shall be provided for recreational open spaces and shall be suitably located to be accessible the residents of the layout. Provided that while considering the area of the land, the area of any contiguous land belonging to the same owner, though not proposed immediate development shall be taken into account. 
  5. The recreational open space to be provided under item (iv) shall have an access as if it were a separate plot and as far as possible it shall be in 1 piece and in no case less than 2 areas in area with a minimum width of 6 m. 
  6. The layout or subdivision proposal shall be in conformity with the provisions of published or sanctioned development plan for the area and if the land is affected by any reservation for a public purpose, the Secretary may agree to adjust its exact location to suit the development but not so as to affect its area. 
  7. The street junctions shall be splayed or rounded off to give sufficient turning radii and sight distance for vehicles and the side if the splay shall be a minimum of 4 meters for roads up to 10 meters and shall be a minimum of 1 meters for roads exceeding 10 meters width. 
  8. In the case of lay out or sub division of land having an area of two hectares or more a suitable plot for an electric transformer shall be provided. 
  9. In the case of development permits, approval of the District Town Planner shall be obtained for land up to 0.5 hectares in area and approval of chief Town Planner shall be obtained for land exceeding that area. 
  10. If the site forms part of approved layout, copy of sub division layout shall be enclosed along with the plans for approval. 
  11. Adequate arrangements for surface water drainage shall be provided.

Residential Plots 

The area of any newly subdivided plot, reconstituted plot or building plot shall be not less than 125 square meters with an average width of 6.00 meters, provided that for row housing where side open spaces are not required, it is sufficient if the plot has an average width of 4.50 meters. Every plot shall have a frontage of not less than 4 meters on any abutting street; every street shall have not less than 7.00 meters width and shall be motorable: Provided that in the case of cul-de-sacs with length not exceeding 250 meters, it is sufficient if the street (cul-de-sac) has not less than 5.00m width and in the case of cul-de-sacs not exceeding 75 meters, it is sufficient if the street (cul-de-sac) has not less than 3.00 meters width. 
According to Rule 29 development including land sub-division and plot development for industrial development.- All new developments including land sub divisions and plot developments shall be subject to the following:- 
  1. The width of every new street, public or private, intended for use as a cart or carriage way giving access to or through an organized industrial area with not less than six constituent units, shall be minimum 10 meters: Provided that in the case of small industrial units or cul-de-sac not exceeding 150 meters length, the minimum road width shall be 7 meters. 
  2. The minimum size of industrial plot abutting street shall be 400 sq. meters in extent with a width of not less than 15 meters: Provided that the minimum plot requirement in item (ii) shall not apply to small industrial units. 
  3. In industrial layouts a place for installation of transformer shall be provided in consultation with the Chief Electrical Inspector or an officer authorized by him. 
  4. The approval of the Chief Town Planner or an officer authorized by him shall be obtained for the layout of industrial streets and land sub-division exceeding five plots. Note:- For the purpose of these rules small industrial unit means an industrial unit classified as such by Government from time to time or an industrial unit not included in Schedule 1 of the Factories Act, 1948. 
  5. The usage of plots proposed for development or redevelopment shall be governed by the provisions contained in the development plan or detailed town planning scheme prepared for the locality. Provided that where no such plan exists, the usage of plots shall be as approved by the Chief Town Planner or an officer authorized by him.



Zoning describes the control by authority of the use of land, and of the buildings thereon. Areas of land are divided by appropriate authorities into zones within which various uses are permitted. Zoning is the process of planning for land use by a locality to allocate certain kinds of structures in certain areas. Zoning also includes restrictions in different zoning areas, such as height of buildings, use of green space, density (number of structures in a certain area), use of lots, and types of businesses. Levels or types of zoning include open space, residential, retail, commercial, agricultural, and industrial. 

Zoning is the application of common sense and fairness to public regulation governing the use of private land. Zoning can be defined as the creation by law of the zones such as residential, commercial, industrial, civic, institutional and recreational in which regulations prevent misuse of lands and buildings and limit their height and densities of population differing in different zones. Zoning sets apart different areas in the town for specific purposes. It prevents encroachment of one zone upon another adjacent to it. While planning a city the area of town can be divided into following zones.

