Identification of Neighborhood in Context of a Smart City
A neighbourhood is a planning unit. Its size has been defined throughout planning history.In 1920 , Clarence Perry defined a ‘Neighbourhood Unit’ in terms of its size based upon a five-minute walking radius which is around 160 acres.Clarence Stein expanded the definition of neighborhood center in 1942 by connecting the neighborhoods together to create towns.This neighborhood holds over 400 to 450 dwelling units including both single and multi-family. Residents enjoy both tangible and intangible benefits living in theneighbourhoods. The diversity and character gives a special lasting sense of identity in each of these neighbourhoods.Some are exploring the concept of “cradle to grave” neighborhoods.In Indian context, with time and rising aspirations , self-sustainable neighbourhood concept has lost its importance long back, rather the social pressure towards acquiring the best possible situations has created a total confusion in people’s mind which in turn has complicated the physical planning process in existing neighbourhoodsconnected to form a city.Nowadays people do not want to walk. Car dependence is increasing rapidly. On the other hand, globalisationhave caused a rapid progress in information flow, the mobility of people, and goods and services.The entire world is facing a tremendous social transformation with the steep growth of technological advancement.Today internet is a massive source of information that millions of people use and depend on every day. Almost all countries are aiming to have smart cities in near future. Though there is no such uniform definition about smart city, still for the purpose of this study it is assumed that a Smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic Internet of things (IoT) sensors to collect data and then use these data to manage assets and resources efficiently. In making these smart cities , the distribution of roles makes the task of urban development even more difficult for each of its stake holders.Therein starts the most important question which is how to define a ‘neighbourhood unit’ at this juncture in order to incorporate the possible solutions to uplift an existing city into a smart city. Does the same definition of ‘neighbourhood’ still applicable ?The aim of this paper is to identify such parameters for defining it as ‘Neighbourhood unit’ in the context of a planned township in Kolkata.
Keywords - Neighbourhood Unit, Smart City, Planning