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.