Urban growth on neighbourhood level Neighbourhood study in Hyderabad

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					Lab for Planning in a Global Context (GLORA)
Institute for Urban and Regional Planning (ORL)
University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany

Urban growth on neighbourhood level
Neighbourhood study in Hyderabad India

Diploma of architecture and urban planning
January 2007, Johanna Brauch

1   Introduction                                                               5
        Context of the study                                                   5
        Challenge                                                              5
        Objective                                                              5
        Legal framework                                                        5
        Structure                                                              6

2   Population growth                                                          6

3   The housing market                                                         6
       Housing shortage in Hyderabad                                           6
       Government housing programmes                                           6
       The formal and informal building sector                                 6

4   Growth potentials
    Horizontal and vertical growth                                             7

5   New residential neighbourhoods in the suburbs
    The Malaysian Township                                                     8

6   Residential neighbourhoods in the inner city                               8
        Conclusion/ Findings                                                   8
        Noor Khan Bazar                                                       10
        Vijay Nagar Colony                                                    10
        Baghlingampalli                                                       10
        Himayatnagar                                                          10
        Rasool Pura                                                           10

7   Neighbourhood Vijay Nagar Colony
    Detailed investigation and proposal for an inner-city neighbourhood       12
        Objective                                                             12
        Conflicts                                                              12

7.1 Neighbourhood investigation
    Survey in Vijay Nagar Colony                                              12
        Development of Vijay Nagar Colony                                     12
        Density and housing                                                   12
        Usage and infrastructure                                              13
        Inhabitants and questionnaires                                        13
        Resident Welfare Association                                          13

7.2 Neighbourhood Development Plan
    Development of objectives, measures and policies for Vijay Nagar Colony   14
        Objective                                                             14
        Building regulations of the Master plan                               14
        Density concept                                                       14
        Housing typologies                                                    16
        Dwelling concept with LIG flats                                        16
        Usage and infrastructure                                              17

Conclusion                                                                    19
Bibliography/ Illustration credits                                            20
1 Introduction

Context of the study
Hyderabad is one of the fastest growing mega cities in India, marked by the current
boom of the information technology industry. The economic growth of the city goes
hand in hand with a rapid increase of population and a fast expanding land develop-
ment of the Hyderabad metropolitan area.
Politicians and authorities strive to solve the associated problems but are, however,
often overtaxed. The building activities and the urban development within the inner city
run, to a large extent, uncontrolled. The infrastructure cannot cope with this growth.

To meet these challenges the SHAKTI-project (Sustainable Holistic Approach & Know-
how Tailored to India) was formed to address the sustainable development on an inter-
disciplinary basis. The project is a cooperation between Indian and German Research
and Planning Institutions and is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and
Research Germany (BMBF).
In the context of this research project, the diploma thesis “Urban growth on neighbour-
hood level” deals with the sustainable development of inner-city neighbourhoods.

The four-month diploma project included a six-week stay in India where detailed
surveys of five different neighbourhoods, graphic analyses, inhabitant questionnaires,
expert interviews and literature research were carried out.

The neighbourhood study is a bottom-up approach to examine the problems of a fast
growing dynamic metropolis. Within the process of urbanisation, the inner-city neigh-
bourhood as one fundamental structural unit, one module of the city, plays an impor-
tant role. The knowledge about its inner processes enables one to draw conclusions for
the remaining parts of the city and is a necessary precondition for a sustainable urban

Following this approach, three fundamental questions arise:
What does growth at neighbourhood level look like; does it differ from place to place?
Is the development sustainable; what are the changes to quality of life?
What are the policies and instruments to control and regulate the growth; are they
sufficient to direct the development?

The goal is to study the process of urban growth in the inner-city neighbourhoods. By
analysing the city, basic residential neighbourhood types have to be identified which
may then represent other similar neighbourhoods of the city.
The characteristics of each neighbourhood shall be analysed and evaluated and reasons
for the course and the direction of development have to be demonstrated.
The displayed development in the different neighbourhoods will be compared and veri-
fied with the existing regulations and legal policies.

Legal framework
The rapid growth stresses the importance of a controlled development. The Draft
Master Plan for the Hyderabad Metropolitan Area “Hyderabad 2020” published in 2003

covers the entire metropolitan area. Besides laying down the space requirements for
the coming years it sets out building regulations for the whole HUDA-region.*

The following questions will be examined in the study:
Are the regulations applicable to direct the development in inner-city neighbourhoods?
Do they correspond to the city’s overall requirement to increase density?
Are they sufficient to protect the qualities of existing neighbourhoods?