1. Industrial zone 

2. Administrative zone 

3. Business zone 

4. Open space 

5. Residential zone 

    a) Different zone for different height 

    b) Zone for single family 

    c) Zone for two family 

    d) Zone for apartment houses 

6. Recreational zone 

7. Local administrative zone 

8. Agricultural zone 

Objectives of Zoning 

The objects or purposes of zoning are as follows. 

  • To lessen congestion in streets. 
  • To secure safety of fire and other hazards. 
  • To promote health and general welfare. 
  • To provide adequate light and air. 
  • To protect the value of property. 
  • To prevent over-concentration of population. 
  • To facilitate transportation, water supply, sewerage, schools, parks etc. 
  • To encourage the most appropriate use of land. 
  • The town planner gets ample opportunities for designing the future growth and development of town. 
  • Zoning proves to be an effective instrument in case of any review or modification in order to make town planning scheme more effective and successful.

Principles of Zoning 

The main principles of zoning can be briefly summarized as follows.
1. Arrangement of zones 

The usual pattern of zones is in central area and undeveloped area. The other pattern of zones would be to provide blocks or units for various uses in different parts of the town.

2. Boundaries 

The design of boundaries for different zones should be carefully made. A railway line or a park or an open green space may prove to be satisfactory boundary. 

3. Existing towns 

When zoning is to be applied to an existing town, the information regarding the existing use of land is gathered and as far as possible, the town is divided into zones by considering the predominant use in the particular areas. 

4. Flexibility 

The principles of zoning may be rigidly enforced. But at the same time, care should be taken to observe flexibility in working out the details for zoning. For instance, homes should be very near to places of work to reduce time of travel. Similarly, the small shopping centres for day today requirements should be allowed in residential zone. 

5. New towns 

For designing a new town of known population, the areas required for residence, industry and business are worked out with the help of suitable methods. The town is divided into suitable zones. 

Advantages of Zoning 

Following are the advantages of zoning. 
  • Business or commercial areas are separately located with their garages and service stations at a distance from the residential areas. 
  • The industrial area is located away from the residential area so it is not affected by dangerous gases, smoke etc. 
  • The population is distributed throughout the town by zoning, so there will be no concentration of population in any one particular zone. 
  • Height zoning regulates the height of the buildings. Hence high rise buildings will not be allowed to construct near small houses. 
  • The zoning permits the economic use of various public utility services such as water supply, drainage lines, and telephone lines etc. 
  • A land in the form of recreational area is provided to use as playgrounds, stadiums, parks, talkies, etc. 
  • Zoning promotes health, safety, prosperity, orderly development and overall welfare of community. 
  • The zoning results into minimum chances of fire occurrence. 
  • If zoning is adopted, it results into controlled future development of the town.

Densities of a Town 

  1. Overall town density = Total population / Total town area 
  2. Developed area density = Total population / Total developed area 
  3. Gross residential area density = Total population / Total residential area 
  4. Net residential area density = Total population / Net residential area 
  5. Accommodation density = Number of habitable rooms / Area 
  6. Occupancy rate = Number of persons / Number of habitable rooms 
  7. Floor Space Index = Total built up area / Plot area

Types of Zoning 

1) Density Zoning 

In density zoning, the density of population in the residential areas is controlled by means of suitable rules and regulations. The density of population per unit area may either be expressed as gross density or net density. The gross density is the average density of population per unit area of the whole area. The net density is defined as the average density of population per unit of the housing area, including local roads only, excluding open spaces, public institutions, shopping centres etc. 
The following are the indirect measures adopted to have effective density zoning. 
  • The front, side, and rear margins from the boundaries are specified. 
  • The maximum height of the building is specified. 
  • The minimum size of allotment for each house is specified. 
  • The number of houses per unit area is limited. 
  • The ratio of total site area to the total built-up floor area is specified. 
The advantages of density zoning are as follows. 
  • It promotes healthy conditions, as population is distributed throughout the town. 
  • It prevents over-crowding. 
  • It facilitates the proper layout and designing of various public amenities and services. 
  • The land values are stabilized. 
  • It ensures enough light and ventilation to the residences.

2) Height Zoning 

The main objects of height zoning are as follows. 
  • To supply enough daylight to the buildings 
  • To cause reasonable traffic movement 
It aims to control the height of buildings with due consideration of the following. 
  • Bulk and cubical contents of the buildings 
  • Street width and other adjacent marginal open spaces 
Due to height zoning, there is considerable setback in the design of high rise buildings or skyscrapers. The restriction on the height of buildings will depend on nature of building, type of zone and climatic conditions. 

