Until recently, efforts by the government to provide low cost
housing in India were aimed at supplying ready-built dwelling
units. This approach was unsuitable as it took too long to
build a complete house; the price of a complete house being
too high for the lower income people and only a few units
could be built with the available resources.
As a result, public authorities resorted to two new approaches
to housing. First, improving and upgrading the slum area, and,
secondly, providing services sites for new housing
developments. Aranya Nagar, a township of 85 hectares, was
a planned site, service and core units for a new housing
development of some 6,500 dwellings.
Aranya (meaning forest), is a project of Indore Development
Authority (IDA) for 60,000 people primarily serving the
Economically Weaker Sector (EWS), of the society along with
other income groups.
• Existing slum settlements in Indore provided an interesting insight
into how the poor build houses for themselves in the face of severe
land and resource constraints. Traditional settlements have multiple
and mixed land use.
• The existing slums, although unplanned and crowded, had certain
characteristics and language of settlement.
• There were clustering of huts with the formation of small
neighborhoods and houses extended to the outdoors. Small shops
operated within the congested area.
• Wherever possible a tree was planted to create a small public space.
• Streets were not merely corridors for movement but they also
accommodated various social, economic and domestic activities and
in doing so, they enhanced the quality of the living environment.
• The presence of small shops highlighted their relevance in the
neighborhood as a means of earning a livelihood with minimum
• The major unsolved problem was the utility services, and inadequate
infrastructure which otherwise affected a healthy environment and
well being of the community.
• Indore is located 556 metres above Mean Sea Level
• The major climatic factors affecting the nature of
built form are solar radiation, ambient temperature,
relative humidity, prevailing wind and rainfall.
• The overall climate of Indore can be termed as
• In the winter months of December to February the
climate is cool-dry, which changes to hot-dry during
the summer months of April to June.
• The rainy season begins in July, and continues until
• The urban area of Indore City is 214 square
kilometers with Aranya being 85 square kilometers.
Most of the recent growth has been along the Delhi-
Bombay highway, which runs through the city in the
• Aranya is located approximately 6km from the city
centre of Indore.
• Out of the net area of the site, 1.85 hectares has
been set aside to accommodate the existing light
industries on the highway boundary.
• Square in plan the site measures approximately 1 km
by 1 km.
• The site is flat with no major physical features,
except a natural rainwater channel that runs
diagonally across the south-west corner.
• An accurate level survey shows a fall of 9 metres
across the site’s width of one kilometer, which gives
a gradient of 1 in 110.
• Topography determined the orientation of the major
infrastructure network and hence influenced the
overall spatial organization of the township.
• The site and the rest of the city has a 2-2.5-metre-
thick top strata of evenly deposited black cotton soil,
expansive clay with some organic content.
TOWNSHIP LEVELTOWNSHIP LEVEL
• The design method was approached at different
levels which eventually resulted in the creation
of neighborhoods, living areas, working areas,
thoroughfares, landscaping, and the public
• At the township level, the aim was the creation
of a central spine with the Central Business
District. This was a focus on the six sectors
converging with a centrifugal-like force.
Conversely, the CBD sent out its tentacles
through the staggered open spaces into the
MASTER PLANMASTER PLAN
• The master plan/ structure plan of the township
was informal and emphasized enrichment of
spatial quality in the plot layout plan with inter-
linked space of cultural context; maintenance of
a hierarchy of road, open spaces, and
commercial spaces; a central location of basic
community services, institutional, commercial,
social facilities; and the allowance of growth of
population density and house extensions in the
context of the Indian lifestyle.
MASTER PLANMASTER PLAN
• At the six sector level, the aim was the formation
of a social compatibility of an interactive and
integrated income/ social group who have
attained a viable community in each socio-
economic sector; segregation of pedestrian and
vehicular movement and good distribution of
land use and infrastructure; and to reflect local,
historical characteristic in built form by
promoting multiple and overlapping interactive
land use, maintaining contact with built and
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Plan initially prepared
by Indore Development
Authority which shows
a typical rubber
without any concern for
open space hierarchy,
climatic orientation or
the built form.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Initial stage of
proposed plan with
spaces and street
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Later stage of
rectified orientation to
minimize heat gain and
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Proposed master plan
with interlinked open
spaces, built form
and climate friendly
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Essentially a low rise
built form echoes the
traditional fabric with
continuity of built
edge, shared walls,
climate, house form
DISTRIBUTION OF SPACESDISTRIBUTION OF SPACES
• The master plan was divided into 6 sectors
with a central spine area of commercial and
institutional land use.
