Integrated townships: Solution to Urban Problems

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:

Social infrastructure:

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.

Estate management:

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.


Loknath Swain is a Mumbai based writer. He writes on subjects related to Real Estate in India and Urban Development in India


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Townships and New Urbanism

Townships and New Urbanism

By Sibani Sarma

With a limited land supply along with a huge gap between demand and supply for individual plots, apartments or sites; developers are now cashing on developing integrated townships in the suburban areas. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, ‘India’s urban awakening : Building inclusive cities, sustaining economic growth,’ India would need 25 new townships to house about 590 million people by year 2030. This concept has been adopted well and proven a success model in the many developed countries for over 3-4 decades. Since last few years, developers in India are now trying to duplicate this success model in Indian cities.

There is a significant segment of consumers living in major urban centres that are becoming interested in the idea of living in one of a number of planned townships that are being built away from major urban hubs and chaos. These townships not only help in meeting the demand for residential and commercial space but also raise the quality of life that is lacking in high density core areas of Indian cities. Along with that, these townships also provide possibilities for town managers and developers to perform with densities and put into exercise thoughts of new urbanism that gradually raises the way of life of people current in these town-ships.

Recently, one of my friends shifted from Delhi to Pune city for a job in a company that has an office space in Magarpatta city. In Delhi he used to commute 2 hours daily to work in rush-hour traffic and spent as much time on the journey back home. He loves driving but given the traffic and related problems; he hired a driver. Still, he was frustrated by the amount of time wasted on road and at the end of the day he never used to get time for himself and his family. Then last August, his company rented an office space inside Magarpatta city, which is an integrated township in Pune.

This shifting has made his life very easy and comfortable as he has taken a new apartment inside the township which is hardly 10 minutes walk to his office. This township has a shopping mall, multiplex, hospital, school and most of the necessary amenities within walking distance. Now he gets time for his family and friends as he has cut down his commuting time.

Integrated township projects are slowly gathering momentum as the concept of walking to work is picking up among city dwellers. Apart from the change in family structure (from joint family to nuclear family), growing income levels have led to a change in consumer profile. More consumers want plethora of amenities; such as, swimming pools, clubs, landscaped gardens, 24 hours security and housekeeping. Due to huge demand coupled with economies of scale, an integrated township offers all these amenities and at a relatively low and affordable price.

Since such projects have their own infrastructure, they do not depend heavily on amenities provided by local Municipal Corporation. These townships usually have their own sewage management, water supply and overall maintenance of the immediate surroundings. The maintenance of integrated townships is centralized and managed very well. Also, since such residential projects have strong security measures to protect the entire area under township, people are assured of much higher levels of safety for themselves, their families and possessions. Since all the construction work is centralized there is very little room for variation in construction standards.

These townships provide win-win situation to developers. Developers in India have understood that in order to lure their customers they have to provide housing with all the required amenities. Thus, the future lies in Integrated Townships Development.

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Sibani Sarma is an MBA with a degree in Architecture, spent fifteen years in research and consultancy in real estate and construction. She writes on subjects related to Real Estate in India and Development Management in India.



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