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Somreeta Das | Maitreyi Yellapragada | Santanu Das
MCP | IIT Kharagpur
A new way for sub division of land for better social, environmental and aesthetics. To tessellate means to cover a plane with a pattern without having any gap or overlap.
For centuries artists and craftsmen have used tessellation as a tool to create visual effects on surfaces. Tiling is the most common form of tessellation, and in its simplest form the tiles are regular polygons. Planning elements necessary to form a small community is created by tessellating the mother-tiles to form a hexagon. Community space is created in the middle, surrounded by the houses. The road accesses the individual units internally and creates an extremely efficient circulation system. A spatial boundary is created along with a central area that can become the communal focus, and thus providing a sense of entry into this place. Organic Layouts are created as a result of the repetitive and clustering layouts.
Tessellation – as presented by Ar. Mazlin Ghazali
Tessellation planning traces back to a period in the geometric structures like the ziggurats of Mesopotamia or pyramids of Egypt Need to instill it in modern day planning process evolved with the new definition as given by Architect Mazlin Ghazali
Tessellation planning, or more specifically Honeycomb Housing (in terms of residential typology of use), has an additive base of: Mathematics: to support the geometry, layout and the desired dwelling unit density. (QUANTITATIVE) Socio-cultural aspects: of space and relative proxemics, human psychology and ethnic grouping. (QUALITATIVE)
While planning, the second factor is derived based on trial and error methodology (though research is ongoing to formulate softwares for this purpose) and then the first factor is stretched and relaxed accordingly, to conform to the second factor.
13TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN HABITAT, January 2011, Mumbai –Paper presented by Architect Mazlin Ghazali
Emergence of honeycomb housing in late 90’s. Possibility of achieving higher density by means of tessellation planning. The growth of population portraying geometric progression and perennial shortage for housing. Model villages were to be built to test if it was possible to address these burning issues which are the nightmare of every planner of the world.
Case Study And Inferences - Demak Laut, Kutching, Malaysia
Started as an Industrial estate, Demak Laut, Kutching, Malaysia had certain pockets left for future expansion when initially planned.
One such zone was about 19 acres in size. The two different layouts designed proposed by Ar. Mazlin Ghazali –Terrace housing as well as honeycomb housing (Tessellation). Great deviation in the no. of DU apart from the other features such as green areas, concreted areas, etc. Terrace housing portrayed lesser green spaces and huge concreted area, larger road length and road area. Tessellation proved to be a sustainable option with more green areas, lesser road lengths and road area and marginal amount of concreted spaces.
DEMAK LAUT INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, KUTCHING, MALAYSIA.
Increase in total no. of DU’s Reduction in road networks and concreted areas No of storeys reduced from 3 to 1
More Green Areas
Case Study And Inferences
Tessellation planning makes undulating land suitable for high-density land property development with less cut and fill.
Tessellation Planning results in reduction of road lengths and improving the land-use efficiency of the area. Normal Housing schemes can be seen as a row of houses surrounded by roads. By Tessellating, the houses surround the road. It is easy to understand intuitively that roads accessing internally are more efficient than roads accessing units from the external boundary.
This makes the network efficient.
“Socially slum is a way of life, a special character which has its own set of norms and values reflected in poor sanitation, health values, health practices, deviant behavior and social isolation”.
SLUM DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES IN INDIA
Numerous initiatives and steps have been taken since the Post-Independence to tackle the issue of Slums in India. The National Slum Development Program (NSDP), Vambay, JNNURM and IHSDP , Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) are all initiatives in this regard. These projects have been successful to quite an extent but a considerable number of projects and schemes fail.
NEE D FOR STUDY
Slum improvement programmes do not address specifically to certain micro level issues. Despite the fact that extensive efforts are being channelized to tackle the issue, the existence of certain limitations in the process hamper the 100% success rate of these projects. With the advent of time, the emphasis has drifted towards planning for innovative approaches in Slum Housing Programmes.
SCOPE GOAL LIMITATIONS Minor reforms in existing planning techniques can strengthen the policies and bring about a huge impact on the present planning conditions and their overall acceptance by the beneficiaries. Problem Identification and strategic addressing of the issues through innovative approaches in spatial and physical planning.
The research aims to incorporate tessellation planning to re-strategize models in slum free planning, where relocation is the only solution for untenable slums. The process also includes addressing micro level issues through Tessellation planning for acceptance by the beneficiaries.
The study is an Investigative Experiment, the feasibility of which is yet to be tested through pilot projects or a series of permutations and combinations in tessellation. The Study Primarily deals with the spatial aspect of tessellation planning . Detailed emphasis has not been laid on the construction techniques and economic criteria as they differ with place and context.
The Slum Free City Plan Of Action: Principles
The Planning Process aims at: In-situ upgradation of slums is the preferred option such that slum dwellers within a ward or zone continue to live in the same area. Attempt to reorganise settlement in -situ on partial land. Promote heterogeneous neighborhoods as well as continuation of residence-livelihood linkages. Minimize adverse impacts on livelihoods and community assets and access to health and education facilities. Involvement of the people and Community participation. Improvement in the living conditions and level of security of the urban slum dwellers. Provision of basic services like water supply and sanitation irrespective of land tenure and legal status. Retaining livelihood linkages and home based economic activities in the slum redevelopment, upgradation and improvement.
