Incremental Form

The intensive form of Shahjahanabad rather than extensive model (such as New Delhi) provides a series of benefits to the urban planner as described by Jag Mohan[1],

“While the urban form and design of Shahjahanabad does not meet the requirements of modern town planning, it has in its own peculiar socio-economic set up, considerable merit of its own. (a) Its urban form and design is less expensive. (b) It covers much less and the municipal services have not to be spread over a larger area. (c) It keeps practically no distance between the place of work and the place of residence. (d) Its social and physical compactness is such that it can be lifted like a hardboiled egg on a plate. (e) Shahjahanabad framework is not an artificial one; it has grown out of the needs and aspirations of the people. [Emphasis added]”[2]

The later point is crucial to the identity of the incremental city: that the urban fabric is subject to a framework that has grown, overtime and indigenous to the inhabitants.

[1] The use of Jag Mohan as a reference is perhaps pejorative in the sense that Jag Mohan was the Director of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that oversaw the resettlement during the Energency Period covered later in this section. He is associated as having disdain for traditional forms, which perhaps makes this statement even more powerful as it from a ‘non-believer’ so to speak.

[2] Mohan. Jag Rebuilding Shahajanabad, Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi (1975)


About juliakingat

British / Venezuelan, Architect & Urban Researcher; PhD Candidate

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