Advantages of height zoning are as follows. 
  • It does not allow tall buildings to come up nearby smaller buildings. 
  • It establishes minimum standards in terms of light, air and space, thereby creates healthy conditions. 
  • It controls the setback from roads. 
  • It helps to construct the buildings with uniform height, which gives aesthetic appearance. 
  • It controls the land values. 

3) Use Zoning/Land Use Zoning 

  • The main principle of use zoning is to divide the city into different zones, in correct location with respect to the others. 
  • It avoids the encroachment of one zone upon another adjoining it.
  • Utilization of each zone according to the purpose for which it is allocated. 
  • Factories and industries on the residential areas can be completely avoided. 
  • This zone provides open spaces, privacy and good health for the inhabitants of the town. 
  • It results into stabilization of land values. 
  • It provides better traffic facilities, water lines, sewer lines and use of other public utility and amenities in an efficient way. 
Under the Use zoning the town is divided into the following. 

a) Residential Zone 

This is very important zone of the town, where the people of the town live together in large number. This zone covers an area of 40 - 50% of total land. The buildings coming under this zone are single family houses, semi-detached houses, group housing, chawl, flats, skyscrapers etc. 
The following are the points considered while locating residential zones. 
  • Near to the market, free from noise and smoke, parks and playgrounds should be close by. 
  • It should have certain amount of privacy and separated from other zones by wide strip of green belt which may consists of parks and parkways etc. 
  • Speedy travel and communication facilities. 
  • Peaceful surroundings, as far as possible from industries and business zones. 
  • Healthy environment with respect to hygienic and sanitary requirements.

b) Industrial Zone 

This zone covers an area of 5 - 20%. This is next to the residential zone in terms of importance. Hence great care should be exercised in locating the industries. The following are the points considered while locating industrial zones. 
  • Minor industries like bakeries, dairies, laundries may be grouped and located close to the residential zone for the benefit of inhabitants. 
  • Light industries and factories like manufacture of glass, porcelain, and ice etc. which use only electric power can be located anywhere on the periphery of the town. 
  • Heavy industries giving out obnoxious (or harmful) gases and the industries causing noise such as manufacture of cement, steel and other such material should be located on the outskirts of the town. 
  • The special industries producing undesirable trade wastes and by-products may be located far away from town in spacious grounds.

c) Commercial Zone 

This zone covers an area of 2 - 5%. This zone consists of markets, banks, ware-houses (go downs) and business offices. These should be located near centres of traffic and as far as along the road sides. 

d) Civic Zone 

This zone covers an area of 2 - 3%. This contains all public buildings like town hall, court, public libraries, post office, museum, auditorium, bank, showrooms, stores and houses for the employed under the government. 

e) Institutional Zone 

This zone covers an area of 1 - 2%. This zone contains schools, colleges, institutions etc.

f) Recreational Zone 

This is planned in the remaining area of the town, usually 15 - 20%. This is an important zone since it provides healthy environment for the people. It mainly includes parks, playgrounds, stadiums, cinemas, community centres. Generally, the various units of recreational zone are scattered throughout the town. 
In urban planning as well as transportation planning, land use is the object of zonal characterization. Each land use zone is subject to a series of regulations depicting what can be built in terms of nature, function and density, giving tools to municipal governments to influence urban development. Single use zoning, also known as Euclidean zoning, is a tool of urban planning that controls land uses in a city. 
There are four major types of land use zoning. 

1) Functional Zoning 

The most prevalent form of zoning where land use zones are defined according to their function such as commercial, residential or industrial. Each zone type is subject to specific rules and regulations concerning the type of activities that can be built. 

2) Form Based Zoning 

Define zones according to their physical characteristics, mostly from an urban identity perspective such as the downtown area. This form of zoning is usually easier to relate to the general population since it uses zonal definitions that are well known. 

3) Intensity Zoning 

Defines land use zones by the level of permitted intensity, such as the number of residential units per unit of surface or allowed commercial surface. Such regulation enables a level of flexibility in urban development since it permits developers to select which types of development takes place as long as this development abides by density constraints. 

4) Incentive Zoning 

Often part of revitalization or development plans where developers are allowed to build residential, commercial or industrial (manufacturing, warehousing) projects in specific areas through the provision of various incentives such as tax abatement or basic infrastructure (road, utilities, public transport services). 
It is common that more than one type of zoning will be applied to a city, which can lead to some conflicts and discrepancies between stakeholders. The issue is to try to establish a balance between the restrictions imposed by zoning regulations and the dynamic market forces of urban development.

