The Urban Density-FAR Duel

A high-density low-rise built-up situation cannot accommodate a uniform FAR increase. It will only densify the city beyond any acceptable limit of health, freedom or opportunity. High Density in small area is good. Low density in small area is acceptable. High Density in large area is not. Low Density in large area is bad.

If the argument is for increasing the housing stock, then any planner living with the current times would agree that the aim should be to increase the housing options and not just the FAR. The problem with such government ‘decrees’ is that, they ultimately tend to be executed in letter than in spirit. If one were really serious about the growth of Delhi, then there are many more sensible solutions than simply increasing the FAR.

What the city needs is a better quality of life, a range of housing options, an efficient public transportation, a sustainable and environment friendly network of urban services, and of course sincere governance. Excepting the last aspect, i believe the solution to all lies in design and technology. My focus here is to demonstrate how design can offer solutions which the government is seeking in regulation alone.

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