• The town centre in the middle of the spine
consisted of four clusters of shopping,
residential and office complexes.
• At the end of the spine, two more clusters of
social functions were located. This was a
mixed-use zone with a five storey building.
COMMUNITY/ STREET LEVEL
• At the community/ street level, the aim was to
produce a design linking the scale of the built
form and the human scale by incorporating a
street life with plugged cluster houses,
sympathetic and aesthetically complimenting
each other and a socio cultural life of community
interaction of families in the “otta” (outdoor
platform). An important feature of the Indian
home, at the service space between house,
community spaces and the cul-de-sac. The
street corner spaces are formed by the
alternating arrangement of the road, the green
space, and the pedestrian pathway
DISTRIBUTION OF INCOME GROUPS
• The high income group (HIG – 9%), is along
the periphery of the national highway and
part of the south-east border of the arterial
road in the south.
• The Middle Income Group (MIG – 14%) is
planned along the periphery of arterial roads
on the north-west sides and part on the
south arterial road along the part of spine.
• The Lower Income Group (LIG – 11%) and the
EWS (65%) are located in the middle of all 6
DISTRIBUTION & MIXING OF
VARIOUS INCOME GROUPS
• Vehicular access in the
form of rectilinear and
formal road in the
hierarchy of 4.5 mts wide
to 15 mts wide road draw
the vehicles outwardly.
• Pedestrian access in the
form of informal
interlinked open spaces
draws people inwardly.
• This achieves a clear and
safe segregation of
vehicular and pedestrian
DWELLING LEVEL PLANNING
• At the dwelling level, a service core was
provided with the prime objective that the basic
house when complete will be sensitive to the
lifestyle of daily needs of individuals with the
freedom to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces
with privacy within and from outside the homes,
by designing optional plans
• Priority was also given to the orientation, light,
ventilation and climatic control; to future scope
for vertical expansion and the provision of
subletting and commercial options; and the use
of appropriate utility technology, materials and
• For the EWS the options of core housing included-
• Site, plinth and service core (latrine and water tap)
• Site, plinth and service core (latrine and bath)
• Site, plinth and service core (latrine and bath) and 1
• For other income groups only plots were sold. A
verandah or house extension helped in expanding
the small EWS houses and enhanced the space
• A transition zone of 0.5 metres between the street
and house was provided. Permissible house
extensions such as platforms, porches, and open
stairs were built which created an interesting street
House form variations; users have the flexibility to choose how they
wish to design their spaces.
• A house plan included 2 rooms
and a living area followed by a
kitchen and a lavatory was
constructed between the front
extension and them multi-use
courtyard at the back.
• Most houses were provided with
an additional access at the back,
which allowed access at the back,
which allowed for keeping animals,
a vehicle or even renting out part
of the house to provide income.
• 10 houses formed a cluster that
opened into the street. The
courtyard at the back opened into
the open space of the cluster and
was used as a play area and
service area; trees and multi-use
platforms were added.
BUILDING DATABUILDING DATA
• The net planning area of Aranya Housing Scheme was
around 85 hectares of which 58% was residential use,
23.5% roads, 8.15% open spaces and 6.73% community
and commercial facilities.
• The marketable area was 68.16%. There were 6,500
plots divided into eleven types in the scheme depending
upon the income level and plot sizes.
• The smallest plots belonging to EWS whose income
level ranged from Rs. 200-400 per month was 35.32 sq
m. EWS plots accounted for nearly 65 % of total plots
and nearly 66% of the entire population. Plot sizes
ranged from 35.32 sq m for EWS to 613 sq. m for HIG.
The proposed arrangement of service
slots allows toilets at back while
connecting 18 toilets to one manhole and
sewerage lines only on alternative
streets. Thus achieving 50% savings.
Service slots also become useful play
areas for children, neighborly interaction
space and visual pause
BAs shown in option
1 the conventional
method of placing
the toilet in front
and manages to
toilets to one
sewerage line on
As in option 2, 3
and 4 toilets in the
MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY
• Conventional and locally available building materials and
construction techniques were adopted.
• The structures were constructed with load bearing brick walls.
• Walls were plastered and painted.
• Floors were cement concrete.
• The CRC roof was always constructed at a later stage because
it was a high investment item.
• The black cotton soil of the site necessitated pile foundation
even for simple and 2-storey buildings.
• Low cost hand made under reamed CRC piles were built for the
core house (latrine, wash room) and the residents were
provided with ready built foundations.
• The doors, windows, and grills were made on site by all of the
residents who made it their role.
• Railings, parapets and cornices were made to ornament the