Uses of land 

The use of land in town planning can broadly be classified in to following two categories. 

1) Profit Making Use 

The land which is developed with profit making motives, for e.g. sites developed for offices, residences, industries etc. 

2) Non Profit Making Use 

The land which is developed without any motive of making profit. It includes roads, parks, playgrounds, educational buildings and government offices. The main nonprofit making use in urban area will naturally be the roads.


Town Planning Legislation in India

Certain planning legislation introduced in different parts of India, before independence. There is no continuity or uniformity in the legislations of various States. Different States had different provisions for town planning measures either under the Municipal Acts or under special enactments, such as City Improvement Trust Acts or Town Planning Acts. It is only after independence that all the States are putting their heads together to evolve a common policy on town and country planning matters. With the growth of urban problems, the municipalities utterly failed to respond to the changing situations. 

The work involved in planning, improvement and extension of towns was so complex and great that the municipalities were unable to carry on these works effectively. There were reasons for their failure. Firstly, due to ignorance and disunity, secondly, lack of imagination and interest, thirdly, lack of trained personnel and sufficient funds and fourthly, lack of legal backing to effectively implement town planning schemes and projects. As a result, overcrowding, congestion, deterioration and haphazard development have seen in most of our cities and towns. However, certain enlightened States enacted special acts enacted and they give an idea as to the measures taken and the efforts made by government, though in a very limited way, to improve the living conditions of the people in urban areas and guide the future growth of the urban centres in a planned manner. The main town planning acts include;

Town planning acts in India

Kerala Town and Country Planning Act, 2016
This act is to provide for the promotion of planned development and regulation of growth of urban and rural areas in the State with focus on scientific spatial planning and to secure to their present and future inhabitants, sanitary conditions, amenity and convenience and for other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This act was revised in 2019.


Provisions of Town Planning Act

To manage the transformation of India’s cities and towns and effectively manage new growth requires effective urban planning protocols, processes and institutions underpinned by effective legislation. To effectively manage the new growth, it is essentially means that the irregular landholdings and plots will have to be given regular shapes they must be ordered each plot must be given access; infrastructure services such as water supply and drainage must be provided; land must be appropriated for providing roads, parks, social amenities, and low income housing, development controls must be prescribed to result in a good quality built form and levy development or betterment charges to offset the cost of developing the physical and social infrastructure. 

Town Planning Act

India Due to the rapid industrial growth coupled with increasing level of urbanization during mid-century, the recognition of the need for viewing urban development as one whole integrated development in which each sector has a definite role to play and not in unrelated manner, was felt by the town planners. Town Planning Law is not new in India. The history of town planning legislation in India dates back to early part of the 20th century when the erstwhile Bombay Presidency took the lead in enacting the first town planning legislation in the country viz. The Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915 which came into force on 6th March, 1915. 
This Act was then followed by other provinces later on. The Bombay act of 1915 mainly provided for; 
  • The preparation of Town Planning Schemes (TPS) for areas in course of development within the jurisdiction of local authority 
  • The recovery by planning authority of betterment contribution from the owners of benefited lands. 
It was observed that T.P. schemes prepared under the 1915 act resulted in the piecemeal planning having no relation with the adjoining areas. Thus, to have a planned development of every square inch of the land within the municipal limits the need for another. 
Statutory process of master plan formulation in India was inspired by the erstwhile comprehensive planning system envisaged under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947 of United Kingdom.

Model Regional and Town Planning and Development Law, 1985 

Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO) formulated the Model Town and Country Planning Law in the year 1960. This model Act was revised by TCPO in year 1985 as “Model Regional and Town Planning and Development Law” to enact a comprehensive urban and regional planning legislation in all the States and UT’s (Union Territories). The main contents include;
  • Constitution of State Regional and Town Planning Board by the State Government for the purpose of advising on the delineation of the region for the planned development 
  • Directing the preparation of metropolitan, regional and area plans by the metropolitan, regional and area planning and development authorities 
  • Setting up of metropolitan, regional and area planning and development authorities for different urban and rural areas within the State to undertake preparation of development plans and to enforce and implement them 
  • Coordinating the planning and implementation of physical development programmes
Model Law provided 3 steps for the administration of this law. 
  1. Preparation of existing land use map 
  2. Preparation of an outline development plan and comprehensive development plan and their enforcement 
  3. Preparation of detailed schemes of development or redevelopment as envisaged in the plans and their implementation 
Based on the Model Regional and Town Planning and Development Law,1985 ,many states enacted their Town and Country Acts. However, states like Haryana, Rajasthan and UT of Chandigarh do not have comprehensive Town and Country Planning Acts. Out of 7933 Towns, about 2032 towns have Master Plans (1483 notified +549 under preparation). 

