Aranya housing, Indore, India - An approach to Settlement Design

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Aranya housing, Indore, India - An approach to Settlement Design

India
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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Like other cities in India, Indore was facing an acute shortage of Housing. As per a study by the IDA in 1981, it was estimated 51,000 families homeless or living in illegal settlements. The project demanded an approach towards Affordable housing; affordable to the government and the Urban poor. A rectilinear site measuring 86 hectares was designed on the idea of 'site and services', to accommodate over 6500 dwellings, largely for the weaker section. This was an integrated approach for 'a sustainable society' where the mix of different economic levels of society could stay together. Unlike the normal social housing where the house and the inhabitant are frozen in time and the housing does not have the liberty enough to compliment the changing economy of the urban poor. Aranya on the other hand is incomplete. By ?incomplete? it is meant that it is flexible, changing and growing with it?s inhabitants. It was incomplete 20 years ago, today and may be 20 years later. The houses built by these 4000 Economically Weaker Sectioned families may appear incomplete, yet one sees in them vitality, hope and a desire to match the other classes around. As the people of Aranya grow socially, economically and culturally the housing changes, complementing the vision for the project. Today, we are proud that the houses build about 20 years ago, are no more recognisable, as were seen by us, during the first few years. Aranya has witnessed the poor, putting continuos effort, to improvise their living standards, which is reflective in their housing. The housing must give an opportunity to reflect ones well-deserved success with life They started with a plot with basic infrastructure, a bathroom and toilet with the plinth of their house, putting brick by brick on their own, adding rooms, marking their identity and their signatures on their dwelling. It is very satisfying watching them, now grow two storeys.

About You
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Your idea
Focus of activity

Design

Start Year

1983-88

Positioning in the mosaic of solutions
Main barrier addressed

Low individual purchasing power

Main principle addressed

Leverage resources that are abundant at the local level

'ALLOW THE EWS LAND OWNERS, A CHANCE TO BUILD AS AND WHEN THEY CAN AFFORD.' some of the other principals: 1. Permanent tenure, where one has a chance to build, as and when his economy is improved. 2. Identity and Choice of a cohesive community. 3. Authority could offer land at highly subsidised rates. 4. Concern for the inhabitant's capacity and the regular payment of instalments. 5. Integration of the EWS Housing with the general social structure.

Innovation
Description of housing product/service offering:

Like other cities in India, Indore was facing an acute shortage of Housing. As per a study by the IDA in 1981, it was estimated 51,000 families homeless or living in illegal settlements. The project demanded an approach towards Affordable housing; affordable to the government and the Urban poor. A rectilinear site measuring 86 hectares was designed on the idea of 'site and services', to accommodate over 6500 dwellings, largely for the weaker section. This was an integrated approach for 'a sustainable society' where the mix of different economic levels of society could stay together. Unlike the normal social housing where the house and the inhabitant are frozen in time and the housing does not have the liberty enough to compliment the changing economy of the urban poor. Aranya on the other hand is incomplete. By ?incomplete? it is meant that it is flexible, changing and growing with it?s inhabitants. It was incomplete 20 years ago, today and may be 20 years later. The houses built by these 4000 Economically Weaker Sectioned families may appear incomplete, yet one sees in them vitality, hope and a desire to match the other classes around. As the people of Aranya grow socially, economically and culturally the housing changes, complementing the vision for the project. Today, we are proud that the houses build about 20 years ago, are no more recognisable, as were seen by us, during the first few years. Aranya has witnessed the poor, putting continuos effort, to improvise their living standards, which is reflective in their housing. The housing must give an opportunity to reflect ones well-deserved success with life They started with a plot with basic infrastructure, a bathroom and toilet with the plinth of their house, putting brick by brick on their own, adding rooms, marking their identity and their signatures on their dwelling. It is very satisfying watching them, now grow two storeys.

Description of innovation:

Aranya has demonstrated an innovative approach to the integrated development creating holistic environment, rooted in socio cultural and economic milieu of the place and while being sympathetic to the way of life of the Urban Poor. ? It is an innovative, Site and Services approach, yet it has been able to achieve an overall cohesive environmental area, discouraging through traffic and quality community spaces. ? Optimisation of Landuse: Depending on the Land cost and Land development cost with respect to the levels of services, the scale and the density determines the affordability and the feasibility of the project. ? Cutting down the infrastructure layout cost with a detailed research of the local conditions, technology, materials and culture. ? Integration of a mix of HIG and EWS, with the former cross subsidising the later. ? Participation of the dweller, in his own house. ? Reduces the financial pressure on the Government. ? The quality of the public space of better quality. ? Innovative Micro Credit system worked out.

