OUR CITIES!!

Kathipara Junction, Chennai (Largest cloverleaf flyover in Asia)

The story of cities, its past, present and future!!

The creation of cities consumes an extensive and complicated history. All cities exhibit numerous assessments of foresight and a careful proposal in its draft.

Cities occur for numerous intentions; the range of urban forms can be outlined from the complex functions that cities do. Cities function as epicentres of storage, trade, and manufacture. The agrarian surplus from the neighbouring rural area is handled and circulated in cities. Our Cities also developed active nearby marketplaces, where goods from distant lands can be bartered for local products. Throughout history, cities have been originated at the nodes of transportation routes, or at sockets where merchandises must move from one mode of transportation to another, as at river and ocean ports.

Cities, with their absorption of skills, merger of peoples and economic excess, have delivered a lush land for the culmination of human culture. They function as focal points of communication, where novel philosophies and material are spread to the neighbouring lands and to distant regions.

The earliest metropolitan area of Alexandria, which established an influential model, for upcoming metropolises all around the earth, was a dream project for Alexander, the great. Soon after conquering Egypt, Alexander set his eyes to an isle in the Mediterranean, he rode there, staring at its coastline, and He envisioned a great city called Alexandria. Beginning from these shorelines, an astonishing city was about to rise, which the olden world had ever witnessed. At present, the real Alexandria lies submerged underneath different eras of urban evolution. This great city of Alexandria laid the foundations for modern metropolises.

Rome wasn’t planned in a day. In fact, it wasn’t planned at all!! The grid system which the Roman state passed all over Europe was not once applied in the capital itself. The city has at all times been short of an articulate plan. The Romans involved in widespread city buildings as they consolidated their empire. Rome itself displayed the informal complexity created by centuries of organic growth. In contrast, the Roman military and colonial towns were arranged in a variation of grid. Many European cities, like London and Paris, took-off from these Roman origins.

Cities are physical artefacts placed into a pre-existing natural world with limitations to natural surroundings; it need to be valued, if a settlement is to endure and flourish. City planners always knit an intricate, endlessly shifting, arrangement of components into a functioning whole; that is the perpetual task of city planning. The physical components of the city can be distinguished into three groupings; grids/linkages, structures and public spaces. Numerous alternate measures of these components have been stressed during the course of history, but no ideal city form has ever been settled upon. Buoyant examinations about the best mode to organize city compositions linger as no sign of narrowing it.

Residential expanses, habitually, matured by a slow course of growth, generating complex and irregular patterns.

During the Renaissance, builders initiated to thoroughly learn the evolution of their cities, as though the city itself were a piece of architecture that could be given an aesthetically pleasing and functional order. Near the eighteenth century, the city as a venue for commerce presumed primacy. The buildings of the middle class enlarged besides with their owners opulence. Fresh towns established during this period were perceived as commercial enterprises. The city grows into urban development as the market would be permitted to fix the pattern of urban growth.

Cities have renewed more since the Industrial Revolution than in all the previous eras of their existence. Industrial novelties transferred a lot with deep bearings on urban form. The industrial city still engrossed on the city centre, which enclosed both the central business district, defined by large office buildings, and considerable numbers of warehouse structures; which bragged the leading entertainment and shopping establishments. The working class lived in crowded neighbourhoods close to the city centre, near their place of employment.

The central business district of the city undertook a radical transformation with the progress of the skyscraper. These tall structures were not technically feasible until the invention of the elevator and steel-frame construction methods. Skyscrapers replicate the subtleties of the real estate market.

Certainly, we have touched a novel phase of urbanization, afar the metropolis. Most key cities are no longer engrossed solely on the traditional inner city; emergent suburbs have ascended outside and these suburbs stream maximum of the day-to-day wants of their neighbouring populace. The old metropolis has grown into a multi-centred urban region. Simultaneously, several of these urban regions have stretched to the fact where they have amalgamated into cosmic belts of urbanization termed “megalopolis.” It is speculated that similar vast corridors of urbanization will emerge throughout the world during the next century.

City planners have gradually waged devotion to the economics of urban expanses. Today, planners constantly calculate the economic consequences of all key fluctuations in the form of the city.

First and foremost, cities cannot develop if their populace just deliver services for one another. The city must create merchandises, which can be sold to an external purchaser, passing in money which can be reinvested in the city. This “economic base” of production for external markets is crucial. Without it, the economic machine of the city drags to a termination.

Once the economic base is established, an intricate internal market can develop. Apparently, a hefty portion of the city is dedicated to services for in-house businesses.

Modern cities are gradually involved in rivalry for economic resources. Cities try to lure investment with an array of features like tax cuts, enhanced transport, infrastructure, cheap land, and skilled labour force. Amenities such as climate, proximity to recreation, parks, elegant architecture, and cultural activities influence the location decisions of businesses and individuals. Several mature cities are straining to endure in this different economic play. Abandoned by traditional industries, they’re now vexing to generate a novel economic base.

Nowadays, cities no longer contest in regional or national markets; they eye for an international market. Cities always struggles for existence in an unstable, unpredictable setting in which the rulebooks are constantly changing. This makes city planning even more challenging than before.

Societies have fantasised ideal cities for ages; from Plato to Renaissance architects, to the twentieth century, Le Corbusier, Paolo Soleri and dozens of other architects have designed cities on paper. Though little has been realized, they have influenced many. For example Conceived by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti was to be a radical new wave of high density urban living; a cosmic multi-levelled concrete structure of mammoth size that would house 5,000 people in a self-reliant congruence.

ARCOSANTI, by Paolo Soleri

The planners of independent India botched dramatically in their endeavour to generate a poverty-free modernist utopia. Their endowment is a sagging city crammed with slums and hindered by bureaucracy. Our cities progressed in a chaotic mode, lacking the assistance of planning development in civic concern. Our cities now are the household of hysterical urbanisation. A fresh informal settlement lingers to crop up, covering crudely half of our cities tenants. Modern Indian cities are born of contrast, great vision, but little implementation. From the inception, our city planners have make-believe a pulsating city with systematic progression and collective housing. Yet while implementing, they planned for a city that did not happen and they left the city’s concrete tenants without a plan. Renovating our land-dwellings to towns, regional centres to cities and conurbations to metropolises was an unnerving dare; but at present we face daunting tasks of intense population density, severe flood risks and water scarcity. In India, cities are still seen as dreams and hoards people move in every day.

We are not likely to reach at an unambiguous retort; the multiplicity of human needs and tastes aggravates all endeavours to deliver formulas or teaching instructions for the structures of cities. On the contrary, we can detect the vital scopes of a city and lay down the numerous means in which cities can attain growth laterally.

Tianjin Eco City, Compact Concepts for Growing Cities by Singapore government.