Understanding the Qualities of the Indian Neighborhood. Findings on Proximity to Services and Social Spaces

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Venkata Ravi Kumar Veluru


Indian traditional neighborhoods are socially active and intrusive communities that spontaneously develop and impart physical, psychological, and perceptual comfort to residents. The integrity and inherent qualities are being slowly ignored in new neighborhood planning practices as they are following the western model without having input from traditional Indian neighborhood Qualities and characteristics (Gulati, 2019; N. Mistry, 2018; Raju & Soraswati, 2016). The traditional neighborhoods are places, where the people live since they want to. One needs to make effort to recreate this environment in newer neighborhoods as these are in contrast with the complex industrial western neighborhoods, these are more rural in their character and are more interactive at all levels (Raju & Soraswati, 2016). The common trend in neighborhood planning today is the blind use of western neighborhood concepts by grossly undermining traditional Indian values (Raju & Soraswati, 2016). The common trend in recent times is a class segregated communities aiming at high returns rather than socially active communities (Gulati, 2019; Samant, 2014). This paper aims to find unique characteristics of Indian traditional neighborhoods by evaluating the neighborhood of historical city of Jaipur and comparing them with the modern neighborhood of Bhubaneswar (planned by the planners of the developed world in the neighborhood concept in India). Author has carried out field observation and interviews with the households of the selected neighborhoods on proximity and convenience to school, convenience stores health center, and transport station, parks and open spaces and Informal public spaces. This study will help understand the strengths of Indian neighborhoods and provides insights on what strengths should be retained and what needs to be taken from the western world, what unique qualities of traditional neighborhoods to be adopted into the new neighborhoods to retain unique values of the traditional neighborhoods.

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