A proactive incremental housing strategy complementing current formal planning practice
We are in the year 2015. India has 1,28 billion inhabitants and is currently in a critical phase of change; the economic liberalization and the adjunctive transformation from an agrarian society into an industrial and service nation leads to a distinctive rural exodus. To make things worse, a total population growth of approximately 400 million is expected by 2050. Until then, the urban population will have doubled and the demand for urban living space will be enormous. To tackle this situation, the Indian government is planning for example the construction of 24 cities in the area between Delhi and Mumbai. However, even if there was enough living space for all the people who will move to future Indian cities, it would not be affordable for the lowest 25 % of the population, who are considered “extremely poor” by the World Bank and have to get along with only US $ 1,25 per day. This population stratum consists largely of farmers, who cannot survive with their income anymore and are forced to migrate to the cities in search for jobs. History has shown us, that the inevitable result of this will be the formation of urban informal settlements with all their problems and consequences. Therefore, a proactive urban strategy shall be developed, in order to create affordable living space for those, for whom the market will not provide any housing. Inspired by the principle of self-settlement, framework conditions shall be introduced for future new towns, in which specifically semi-informal living space can emerge and grow up to a liveable and valuable urban quarter in a regulated and guided manner.