Micro-Level Issues pertaining in the execution of Current Housing Schemes
1. Location/ Accessibility
Rehabilitation sites are located far away from the workplace due to scarcity of land in core areas. This results in drastic increase in the commuting fare. Thus, many a times, slum dwellers thus do not prefer shifting to a different location.
2. High Density
Slums are very compact and dense even though the structures are low rise due to maximum ground coverage. Design of housing units is typically G+3 or sometimes even higher with complete disregard to their living and activity patterns.
3. Ease of Service Layouts
Failure in the laying of infrastructure at the relocated sites. Leads to situations worse than slums. High Density and chaotic development and structures make laying of services and utilities difficult.
The failure of a Delhi slum relocation - Bawana “An ambitious project to rehouse millions of Indian slum dwellers is coming unstuck because the new sites are becoming worse than the slums they are meant to replace”.
•Bawana, a slum relocation project 40 kilometres north-west of New Delhi. •5,000 slum dwellers were forced to move here when their homes in a slum on the banks of the sacred Yamuna river were torn down eight years ago. •Most people lost their jobs as day labourers or domestic workers because they were relocated too far away from their employers in New Delhi.
Suryatapa Bhattacharya Report, THE NATIONAL
Slums tend to get located on prime urban lands. The current inhabitants can be accommodated on the same site but within lesser area, leaving the rest for the city's newer development demands, amenities and land uses.
In RAY scheme, every effort would be made to provide infrastructure, civic services on par with the rest of the town
Micro-Level Issues concerned in execution of Current Housing Schemes
4. Community Building
Slum dwelling population usually belong to similar communities in terms of social and economic activity base. The designs for housing must attempt to strengthen the communities at large. Homes meant for the slum dwellers are based on designs of which do not take into purview their pattern of living, their socio-cultural activities which highly dictates the feasibility of the Housing Schemes.
5. Local Economy
People residing in slums usually engage in economic activities of small scale based from their homes. Creation of multi-functional living spaces that extend into a working environment and associated over lapping functions is essential.
Environmental issues are not adhered to in these programmes. Factors such as Urban Heat Island effect, provision of green spaces etc are neglected.
Creation of community spaces is essential in the process of generating an inclusive environment. Sufficient green spaces and civic amenities of community centre, livelihood centre, school, medical centre, etc. Reconfiguration of the arrangement of houses and plots in areas where community spaces are lacking.
Inner zones can restructure the displaced homes whereas the commercial zones can be located along the boundary/ main roads.
The Millennium Development goal No 7 highlights the need for Ensuring Environmental Sustainability.
Modern Day Approach to Tessellation Planning A GENERAL MODEL
Stage - 1
Stage - 3
A context based analytical approach
1. The typology being addressed 2. Percentage split-up of different typologies in case of a mixed use 3. Activity and sub-activity: their interrelationship
Stage - 2
Evolving new tools to map its implementation (feasibility analysis)
1. Feasibility on the basis of spatial distribution 2. Economic Activities 3. Finance invested for the model and finance generation mechanisms 4. Terrain suitability analysis
Appropriate addressal of the socio-cultural issues
1. Identification of the issues 2. Strategic Addressal of issues. 3. The diversity of the ethnic groups and conviviality promoted by this.
Tessellation Planning – Slums
Positive Features of Tessellation Planning
Capability to revise the FAR controls within short term periods Moderate cost of implementation yet less/ almost nil of maintenance and repairs.
FAR Revision Economic Approach Environment – friendly Buildable on any terrain Positive Aspects of Clustering
DENSIFICATION / REDENSIFICATION AFFORDABILITY
Easily integrated with green technological solutions Reduced magnitude of heat-island effects and greenhouse effects. Technologically advanced features of construction – viable to build on any terrain Promotes neighbourhood feelings, Promotes harmony and social interaction on individual level, Prohibits accidents and ensures physical safety. Vehicular accessibility is direct and cluster-wise. Pedestrian accessibility is highly enhanced due to an inbuilt network of pathways within the honeycomb pattern. Ensures natural surveillance of defensible spaces (for safety and security purposes). Lesser area encompassed. Extension / new installations easier.
CREATING NEIGHBOURHOOD AND NOT JUST COMMUNITY
ACCESSIBILITY SERVICE LAYOUT (COMMUNITY LEVEL)
Ease of Access
Social Safety Better service facilities layout
The issues listed can thus be analysed and tackled under Tessellation Planning to transform them into positive features applicable in the execution of Slum Housing Schemes
Investigative Experiment 1
In attempt to analyze the feasibility of tessellation planning in an Indian context, a small experiment was carried out. A small sector from Ward 34 of Kharagpur was selected. Site Characteristics – High dense|Undulating terrain|10 Ha area The demarcation of the desired size of polygons (using the Finite Tessellation Formula) . Best form of polygon of adequate size selected and tessellated
LIG Housing in Kharagpur
Creating different layout options –by trial and error method Finalization of the layout: best available option
Analysis of a High –Density Housing Society in Kharagpur
Tessellation – An Investigative Experiment
10% Increase in green spaces.