Space Standards for Facility Areas and Utilities

The planning of amenities and utility services include the facilities like educational, medical, transport, housing, electricity, post and telegraph, telephone exchange, police station, fire station, community hall and library, cinema theatre, swimming pool, stadium, open air theatre, religious building, auditorium, parks, play grounds, water supply, drainage, sanitation, burial ground etc.

 Medical facilities

Planning standards for civic amenities and community facilities

Other facilities

Water supply consumption

Desirable land use pattern (Percentage)

Traffic and transportation


Spatial Standards for Recreational Area

The purpose of the recreation areas is to provide adequate recreational facilities to serve the residents of the development. Open space is any open piece of land that is undeveloped (has no buildings or other built structures) and is accessible to the public. Open space can include: Green space (land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation). Green space includes parks, community gardens and cemeteries. Schoolyards, playgrounds, public seating areas, public plazas and vacant lots open space provides recreational areas for residents and helps to enhance the beauty and environmental quality of neighbourhoods. 

The opportunity to attain and maintain good physical and mental health is an inherent right of all residents of the planning area. The provision of outdoor recreation sites and related open space areas contributes to the attainment and maintenance of physical and mental health by providing opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities. An integrated park and related open space system, properly related to the natural resource base, can generate the dual benefits of satisfying recreational demands in an appropriate setting while protecting and preserving valuable natural resources. Finally, an integrated system of outdoor recreation sites and related open space areas can contribute to the orderly growth of the planning area by lending form and structure to urban.

Table Parks, playgrounds and open spaces


Spatial Standards for Commercial Area

  • Site must be near or at the centre of the city (CBD) 
  • Accessibility for users (Job holders) 
  • Infrastructure and utility services must be available 
  • Space left for ware houses 
  • Road and transport facilities (Bus stands, taxiways and local rail)
Table : Plot area coverage and Floor Area Ratio


Spatial Standards for Industrial Area

  • Accessibility for labors 
  • Suitable conformability for the loading and unloading of raw materials 
  • Industrial area must be away from residential area 
  • Infrastructure and utility services must be available 
  • Space for treatment of waste material 

Industry floor area requirements

Plot area coverage and Floor Area Ratio


Spatial Standards for Residential Area

  • Accessibility (mainly involve road networks for the residence or inhabitants) 
  • Availability of infrastructure (drainage, sewerage, water supply) 
  • Institutional facilities (health and education) 
  • Site must be away from industrial areas
Table 1 Residential plot sizes for towns in India

Table 2 Plot area coverage and Floor Area Ratio
(Residential Building)

Table 3 Setback for residential buildings
(Front and Rear Setbacks)

Table 4 Setback for residential buildings
(Side Setbacks)

Table 5 Housing

Table 6 Density of Dwellings


Spatial Standards for Planning

Planning Standards are formulated by the Town and Country Planning Department normally in the form of codes or regulations pertaining to space requirement, site specification, height, land use and other criteria required by the local authority for development of land or property These standards are applied during the planning/design stage of a project/preparation of layout. These standards are applied during the planning Normally in the form of codes/design stage of a project/preparation of layout. 

With the idea of having a uniform standard for reference and adoption by town planners, architects and engineers in India, the Institute of Town Planners, the School of Planning and Architecture and the Town and Country Planning Organization, New Delhi, tried to evolve certain planning standards. Planning organizations, like the Delhi Development Authority, the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Board and the Calcutta Metropolitan Planning Organization have also adopted some standards in the preparation of master plans for the respective metropolitan cities. 

When these standards are compared, it is observed that there is disparity between them and also between the standards adopted in India and those in other countries. Hence, an attempt is made here to evolve workable standards for reference and adoption by persons concerned with urban and regional planning in India. The list is not exhaustive and there is large scope for improving the standards, taking into consideration the latest techniques and theories. The role of architects and engineers in this task is also very important, as they have rich experience in evolving such standards in their respective fields of study. It is hoped that the start made by the Institute of town planners and other organizations would be continued and town planners in India would adopt uniform standards in their profession. 