Chapters 2 to 4 deal with the population growth, the situation on the housing market
and the growth potentials of Hyderabad city. They give an overview over the city’s
processes and the associated problems. The fourth chapter lays the foundation for
the two following chapters. In chapter 5 the Malaysian Township is presented as an
example of the first growth potential and a new township in the suburbs. Chapter 6
evaluates five inner-city neighbourhoods and their development. In chapter 7 for one of
these neighbourhoods, Vijay Nagar Colony, a detailed investigation is carried out and a
Neighbourhood Development Plan is being prepared.

2 Population growth

Hyderabad is a fast growing metropolis with 6.4 million inhabitants in 2001. By 2021 a
total population of 13.6 million within the HUDA-area is projected; a twofold growth in
only 20 years. (figure 1)
The expansion will mainly take place in the surrounding Municipalities and the Gram

3 The housing market
Housing shortage in Hyderabad
Every year Hyderabad´s population increases by 240,000 people. This implies that
50,000 new housing units are required per annum.
In order to provide new houses, clear the backlog and replace uninhabitable housing
units there will be a demand for 80,000 housing units annually over the next 20 years.
80% of the new dwelling units are needed for lower income groups.**

Government housing programmes
Earlier government housing programmes played an important role in the housing sector
but nevertheless the demand of housing units continued to grow. Today the contribu-
tion of these programmes is at 1-2%.***

The formal and informal building sector
To encourage investments in the building sector the government tries to increase the
attractiveness by offering tax allowances.
This leads to a trend to build large, planned Townships in the suburbs each with more
than 1000 housing units. These residential areas are built almost exclusively for the

* HUDA = Hyderabad Urban Development Authority

** Hyderabad Urban Development Authority: Hyderbad 2020. Draft Master Plan, p. 38-40

*** Interview with Mr. Shorey, HUDA, on 28.09.2006

                                                            upper social classes.

                                                            Besides this planned development there is
                                                            an unplanned and informal development,
                                                            predominantly by and for the lower income
                                                            groups. This situation is due to a lack of suffi-
                                                            cient supply of small plots legally available for
                                                            private construction.

                                                            Another result of the housing shortage espe-
Fig. 1: Population of HUDA-area including                   cially for the lower income groups are the
        Secunderabad Cantonment (in lakhs)                  slums. A fifth of Hyderabad´s urban popula-
                                                            tion is made up of slum dwellers.*

                                                            Until today the supply of houses for the lower
                                                            income groups is not legally regulated.**

                                                            4 Growth potentials
                                                                  Horizontal and vertical growth

                                                            Urban growth in Hyderabad takes place in
                                                            two different ways:
                                                            1. Development of new neighbourhoods in
                                                               the suburbs
                                                            2. A density increase in existing inner-city

                                                            This two-way growth happens simultaneously
                                                            in Hyderabad. The aim has to be the selective
                                                            (legal) increase of density by identifying
                                                            growth potentials in the existing inner-city
                                                            neighbourhoods in order to restrict the spatial
                                                            growth of the city.

                                                            - qualities of existing neighbourhoods are
                                                              being preserved
                                                            - social mixture by creating zones/areas that
                                                              attract higher income groups
                                                            - central location with high living standards
                                                            - all inhabitants can benefit from the original
                                                              qualities of the neighbourhoods
                                                            - through traffic will be minimised

                                                            - Partial damage of original structures

Fig. 2: Growth potentials of a city          * Hyderabad Urban Development Authority: Hyderbad 2020. Draft Master Plan, p. 47

                                                                                                   ** Draft Master Plan, p. 38

5 New residential neighbourhoods in the suburbs
    The Malaysian Township

One example of the development of new neighbourhoods in the suburbs is the Malay-
sian Township, the first one of its kind in Hyderabad. The township is located on the
connecting road between Kukatpally and the High-tech City, 16 km north-west from
Hyderabad. The 14 ha area is densely planned with a coverage of 60% and a FAR of
4.0. With its high living standards and services, the township was built mainly for the
upper classes working in the IT sector.

6 Residential neighbourhoods in the inner city

In the inner city growth runs largely uncontrolled. Despite the Master Plan and various
regulations, no controlled city or neighbourhood development takes place.
The risk of unplanned and uncontrolled development is mainly that the quality of life
of existing residential quarters suffers and the neighbourhoods lose their individual

Within the inner-city growth, the neighbourhoods play an important role, but not all of
them react similarly to the pressure of growth.
By analysing the city, five characteristically different neighbourhoods have been identi-
fied: Noor Khan Bazar, Baghlingampalli, Vijay Nagar Colony, Himayatnagar and Rasool
Pura. For all the five neighbourhoods the following questions have been examined:
How was the neighbourhood planned/how did it develop?
How is the present situation and what are the today’s processes in the area?
What will the future living quality of the neighbourhood be if it is left to development
without planning?