12% Reduction in road area
1.2kms Reduction in road length 11% Reduction of total concreted area 30% Increase in the no. of Dwelling Units
Investigative Experiment 2
Located in the heart of Rourkela close to the Malgodam where the Freight Yard is located. Densely packed slum/ basti situated on encroached railway land Un-notified slums identified under RAY Residents are majorly engaged in Steel Works, animal rearing, carpentry and welding. Infrastructure provided by the Municipality in-sufficient. (Community taps present, absence of toilets -open defecation practiced, presence of kutcha roads, and open drains)
Malgodam Basti, Rourkela
Investigative Experiment 2
Malgodam Basti, Rourkela
Second Investigative Experiment: A Few Details Area Existing No of D.U.s 8.8 Ha (~88000sq.m.) 329
Existing Situation (At present – as per observations) 329 37 D.U. / Ha
Expected Changes on adopting a Tessellation model 522 (increased by about 1.58 times) 59 D.U. / Ha
No. of D.U.s Density
Green Open Spaces
Road Length Road Area Concreted Area
10% of total area
About 38% of total area
About 2.4 kms 1.9 Ha Estimated at 15% of total area
About 3.9 kms 3.6 Ha Estimated at 28% of total area (including few roads – existing and under construction)
Exploring the Scope of Model Allocation on the basis of Slum Type
CATEGORIZATION OF SLUMS (slum free planning) Slums can be categorized based upon parameters of
Tenability Tenure status Land ownership Residential density Land value Infrastructure /socioeconomic conditions Strengthening the relationship between the environment and Neighbourhood Scope for improved between communities Increase in open areas indicate scope for economic activities in residential zones interactions
A criteria considered for Tenability Analysis: Hazard/Risk Zones – Flood area, Steep terrain, Seismicity and Environmental Hazards
Phenomenon portraying geometric progression and perennial shortage for housing Land Scarcity – shift towards the trend of high density residential units
UN TENABLE SLUMS The slums falling on areas prone to local flooding, undulation and steep terrain which are an obstruction to extension of urban infrastructure (roads, railways, airport, bus terminals) are considered to be untenable. Strategies for dealing with untenable slums
Possibility of achieving higher density by means of tessellation planning.
Relocation strategy In-Situ Development
Introduction of tessellation planning to replace Relocation strategy in case of untenable slums utilizing the Hazard/risk zones and converting into habitable areas
Holistic Integration of Tessellation into Current Housing Models/ Concepts for felicitous acceptance Tessellation Planning
Current approaches in Slum Rehabilitation/ Upgradation Schemes
Site and Services
Low Cost materials
Private Sector Involvement
The positive results encourages the use of tessellation for planning. However, as the economic aspects of such form of planning in Indian context has not been done earlier, a feasible option would be to experiment by introducing it on small scale model settlement systems. A Pilot project can be a the first step towards experimentation on Tessellation Model in India as feasibility analysis based on economic aspects has not been done earlier.
Though the idea of tessellation, from purely theoretical point of view seems a simple affair, it needs deeper consideration when implemented practically in the Indian context.
There is a need to address many intangible aspects too, apart from the economic and socio-political scenario. Acceptance of the system would be the key to success of such a planning process and that would require awareness. Integrating the model with current practices is essential in enabling a fool-proof process and methodology while tackling issues concerning Slums. There could be many questions posed in the form of limitations for such planning techniques that would require practicality of approach apart from ground breaking research.
1.Perry, C. A. (1929). The NeighborhoodUnit. In T. Adams (Ed.), Neighborhoodand Community Planning (Vol. Vol. VII). New York: The Regional Survey of New York and Its Environs. 2.Dunbar, Robin, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language, 1998.
3.World Development Report 2011, World Bank
4.Davis, M. P ., Ghazali, M., & Nordin, N. A. (2006). Thermal Comfort in Honeycomb Housing: The Affordable Alternative to Terrace Housing. Serdang: Institute of Advanced Studies, UPM.(part –I,II&III) 5.Ghazali, M., Sia, C. T., Chan, E., Foo, E., & Davis, M. P . (2005). Honeycomb Housing: Reducing the Cost of Land and Infrastructure in Housing Developments. Kuala Lumpur. 6.Blog site by Architect MazlinGhazali(http://www.tessellar.blogspot.com) 7.Articles from newspaper: “Cities and growth -lump together and like it, The Economist print edition, Nov 6th 2008 8.Southworth, Michael; Ben-Joseph, Eran(2003) Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities. Washington: Island Press. 9.Marshall.S. (2005)Streets and Patterns. SponPress. Taylor and Francis Group.London.U.K. 10.Rachel Kaplan, Stephen Kaplan, “ The experience of nature: a psychological perspective”,CambridgeUniversity Press, 1989. 11.Frey. H.(1999)Designing the City: Towards a more sustainable urban form.SponPress. Taylor and Francis Group.London.U.K
Somreeta Das | Maitreyi Yellapragada | Santanu Das
MCP | IIT Kharagpur