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Monday, 03 Jun 2013
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“Integrated Townships” – The vision of wholesome living
Mr. Percy S. Chowdhry_Rustomjee Mr. Percy S. Chowdhry_Rustomjee Mr. Percy S. Chowdhry_Rustomjee

Integrated township projects are gathering momentum in India. Today, the country’s growing young and affluent working population is exploring lifestyle options like swimming pools, clubs, healthcare facilities, landscaped gardens, shopping, school and 24 hours security within the residential complex. In response, the township development not only provides high quality affordable housing for home buyers but at the same time attempts to promote walk-to-work concept. This concept is picking up among city dwellers, and home buyers are looking for a complete living experience. Thus, integrated township is becoming the format of the future residential development.


Moreover today, all major cities are looking at expanding the boundaries of their urban sprawl. The integrated townships mostly located at city’s peripheries, help ease the mounting pressure of urbanization and lack of urban density in tier-I and metropolitan cities. Also, tier-I cities face shortage of land for residential purpose on one hand and soaring real estate prices on the other. For example, in Mumbai, the boundaries for residential spaces are extending towards Thane and beyond in the central suburbs and towards Virar in the Western suburbs. The integrated townships planned in these areas by developers provide a respite to the flat buyers looking for a convenient and upscale living space.


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, and Mumbai and New Delhi will be among the five largest cities in the world by 2030. With the rising population, unavailability of large land parcels, and with the consequent escalating demand/ supply gap, the future lies in sustainable development. Building and living in inclusive cities and self-sustaining environments has become the need of the hour.


These planned clusters of inclusive developments address the housing and allied social and physical infrastructure need of its inhabitant. These self-contained townships essentially feature schools, hospitals, parks, landscaped gardens, leisure facilities, hotels, and retail outlets including exclusive shops for domestic and international brands, supermarkets, restaurants, and cafés. They also aim at providing high-quality affordable housing for India's growing young and well-to-do working population and at the same time attempt to promote walk-to-work concept.


Building and living in inclusive cities, integrated townships and self-sustaining environment has become a necessity rather than a luxury. Keeping in mind the requirements of the home buyers, developers are spending a good amount of time studying their needs and then planning out their townships. The response to these townships has been overwhelming and manifests the concept catching up fast with the urban population.


Also, this helps prevent the mushrooming of unplanned urban development which only adds to the clutter of the already overcrowded land. Over the next 2-5 years, most metros and satellite cities which are witnessing a population boom are likely to see increased launches of integrated township projects. Mostly, Tier-ll cities and State capitals, which see the population from the interiors gravitating towards them, are also likely to see such projects being launched. Though arriving at an exact number is challenging, it seems evident that many projects likely to be in different stages of development all over the country, will possibly be delivered over the next few years.


Thus, these townships not only help in meeting the demand for residential and commercial space, thereby catering to the demands of major urban centres across the country, but also raise the quality of life with the ‘best – in – class’ facilities and amenities.


It is the core idea of ‘open living,’ delivered not only through more spacious and better designed homes, but also through meticulous planning of the infrastructure, like extensive landscaping, internal road network and traffic flow planning and provision of pedestrian walkways that encourages safe, pleasant and comfortable life within the townships. It emphasizes the creation of a sustainable living ecosystem with residential and commercial spaces supported by proper infrastructure.


Evidently, integrated townships can aid in creating affordable housing as well as infrastructural development. Steps like easy land due diligence, financial incentives and faster clearances from authorities will go a long way in promoting integrated township projects across the country, making it a win-win situation for all stakeholders.


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