Conclusion/ Findings
The evaluation of each area and the description of yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s
situation show how the location, the predominant building typologies and social factors
influence the direction and force of development.

The conclusion implies that the universally valid building regulations of the Master Plan
are not adequate to control and guide the development in all these individual areas.
Moreover, the regulations restrict the density to a very low level. This encourages a
spatial expansion of the city rather than using the growth potential of the inner-city.
The low density prescriptions together with a lack of control lead to an illegal develop-
ment and decrease of the inner-city qualities.

To adjust the development according to the existing circumstances and to adapt legal
policies and instruments that support a sustainable trend, the idea is to develop Neigh-
bourhood Development Plans with an integrated density concept at neighbourhood
level, which responds to the characteristic building typologies of the quarters, refines
their development potentials and preserves their basic qualities.

The Neighbourhood Development Plans have to be prepared in cooperation with the
inhabitants to secure their support in the realisation process.

Fig. 3: Location of the Malaysian

Fig. 4: Location of the five
        inner-city neighbourhoods

Noor Khan Bazar
Location: Old city
Age/establishment: 1920-30
Development, builder: planned by the
City Improvement Board

Characteristics: single-storied houses;
court yards

Vijay Nagar Colony
Location: western inner city
Age/establishment: 1960
Development, builder: planned by the
A.P. Housing Board

Characteristics: detached houses; small

Location: eastern inner city
Age/establishment: 1970-80
Development, builder: planned by the
A.P. Housing Board

Characteristics: two- to four-storied
apartment complexes; high density

Location: central inner city
Age/establishment: 1900
Development, builder: unplanned neigh-
bourhood, “Urban Village”

Characteristics: many building activities,
new apartment complexes for the upper
class; rapid increase of density, partial
closed block system

Rasool Pura
Location: northern inner city
Age/establishment: 1950-60
Development, builder: unplanned neigh-
bourhood, Slum

Characteristics: bad housing conditions,
lack of basic infrastructure and education

                                             Fig. 5: Location of the neigh-   Fig. 6: Neighbourhood
                                                     bourhood                         structure

Fig. 7: Building typologies of the Neigh-

7 Neighbourhood Vijay Nagar Colony
     Detailed investigation and proposal for an inner-city neighbourhood

Using the example of Vijay Nagar Colony, a detailed investigation was carried out and a
Neighbourhood Development Plan prepared.

The over all objective was to preserve the identified qualities, to provide chances for
future generations and to support the overall city development goal. This means mainly
to restrict growth so as to preserve the quality of life but also to identify growth poten-
tials in order to cover the increasing demand for housing.

To enable long term sustainable neighbourhood development, existing regulations need
to be scrutinised and options for implementation of the planning suggested.

Urban planning in Hyderabad and its implementation are being eroded by certain
factors, such as:
- the structure of administrative departments and their jurisdiction
- the universally valid building regulations, which are not applicable in most of the
  existing neighbourhoods (chapter 6)
- public supervision of the building activities
- corruption
- the lack of a law which regulates the housing shortage for the low income groups
- insufficient maintenance of public open space

The above mentioned problems cannot be solved within this study, but it was tried to
by-pass these challenges by developing alternative methods for resolution.

7.1 Neighbourhood investigation
          Survey in Vijay Nagar Colony

The basis for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Development Plan is a detailed
investigation of the residential quarter which includes all the relevant factors such as:
density, building typologies, open space, traffic, infrastructure and inhabitants

Development of Vijay Nagar Colony
Vijay Nagar Colony was built by the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board around 1968 which
planned single-storied houses on small plots (120m² and 350m²) and a couple of two-
to three-storied apartment complexes.

Density and housing
The neighbourhood was planned for about 1230 households. Today the number of
household has nearly doubled (2320hh).*
Together with the increased density the building structures changed. The single houses
have been expanded, reconstructed or renovated mostly by the owners themselves.
The trend today is to give the plot for development and construct four- to six-storied
apartment complexes illegally on small plots (<2500m²).

* own estimation on the basis of the investigated no. of households/dwelling units in the whole area

                                                   Usage and infrastructure
                                                   The parks and the street system as
                                                   planned by the Housing Board are still
                                                   existent, only the traffic increased. Most
                                                   of the streets are mixed-use roads.
                                                   Commercial infrastructure was rarely
                                                   planned and has spread in an uncon-
                                                   trolled manner which has effect some
                                                   residential uses.