The proposed standards will be useful for ready reference by practicing town planners, architects, engineers, students and planning organizations including local bodies in their planning work. They will be of great help to those responsible for making policy programmes and recommendations on urban and regional planning and in developing town planning techniques on the ‘systems engineering’ method. In the absence of uniform standards, the authenticity of the standards adopted by any town planner in the country will be open to question. Hence, such standards, apart from being useful in the technical work, save the town planner from adverse comments and unhealthy criticisms. 

Space planning is a complex process with many factors to consider. The principles of space planning involve satisfying a defined criteria on a priority basis – as a result, space planning is frequently about compromise. That being said, there is often more than one solution to planning out the space requirements of a building.

Basic principles 

  1. Residential - Good ventilation, health safety and comfort 
  2. Parking lot - Adequate allocation appropriate lot size 
  3. Public facilities - Catchment area, ensure facilities are provided for the public, equal distribution 
  4. Roads - Hierarchy are followed according to the type of road, ensure efficient transportation system development control, planning standard 
  5. Infrastructure - Adequate provision for sewerage treatment, electricity and water supply, provision depends on forecast of population 
  6. Recreational area - Adequate provision of recreational areas, accessible to all level of society, equal distribution of recreational area 


TOD in India

Indian cities face a multitude of issues such as severe congestion; deteriorating air quality; increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector; increasing road accidents; and an exploding growth in the number of private vehicles (largely motorcycles). With the urban population projected to more than double in the next generation, the situation could easily get out of control and thwart India’s economic development efforts unless remedial measures are soon taken. 

The state of public transport in the majority of Indian cities has degraded over the years. Rising population and underdeveloped mass transport has led to a rapid rise of personal vehicles, traffic congestion and an increase in pollution levels. Moreover, the majority of people do not use public transport simply because of the lack of it and inaccessibility to the transit. Therefore, while augmenting public transport, planning for accessibility is the need of the hour. Increased density and improved connectivity through TOD can help achieve that. But one of the most important reasons for thinking about TOD for Indian cities is the recent emphasis on public transport at all levels of government. Scholars have argued that transport sector in India is extremely energy intensive and needs massive investments in mass transit to quell the rise of private motorized mobility. 

Post the announcement of mission based programs like Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2005, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation, and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities in 2015, there has been huge emphasis on investments in public transport. Transit systems like metro rail and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) have found their way into many cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Hubli Dharwad, Lucknow, Kochi, Jaipur, Bhopal and Indore among many others. 

Some of these cities have gone on to leverage the huge potential accorded by the massive investments in public transit and prepared TOD plans for their cities. In western countries, TOD was used for densifying certain areas but in India the cities already have higher densities. Hence TOD in Indian cities should be looked at as a tool for improving quality of life and financial means to provide infrastructure facilities. India is taking steps towards achieving the TOD guidelines and designing a well-planned city for its people, making itself sustained and pedestrian friendly.


Approach for TOD Implementation

1) Influence Zone 

The area in the immediate vicinity of the transit station, i.e. within a walking distance, having high density compact development with mixed land use to support all basic needs of the residents is called the influence zone of a transit station/corridor. Influence zone is either established at a transit stations or along the transit corridors. It is generally up to a radius of nearly 500-800m of the transit station. Where the distance between the transit stations is less than 1 km and there is overlap in the influence area, it can be identified as a delineated zone (around 500m) on either side of the transit corridor within 10 - 12 minutes walking distance. 

2) High Density Compact Development 

TOD promotes densification in the influence area by providing higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR)/ Floor Space Index (FSI) and higher population and job density as compared to the area around and beyond the influence areas. To ensure sustainable development, the minimum FAR should be 300 - 500%, and can be higher, depending on the city size. This will promote higher concentration of people within the walking distances of transit station, thereby increasing the ridership of the public transport and resulting in increased fare revenue, pollution and congestion reduction.

3) Mixed Use Development 

Mixed land use should be stipulated for development/redevelopment in the TOD zone as it would reduce the need for travel by providing most of the activities such as shopping, entertainment and public amenities such as schools, parks, playgrounds, hospitals etc. within the walking distance of the residents. It would also improve the accessibility of the transit facilities and at the same time link origins and destinations, i.e. residences with work places or activity nodes. This would ensure better utilization of transit fleet by distributing loads in both directions, rather than creating unidirectional peak hour flows. 

