Urbanisation Current Affairs

Government orders review of FSI/FAR norms in mega cities

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MHUA) has ordered review of Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) norms in mega cities of country.

FSI/FSA

FSI is ratio of building’s total floor area to size of piece of land on which it is built.

The review will be taken up in time bound manner in all 53 cities with population of 1 million and above each. Moreover, similar review will be also undertaken for State Capitals with less than million population in due course.  The review will be taken up in consultation with States and cities is to cover an assessment of the existing norms and to what extent it could be enhanced.

Need for review

NITI Ayog in its report had illustrated deleterious effects of restrictive FSI by comparing Mumbai and Shanghai (in China). In 1984, Shanghai had only 3.65 sq.mt of space per person. But through liberal use of FSI, it has increased available space to 34 sq.mt per person despite increase in population. In contrast, Mumbai on average just had 4.50 sq.mt of space per person in 2009.

Based on this assessment, NITI Aayog had called for review of FSI/FSA to give properly planned push to urban development in country. In Indian cities, FSA is generally about 1.50, which is said to be on the lower side given the needs of rapid urbanization. Besides, availability of land in urban areas is critical to meet demand for affordable housing projects under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

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Asia Pacific nations adopt New Delhi Declaration for Urban Plus approach

The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) held in New Delhi has adopted New Delhi declaration to adopt Urban Plus approach.

This was the first such meeting held to discuss ways of realising the New Urban Agenda that was finalised during the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (also known as “Habitat III” conference) held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. Its theme of conference was ‘Emerging Urban Forms-Policy Reforms and Governance Structures in the Context of New Urban Agenda’. It was attained by representatives of Asia Pacific countries that account for over 55% of global urban population. It adopted Implementation Plan and New Delhi Declaration. The next biennial APMCHUD Conference will be hosted by Iran in 2018. 

New Delhi Declaration
  • Strongly advocated planning for urban and adjoining rural areas in an integrated manner instead of looking at them as independent entities.
  • Called for thorough review of existing policies and formulation of new policies to promote New Urban Agenda adopted at UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Eucador in October 2016.
  • It stressed on the need for effective governance structures in urban areas noting that governance as the key to sustainable development.
Implementation Plan Recommends
  • Formulation of National Human Settlement Policies to promote inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable city and human settlements.
  • Land regulation policy mechanisms such as land pooling to ensure inclusive and participatory planning, integration of land use and transportation planning across defined boundaries of cities.
  • Enforcement and incentivasation of timely execution of infrastructure projects, formulation of comprehensive urban parking policies and community participation in urban planning.
  • Adopt urban resilience as criteria for investment to withstand and absorb disasters and shocks and maintain normal services and quickly return to normalcy.

For background: 2016 APMCHUD

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