                                                   Inhabitants and questionnaires
                                                   To get an overview of the living condi-
                                                   tions and the inhabitants´ perspective,
                                                   questionnaires were organized in 40
                                                   As positive and negative changes within
                                                   the neighbourhood the respondents
                                                   mentioned the construction of illegal
                                                   apartment complexes, the unplanned
                                                   propagation of commercial use and the
                                                   increase of traffic density.
                                                   The over all resume was very positive
                                                   which shows the high identification of the
                                                   people with their neighbourhood.

                                                   Resident Welfare Association
                                                   In Vijay Nagar Colony and in PS Nagar a
                                                   Resident Welfare Associations represents
                                                   the needs of the inhabitants and cares
                                                   for the maintenance of open space. They
                                                   could be a link for a more active citizens‘

Plan 1: Neighbourhood Vijay Nagar Colony „today“

7.2 Neighbourhood Development Plan
      Development of objectives, measures and policies for Vijay Nagar

The Neighbourhood Development Plan refers to all the analysed factors and gives sug-
gestions for spatial and programmatic improvements. The overall objective is to develop
a density concept:
- which on one hand restricts the spatial growth of the city by making use of existing
  growth potentials in order to create dwellings for all sections of the growing population;
- and, on the other hand, to regulate this growth and preserve typical building struc-
  tures and existing neighbourhood qualities by adjusting existing building regulations
  to secure a controlled and planned neighbourhood development over the long term.

Building regulations of the Master plan
The Master Plan regulates the extent of development on the basis of plot size and width
of roads.

1. Buildings on small plots up to 2 floors
Plots <250m²
Width of road <18m
max. 2 floors

2. Buildings on medium plots up to 3 floors
Plots 250-2500m²
Width of road <18m
max. 3 floors
FAR: 1.0

3. Apartment complexes on large plots
Plots >2500m²
Width of road >18m
4 and more floors
FAR: 2.0

According to the Master plan in Vijay Nagar Colony, only independent houses with two,
rarely three floors and setbacks on all sides are allowed. Applying this regulations the
housing heights don’t follow any spatial concept and restrict the density to a very low
level which is compensated through illegal constructions.

Density concept
To increase the density in Vijay Nagar Colony a density concept was prepared. The
objective was to preserve the character of the neighbourhood in general by concentra-
ting the density in strictly defined zones where the infrastructure can take up a higher
quantity of population.
The plan is developed subject to the plot sizes, the block division and the road system. It
consists of three density zones:
1. two-storied centre
2. three-storied buildings within the remaining area
3. Selective increased density of up to five floors in PS Nagar (north), and two blocks in
   the southern area.

                                                          House type 1
                                                          no. of floors: 2
                                                          coverage: 60%
                                                          FAR: not fixed
                                                          setbacks: front 3m
                                                                     back 1.5m
                                                                     side 0/3m

                                                          House type 2
                                                          no. of floors: 3
                                                          coverage: 60%
                                                          FAR: 1.3
                                                          setbacks: front 3m
                                                                     back 3m
                                                                     side 1.5/3m

                                                          House type 3
                                                          no. of floors: 5½
                                                          coverage: 60%
                                                          FAR: 2.8
                                                          setbacks: front 3m
                                                                     back 3m when below 3
                                                                     floors, and 1m for every
                                                                     additional floor
                                                          closed block system


Plan 2: Density concept
        Suggestion for a guided increase of density

Housing typologies
In correspondence with the density plan three
housing typologies are being developed: two-
and three-storied independent houses and
five storied apartment complexes.

To compare the present situation with the
Master plan policies, and to adjust regulati-
ons for more sustainable development, one
exemplary housing type for each of the three
density zones is shown in the following three
Which housing type is found in the specific
density zone today? How would it be accor-
ding to the Master plan regulations? How
should it be according to the new proposal?

In PS Nagar and the south of Vijay Nagar
Colony five-storied houses in a closed block
system with building lines and lot coverage
requirements are proposed. For every third
flat one parking place will be provided and
additional space will be reserved to build
parking garages at a later date.

With this building typology a floor area of
12600m² can be attained which is an increa-
se of the floor area by 200% compared to the
Master plan.

Dwelling concept with LIG flats
The Master plan shows parking lots covering
30% of the floor area. In contrast it delega-
tes 10% of the floor area for lower income
The new concept for PS Nagar comprises the
reduction and the shifting of parking lots to
the backside of the buildings in order to pro-
vide additional housing units for low income
groups in the ground floor.