4) Mandatory and Inclusive Housing 

The cities should fix a minimum percentage (30% or higher) of allowed FAR for affordable housing (for example up to 60 area) in all development/redevelopment in the influence zones. Housing in the influence zone should have a mix of all economic groups/sections. The development control regulation should stipulate housing for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the influence area to give an opportunity to the people who depend on public transport for daily commuting to live in walkable neighborhoods. 

5) Multimodal Integration 

The influence area should have high quality integrated multimodal transport system for the optimum use of the facilities by the residents/users. The system should have seamless physical connectivity, information integration and fare integration across modes so that the first and last mile connectivity does not become a bottleneck in the use of public transit systems by the citizens. The transit system, including its stations, should be designed to provide high quality services that assure user satisfaction in terms of safety and comfort. The citizens should have barrier free access to all the required amenities in the transit system as well as around the transit centers. 

6) Focus on Pedestrians, Cyclists and NMT Users 

The streets should be designed for users of all age groups and for all types of commuters including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders. They should be safe and accessible by all. The influence zone should have development in smaller blocks with a finer street network having provision for pedestrians, bicyclists and NMT (Non-Motorised Transport) users. This will create a grid of small, traversable blocks which has sidewalks and amenities like lighting and information signage etc. and ensure accessibility of the transit stations by pedestrians and cyclist. 

7) Street Oriented Buildings and Vibrant Public Spaces 

Retail and other ‘active uses’ should be supported on the ground floor along the main streets, key intersections, stations and parking garages to ensure high quality pedestrian environments. To promote natural surveillance of public spaces, all boundary walls and setbacks should be removed and buildings should be permitted up to the edge of the street. Also, the orientation of the buildings should be such so as to face the pedestrian facilities. The streets should have a natural surveillance system by providing mixed use active frontage, vending zones and avoiding opaque wall, which would ensure a safe environment for pedestrians, especially women, children and elderly. 

8) Managed Parking 

To discourage the use of private vehicles and to manage parking in TOD, it is essential that the supply of the parking is reduced and made expensive within the influence zone. On street parking should be prohibited within 100 m of the transit station, except for freight delivery and pickup or drop off of the differently abled. The use of parking spaces within the influence zone can be maximized by sharing of spaces between uses that have demand during different times of the day. For example parking requirements for office/work can be shared with the parking spaces for residences as their hours for demands do not coincide with each other.


Characteristics and Design Principles of Transit Oriented Development

 Factors Driving the Trend Toward TOD 

  •  Rapidly growing, mind numbing traffic congestion nation wide 
  •  Growing distaste for suburbia and fry pit strip development 
  •  Growing desire for quality urban lifestyle 
  •  Growing desire for more walkable lifestyles away from traffic 
  •  Changes in family structures: more singles, empty nesters etc.
  •  Growing national support for smart growth 
  •  New focus of federal policy

Components of Transit Oriented Development 

  •  Walkable design with pedestrian as the highest priority 
  •  Train station as prominent feature of town center 
  •  Public square fronting train station 
  •  A regional node containing a mixture of uses in close proximity (office, residential, retail and civic) 
  •  High density, walkable district within 10-minute walk circle surrounding train station 
  •  Collector support transit systems including streetcar, light rail and buses, etc. 
  •  Designed to include the easy use of bicycles and scooters as daily support transport 
  •  Large ride in bicycle parking areas within stations 
  •  Bike share rental system and bikeway network integrated into stations 
  •  Reduced and managed parking inside 10 minute walk circle around town center / train station 
  •  Specialized retail at stations serving commuters and locals including cafes, grocery and dry cleaners 

