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Chandigarh: Probing New Urbanism

Ajay Kaushik


This paper discusses Chandigarh which is one of the best examples of town planning not only in India after independence but also in the world. Chandigarh was designed as the capital of Punjab after independence subsequent to partition in 1947 by CIAM proponent Le Corbusier. The paper examines the neighbourhood planning of Chandigarh in context of principles of New Urbanism. New Urbanism was an urban design movement started in early 1980s in United States. Since the basic idea behind the movement was to promote walkable neighbourhoods encompassing range of activities besides residential. This aspect with regards to Chandigarh has not been examined in larger sense of New Urbanism. Hence, it is going to add to the scholarship in reference to Chandigarh in appropriate context. This paper tries to identify how Chandigarh designed by Le Corbusier, on the principles of CIAM (1933-43), strikes a balance with the principles of New Urbanism despite the fact that both of the two theories are diametrically opposite. For this, the second set of nine principles of New Urbanism that envision neighbourhood, districts and corridors is analysed in context of Chandigarh.

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