Behind this proposal stands the intention to:
                                                   ground floor       ground floor              first floor
- give priority to the challenge of providing as
  much living space as possible, especially for
  the lower income groups for whom 80% of          attic                20 flats
  the new housing units are needed;                1.-4. floor:         120 flats
                                                   ground floor:         24 flats
- make private investors take part in provi-
                                                   backyard:            60 cars
  ding dwellings for the poor, as the govern-      public road:         30 cars
  ment doesn’t have the capacity, and is not
  organised enough to be able to clear the         Fig. 8: Dwelling concept (unit in metre)

                                                              backlog and provide for future demand
                                                              on its own;
                                                            - ensure an integration of the poorer
                                                              section of society in order to avoid social
                                                              segregation, in contrast to evermore
                                                              separating population groups;
                                                            - create benefit in form of a workforce for
                                                              the upper classes which creates possibi-
                                                              lities of income for the lower classes.

                                                            Usage and infrastructure
                                                            The residential streets should remain
                                                            as mixed-use surfaces. A separation of
                                                            footpath and lane is only proposed in the
                                                            dense parts.

                                                            To connect green areas a green footpath
                                                            running in a north-south direction is pro-
                                                            posed, which is a continuation of the MCH
                                                            Tree Park and at the same time provides
                                                            safe ways to schools.

                                                            To restrict the uncontrolled dispersion of
                                                            commercial infrastructure, and to point
                                                            out potentials for future development
                                                            special areas have been reserved, espe-
                                                            cially within the dense parts.

Plan 3: Neighbourhood Development Plan Vijay Nagar Colony


The thesis deals with growth in inner-city residential neighbourhoods. It critically
examines the policies of the Master plan in view of the current development, and gives
suggestions for regulated growth scenarios at neighbourhood level.

By the increase of density in the examined neighbourhood the total number of inhabi-
tants can be increased by about 60%. This shows potential for the city centre, which is
not being considered by the Master plan.

Overlapping planning as a progress
The Master plan is a progress for the politically and administratively splintered region.

Unauthorised land development endangers the inner-city neighbour-
To a large extent the development and increase of density in the inner-city takes place
illegally and is uncontrolled.
The Master plan ignores the density problem in the inner-city.

Capitulation to unauthorised building activities
The Master plan pursues the overall concept of an openly arranged, green city ever in
the inner-city neighbourhoods, where the max. FAR is 1.0.
It leaves the inner-city to illegal development, instead of developing the density poten-
tials in a regulated manner.

No dwellings for the poor
The government withdrew nearly completely from providing houses through govern-
ment housing programmes.

Right of way for the car
The Master plan gives priority to the individual traffic instead of developing the public
transportation, and encouraging bicycling and footways.


Parting from the model of a garden city
Hyderabad as a metropolis has to accept a higher density in the inner city.

Differentiate planning levels
Attention has to go more towards the neighbourhoods. Planning on a neighbourhood
level has to be promoted.

Democratically controlled planning process
Neighbourhood-referred density concepts have to be developed which allow individual
building activities on the basis of generally accepted rules.
Public controlled planning processes can be a way to combat inactivity of authorities
and corruption.

Sustainable city development begins with the single neighbourhood. Only by knowing
the processes within these single elements one can preserve their characteristic struc-
ture, use their potentials and enhance their quality and consequently the quality and
the sustainability of the city.

Andhra Pradesh Housing Board, Hyderabad: Middle Income Group Housing Scheme.
          Prospectus (Application Form, Regulations, Layout & Designs). Hyderabad 1969
Brauch, Johanna: Stadtwachstum auf Quartiersebene. Quartiersstudie in Hyderabad Indien.
          Karlsruhe 2007 (unpublished thesis)
Hyderabad Urban Development Authority: Hyderabad 2020. Draft Master Plan for Hyde-
          rabad Metropolitan Area. A Plan for Sustainable Development. Hyderabad 2003
IJMII: www.raintreeparkhyd.com. Access: 26.10.2006
Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad: Hyderabad – City Development Plan. Hyderabad 2003
Narayan, P. Rajesh: Evaluation of Weaker Section Housing Programme in Andhra Pra-
          desh. Case Study – Ranga Reddy District. Hyderabad 1995 (unpublished thesis)

Illustration credits

Figure 1: Hyderabad Urban Development Authority: Hyderabad 2020. Draft Master Plan
          for Hyderabad Metropolitan Area. A Plan for Sustainable Development.
          Hyderabad 2003. S. 74 (revised)
Figure 6: Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad: GIS files made available on 20.09.2006
          (revised by the author)

Plan 1: Andhra Pradesh Housing Board: Original map of Vijay Nagar Colony, ca. 1960
          (revised by the author)

All photos, figures and plans which are not listed are from the author.