Benefits Of TOD 

  •  Higher quality of life with better places to live, work and play 
  •  Greater mobility with ease of moving around 
  •  Increased transit ridership 
  •  Reduced traffic congestion, car accidents and injuries 
  •  Reduced household spending on transportation, resulting in more affordable housing 
  •  Healthier lifestyle with more walking and less stress 
  •  Higher, more stable property values 
  •  Increased foot traffic and customers for area businesses 
  •  Greatly reduced dependence on foreign oil, reduced pollution and environmental damage 
  •  Reduced incentive to sprawl, increased incentive for compact development 
  •  Less expensive than building roads and sprawl 
  •  Enhanced ability to maintain economic competitiveness 
  •  Incorporation of public and private sector engagement and investment 
  •  Revitalization of neighborhoods 
  •  Improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists through non-motorized infrastructure
TOD principles cannot be applied uniformly across an entire city or transit network, since densities of jobs and people vary widely across the urban space. In fact, experience has shown that only about 15% of transit stations and their surrounding area can support very high density development. 
To make informed decisions about TOD, research institutions and governments have developed a variety of methodologies that can help identify which station areas are good candidates for TOD, determine what level of density the area around a given station can absorb, and figure out what kind of development mix makes sense in a particular area, looking to strike the right balance between jobs, housing and other amenities. 
Building on these approaches, the report proposes a new framework for guiding TOD plans, by simultaneously assessing the “three values” (3V) of transit stations and surrounding areas:
  • The Node value describes the importance of a station in the public transit network based on passenger traffic, connections with other transport modes and centrality within the network. 
  • The Place value reflects the quality and attractiveness of the area around the station. Factors include the diversity of land use; the availability of essential services such as schools and healthcare; the proportion of everyday amenities that can be accessed by walking or cycling; pedestrian accessibility and also the size of urban blocks around the station. 
  • The Market potential value refers to the unrealized market value of station areas. It is measured by looking at the major variables that can influence the demand for land (current and future number of jobs in the vicinity of the station, number of jobs accessible by transit within 30 minutes, current and future housing densities) as well as the supply (amount of developable land, possible changes in zoning policy, market vibrancy etc.). 
The report presents an approach to identify and address potential imbalances between node, place and market potential values to create new economic opportunities, for example, by improving the urban environment around a major transit hub, or by improving public transit service to a booming area. The tool provides a common framework of assessment for urban, transport, and economic planners, thereby facilitating conversations needed for better economic, land use, and transport integration.

Design Principles of TOD 

The eight Principles of the TOD standard for designing better streets and better cities. 
  1.  Walk - Develop neighborhoods that promote walking. 
  2.  Cycle - Prioritize non-motorized transport networks. 
  3.  Connect - Create dense networks of streets and paths. 
  4.  Transit - Locate development near high quality public transport. 
  5.  Mix - Plan for mixed use. 
  6.  Density - Optimize density and transit capacity. 
  7.  Compact - Create regions with short commutes. 
  8.  Shift - Increase mobility by regulating parking and road use.

Principles for Transit Oriented Development

Cities can ensure TOD by focusing on the following seven principles. 

1) Quality Public Transit 

Public transit is strongly linked to urban development. High quality, convenient transport depends on dense and connected neighborhoods. The goal of a transport system is to connect a high number of riders with the city in a comfortable, efficient and affordable way. 

2) Active Transport 

The interests of pedestrians and cyclists should be at the heart of urban planning. Decision making should shift residents, particularly car users, to active transport. Many commuters already take two non-motorized trips on a daily basis by walking to and from transit hubs to their homes or cars. It is important to build on this and encourage non-motorized transport holistically.

3) Car Use Management 

Car use and parking policies play an important role in creating a safe, human oriented urban environment. 

4) Mixed Use Neighborhoods with Efficient Buildings

A mixture of land uses enhances the local economy by densifying and diversifying the design of the community. Mixed use neighborhoods favor short trips by foot or bike. Similarly, buildings should minimize how much energy and water they consume and require for building and maintenance. 

5) Neighborhood Centers and Vibrant Ground Floors 

A built environment with adequate public space promotes social interaction between residents. Sustainable urban communities must be sufficiently dense and contain a variety of uses that are complementary to residential life. Public spaces should be connected to the urban transport network and serve as vibrant, human centered places of activity. 

6) Public Spaces 

The purpose of public space is not only to enhance public life and social interaction, but also to provide a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Public space is the place of encounter, exchange, and circulation within a community. All individuals have the right to access public spaces, regardless of personal, social or economic condition. 

7) Community Participation and Collective Identity 

Community participation is essential to building a vibrant, inclusive neighborhood that is safe and equitable. Stimulating community participation creates a more equitable, harmonious relationship between varying social groups living in the same area. Respecting the unique identity of local communities results in a higher share of residents engaging in civic, cultural and economic activities, generating a sense of belonging and ownership of the city.