Benefits to clients:

EWS I ? income 200, Plot size 35.32, no. of plots 1962, population 19620 EWS II ? income 300, Plot size 35.52, no. of plots 1500, population 15000 EWS III ? income 400, Plot size 35.52, no. of plots 800, population 8000 EWS total 66.35% LIG I ? income 450, Plot size 44.62, no. of plots 182, population 910 LIG II ? income 500, Plot size 55.82, no. of plots 617, population 3085 LIG III ? income 600, Plot size 93.03, no. of plots 265, population 2950 LIG total 10.82% MIG I ? income 1100, Plot size 139.54, no. of plots 626, population 6260 MIG II ? income 1800, Plot size 223.26, no. of plots 265, population 2650 MIG total 13.87% HIG I ? income 1800+, Plot size 325.59, no. of plots 180, population 1850 HIG II ? income 1800+, Plot size 474.43, no. of plots 75, population 750 FLATS ? income 1800+, Plot size 613.94, no. of plots 40, population 3200 HIG total 9.02% Moreover, the township also provides spaces for with facilities and amenities like Community science centre, playground, Formal and Informal Commercial activities, police station, swimming pool, fire station, police station, sports club, library, museum, open air theatre, auditorium, community Hall, petrol pump. However, these facilities have not come up in totality. But, perhaps, it is now the right time for the commercial development to come up with the population already at the site. Because of the increased real estate value of the spaces, 20 years after, it would be more commercially feasible.

Key operational partnerships:

Aranya Housing working with the Indore Development Authority and the Madhya Pradesh Housing Board in 1981. The township funded by HUDCO and the World Bank was to be primarily designed for the EWS, without any external subsidies.

Impact
Financial model:

not applicable

Costs as percentage of income:

-

Financing:

not applicable

Effectiveness:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Project outcomes: <span class="entry-text">Today, all the 4000 dwelling units appear closer to private & corporate housing built on the periphery of the site. It is heartening to see them clad in the similar clothing & attending schools as their educated neighbours. Aranya, since its inception & realisation, has created unprecedented awareness not only in the professional & the academic world, but has also given another view to implementing agencies. It has been a case study & inspiration to many similar projects. Generally, the Urban poor housing are planned in isolation segregated from the other sectors of the community. But, we realise that towns have to be a mosaic, the rich & poor must live together. Moreover, understanding the sociological process where in due course of time the divide between the two would diminish</span></li><li class="entry-label">Number of clients in past year: <span class="entry-text">Aranya, has been a case study and inspiration to many projects all over. For example, the West Bengal Housing Development Corporation's did a project at Udyan, Kolkata, where Cross subsidisation of EWS plots with the Higher Income Housing on the pe</span></li><li class="entry-label">Percentage of clients that are poor or marginalized: <span class="entry-text">76%</span></li><li class="entry-label">Potential demand: <span class="entry-text">At least 76% of the original inhabitants of Aranya Housing were low income i.e. less than Rs1000/ month . However, we must acknowledge and appreciate that most of them have prospered and grown to the extent that they can no longer be called poor. Aranya has also refuted the argument that in such schemes the beneficiaries i.e. slum dwellers normally go back to their original site after selling the allocated plot. On the contrary, our post occupancy survey of 1995-96 shows that almost 90% of EWS housing is used and incrementally upgraded by the original allotee.</span></li></ul>

Scaling up strategy:
Stage of the initiative:

<i>Mature</i> stage.

Expansion plan:

Not applicable

Origin of the initiative:

Our ancient cities began with laid infrastructure: road, services & public amenities. Houses were built subsequently & they expanded with need. Hence, the external public fa?ade had a continuity, with a variation in the expression of the occupants status & their need for communication, with outside world. Slums of the present day, don't have such support from social or public institutions. Only alternative they have is to occupy the low lying areas. Without a permanent tenure there is no chance to build a pucca dwelling, since the fear of evacuation always dwells in their mind. Though slums are considered outcast, no city can survive without their co- operation, since most of them serve the society in several meaningful ways. If we recognise this fact, would it not be wise to make them shareholders in our, over all growth?