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History of Architecture (AP313) | Term Paper | 2013

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Globalization and its impact on new cities like Noida and

Term Paper for History of Architecture (AP131)

Mayank Shekhawat
Roll Number: 02616901611
Sushant School of Art and Architecture


This is the golden age for business, commerce and trade. Never before in the
history of the world has there been such an opportunity to sell as many goods to as
many people as there is right now.
With instant information and communication, virtually everything is available to
anyone, anywhere. Markets are now global and many corporations are often richer
and more powerful than many countries.
Globalization (or globalisation), it is the process of international integration arising
from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of
culture. Advances in transportation and telecommunications infrastructure,
including the rise of the telegraph and its posterity the Internet, are major factors in
globalization, generating further interdependence of economic and cultural
activities. Process of globalisation not only includes opening up of world trade,
development of advanced means of communication, internationalisation of financial
markets, growing importance of MNC's, population migrations and more generally
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increased mobility of persons, goods, capital, data and ideas but also infections,
diseases and pollution.
Globalization requires infrastructure and infrastructure requires land. Hence, as
India opens its gates to new markets, more and more land is required to set up the
MNCs. This was a major reason behind urbanization of Gurgaon and Noida. Large
areas of land were acquired from the farmers at cheap rates to set up MNCs and
expand business. But this was not always the case. It was possible for Indian
markets to go international only after major policy changes that took place in the
early 1990s.


Globalisation has brought in new opportunities to developing countries. Larger
access to developed country markets and technology transfer hold out promise to
improved productivity and higher living standard. But globalisation has also thrown
up new challenges like growing inequality across and within nations, instability in
financial market and environmental deteriorations. Another negative characteristic
of globalisation is that a majority of developing countries remain removed from the
process. Till the nineties the process of globalisation of the Indian economy was
constrained by the barriers to trade and investment liberalisation of trade,
investment and financial flows initiated in the nineties has progressively lowered
the barriers to competition and accelerated the rate of globalisation.
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Globalization saw a need to grow faster. With increasing urbanization, high land
prices in cities, the only economically viable solution is to go higher. Building
skyscrapers became a need. In context to Delhi, high land rates and limitations to
go higher pushed the developers to neighbouring places like Gurgaon and Noida.
Skyscrapers started coming up as they maximise the density of the area and
produces environments where people walk more, take transit and make better use
of infrastructure. Another reason for skyscrapers was the symbolism associated
with them. Globalised commercial architecture has developed a symbiotic
association with a new breed of global star architects. As cities, more than nations,
now compete to attract global investment and global tourism, they search for brand
differentiation and symbolic modernity. The commissioning of public buildings by
star architects is now an established marketing technique. The buildings must be
(in the literal sense of the word) extra-ordinary or unusual and designed by one of a
small band of global architects whose nationality
is more accidental than significant. At one level one might believe that satisfying
the functional requirements is the supreme concern of tall building designers. But
the hidden agenda of the architect, the developer, the client and others may well be
deeper than that. This agenda may include creating a monument by leaving a
noticeable personal signature on the landscape, seeking an architectural award, or
competing with another nearby building for height and space. Also, skyscrapers
are, to a certain extent sustainable in nature. The sustainability can also be
improved through maximising the utilisation of the buildings. This can be through
long hours of operation, or the provision of services, which can be shared with
others- in the same building, in the same company.
Globalization has a number of negative aspects as well such as it uses up finite
resources more quickly, tends to move taxation away from corporations, and onto
individual citizens, encourages dependence on other countries for essential goods
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and services and also, it ties countries together, so that if one country collapses, the
collapse is likely to ripple through the system, pulling many other countries with it.
But on the positive side, it helps generate employment as it transfers jobs from
developed countries to less developed countries and hence, enhances world trade.
As more money is poured into developing countries, there is a greater chance for
the people in those countries to economically succeed and increase their standard
of living. Also, developing countries are able to reap the benefits of current
technology without undergoing many of the growing pains associated with
development of these technologies.
Global competition encourages creativity and innovation and keeps prices
for commodities/services in check. Also, the Governments are able to better work
together towards common goals now that there is an advantage in cooperation, an
improved ability to interact and coordinate, and a global awareness of issues. There
is a greater access to foreign culture in the form of movies, music, food, clothing,
and more. In short, globalization has given the world more choices.
The increasing globalisation of the worlds economy has helped firms to cut their
costs to the bone, by allowing them to scour the world for suppliers who can offer
them the best goods and infrastructure at the most competitive prices. This need
for infrastructure has led to the setting up of towns like Noida and Gurgaon. Noida
and Gurgaon have obviously benefited from the urban stress being faced by Delhi,
which is under pressure from a lack of space, sky-high property prices, and a large
population. Therefore the focus shifted to the neighbouring areas that would offer
land at cheap rates, which is the foremost concern and also good connectivity with
the national capital and industry-friendly government policies. Hence, Noida and
Gurgaon have been seeing an increase in the number of multinationals setting up
base there and are becoming the preferred destinations for companies offering IT,
ITeS, BPO, BTO and KPO services in various domains such as banking, financial
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services, insurance, pharma, auto, FMCG and manufacturing. This has resulted in a
large-scale migration of skilled and unskilled workers to these places.
Infrastructure has developed in tandem - wide roads, big commercial centres, and
institutions - which have lifted the stock of these places among developers, end
users and investors.

But rapid development and growth of cities does not necessarily mean healthy
growth. The skyscrapers that are coming up in both the places have negative
aspects as well. They have not been successful in achieving a more transit
environment, where people walk more. Also, a number of socio-cultural and
economic issues are associated with these massive glass buildings. Another
important concern, skyscrapers lack connection to ground. We realize that this
model of symbolic tall buildings and going vertical is purely contextual. The tall
building is an element of an urban scheme, and as such depends on the
neighbouring buildings and street space. It must be measured within the context of
the city block, the street, the pedestrian, and with regard to its users and the
interior spaces they occupy. Tall buildings can also have an impact on the urban
fabric, and the historical heritage of buildings and spaces. Also in the recently
constructed MNCs, services and planning aspects have completely been ignored in
many places. There is no main sewer line running through Gurgaon. Also, power
cuts are very common to both gurgaon and Noida, but the companies get a nonstop
special industrial power supply from the administration, be it Noida or Gurgaon. All
that Gurgaon looks today is a concrete jungle, with buildings and construction
projects scattered all across its area. Such has been the scale and zest of concrete
development, that little thought has ever been given to urban coordination among
different projects and the resulting loss of green cover. Delhi is the parent city of
any of its satellite towns of the NCR. If any of the NCR cities has anything better
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than Delhi, it is because it was so envisioned to be. These cities were created to
decongest Delhi and prosper along with the NCT. The NCR cities were developed
keeping in mind the hardships encountered with developing Delhi post-
independence. The main aim was to not repeat the follies committed in developing
Delhi again.
With such aims, while all satellite towns should have marched ahead of Delhi, none
seem competitive so far. Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Ghaziabad
have been transformed into no less than a heap of ill-coordinated projects and the
administrative hara-kiri.

7. Ali, M. M. and Armstring, P. J., eds., (1995). Architecture of Tall Buildings,
CTBUH Monograph 30, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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