Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 1 Page No.: 307-315 July-Sept 2008




Debasish Basak*1 and Sonal Verma2

1. Surat Municipal Corporation, Surat (INDIA)


Received on : April 23, 2008




Six to seven million people are added annually to urban India. At the beginning of this millennium, 285 million Indians lived in its nearly 4400 towns and cities. It is estimated to rise to 550 million by the year 2021 and 800 million by 2041 when it will surpass China. At that point urban India will be larger than the total population of Europe.
Economic growth is both a driving cause as well as the chief outcome of any urbanization process. Cities act as engines of economic growth, contributing to 60 per cent of the national income. Per capita urban energy consumption has been increasing in the recent years. These developments pose a serious threat to fast depleting natural resources that act both as factors of production, as well as dumping grounds for wastes generated.
Urbanization in India is characterized by unplanned and uncontrolled growth leading to urban sprawl. Land use planning and the pattern of development, relationship between residential areas and industrial, commercial and office complexes have a considerable impact on the environment. Most of all, appropriate infrastructure provision has not kept pace with economic growth. Consequently, the environment of urban areas, particularly of larger cities, has been deteriorating rapidly. ULBs in India are faced with a plethora of issues that directly impact their capacity to manage municipal service delivery while simultaneously addressing environmental concerns.
Spatial planning somehow has failed to address these issues in real context. The land use composition in a development plan of a city greatly determines the urban environment of that city to a large extent. Even the logical location of land use and its proportion are of critical importance. Sound planning with reference to waste land, agriculture, industrial and habitable areas are few among many parameters required to be considered while planning.
Somehow it is felt that proper attention or seriousness towards spatial planning is lacking particularly when it is compared to the fast pace of urbanization in Indian context. Still the old and traditional practice of land use and zoning is going on in most of the cities by locating residential, industrial, commercial, institutional and other uses of the land. It is this uses that going to decide the future direction of Urban sprawl and its circulation network. The urban transport has a direct bearing to the land use of the city and ultimately the air pollution through vehicular emission other than industrial pollution as well. Land use planning and design forms the base platform for the design of urban infrastructure investment planning and design.


Keywords : Planning and design, Economic growth, Vehicular emission, Spatial planning.