Integrated townships: Solution to Urban Problems
The limited land availability and the huge unbridgeable gap between demand and supply for individual plots and ever growing population in the metros have triggered the demand and growth of condominiums, apartment complexes and gated communities. Besides, higher disposable income, improving lifestyle, increasing aspiration levels and expanded knowledge on global trends have made the present new-generation property buyers more conscious about the properties they want to invest in.
However, frail urban planning across most of the states, lack of public transport, longer travelling time to workplace and inadequate infrastruct urban planning ure have added woes to the property buyers rather than enabling them for a better living. In most cities, new development areas are not planned properly and therefore; do not act as satellite towns, but merely as suburban residential areas.
However, the solution to this complex issue in key metros and tier I cities lies in integrated townships. Typically, an integrated township has the following key characteristics and elements:
School: A quality school with education up to at least 10th standard is set up within the township, reducing the travelling time between home and school and in turn providing the children with more time for play and studies.
Medicare: A good healthcare facility with at least 50-plus beds and an emergency care is set up within the township, thereby facilitating residents.
Recreation: Adequate space for basic sports such as football, cricket, tennis and badminton, fitness facilities including a gymnasium and swimming pools are set up within the township to enhance social lifestyle.
Community centre: A spacious, well-decorated community centre with a club house and a function hall is set up within the township.
Infrastructure and services:
Road network: A well-planned road network both within the township and connecting to the nearest highway or main road is built, thereby easing communication.
Water supply and management: A well-planned and sustainable water management system is built within the township, providing round the clock water supply to residents as well as treating the waste water generated within the township and recycling it. This also reduces dependence on municipal water supply.
Electricity supply and management: Although an integrated township depends on a public or private utility supplier for basic power supply, it has adequate, if not abundant, back-up power for both homes and common areas during temporary or scheduled power cuts or disruptions by the utility supplier.
Communication infrastructure: Good quality telecom services are also made available within the township and nearby.
Garbage and waste management: Good garbage collection, aggregation, treatment and disposal system is a must for a healthier and eco-friendly township.
Infrastructure maintenance: Proper and regular maintenance of roads, pathways, parks, electrical and plumbing infrastructure, children play areas and common areas including community centre is essential for a well-developed integrated township.
Security: Superior estate security and safety for all residents is a critical element of an integrated township.
Shopping and entertainment:
Entertainment: Quality cinema or multiplex, popular games and kid entertainment facilities should be established within the township.
Shopping: Well-stocked grocery stores as well as shopping centres including branded garment stores, electronic goods should be established within the township.
Food courts: Good quality and hygienic food courts with ample menu options should be established within the townships to cater to the taste buds of all types of residents.
Proximity to workplace:
While the intent of an integrated township is always to have the workplace and the residential dwelling in close proximity, in the current context of double-income families, it is practically impossible to achieve this objective fully. However, it can establish adequate, well-equipped office space infrastructure and offer lower rentals to attract companies, banks and corporate houses and create ample opportunities for residents. Apart from this, to develop communication between the township and the workplace for rest of the residents, the location of the township should be such that it is easily accessible from various parts of the city.
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