3A – Planning green areas

Supporting article A: Norms for planning green areas in cities

http://www.townplanning.in/news_show.asp?id=2775

Importance of Green Areas:

The green areas are considered the lungs of urban centres. Such green areas in a city ensures freshness and improves the ambience of the town,  maintain healthier environment by generating oxygen to the living creatures, and also function as an agent of recharging the ground with fresh rain water and controlling the increasing global warm. In fact, green areas increase the longevity of human life.

Planning Principles For Providing Green Areas In Urban Centres
At Master Plan Level :-
At Development Plan level or at Master Plan level, the green areas  or recreational areas in urban centres are provided on following forms:-
(1)       Provision of Green Belts Along National Highway / Expressway / and Other Major Roads / Arteries of The Town :- Green belts ranging from 100 meters to 30 meters ( i.e. 100 meters wide or 60 meters wide or 45 meters wide or 30 meters ) wide green belts are proposed along both sides of National Highways or expressway or other major arteries of the town. The width of aforesaid green belts can vary according to the importance of the respective roads. Such long green strips along major arteries help in controlling the pollution originated due to heavy traffic on such roads, increase the ambience to the town and also keep the scope intact for widening of such roads in future.
(2)       Provision of Green Areas Along River Fronts / Nallah / drain / Canal :
The fronts of river, drain, canal and Nallas etc. passing through the town are planned for the purpose of green areas / wood land / zoo / golf courses / play grounds / stadium etc. The width of such green belts can vary according to the topographical features of the area generally ranging from 30 meters to 250 meters. The development of green areas along such fronts helps in maintaining urban eco-system and save the main urban settlement during inundation.
(3)        Provision of Green Areas Along Railway Tracks:- The railway tracks are considered as a source of air and noise pollution and its vibrations result in cracks in adjoining buildings. Maintenance of greenery including thick wood land along such tracks helps in solving the said problems.
(4)        Provision of Green Buffer Zones / Areas Between Industrial Sectors and Non Industrial Sector :- Since, Industrial sector generates air pollution, and noise pollution, therefore, for the protection of adjoining non industrial sectors (such as residential sectors, commercial sectors, institutional sectors etc.) from such pollutions, green buffer zones, minimum of 30 meters wide are provided around the industrial sector.
(5)        Provision of Green Areas Around Sewerage Treatment Plants And Garbage Disposal Sites. The sewerage treatment plant in urban areas cause air pollution and also generate bad smell. For the eradication of these problems, provision  of at least 100 meters wide green belts around sewerage treatment plants and Garbage Disposal sites are provided.
(6)       Provision of Green Areas Around Historical Monuments and Religious Places :-  about 100 meters wide green belts / areas  are provided  around historical monuments and religious buildings for the maintenance of their sanctity. Such green areas also remain helpful to accommodate large congregation on the eve of important religious functions.
(7)        Development of Hillocks / Rocky / Ridge Areas As Green Areas:-  If hillocks, rocky and ridge areas are forming part of a town, the said features are required to be preserved  as green areas.
(8)       Provision of Green Areas around Airport, Radar, Ammunition Depot :- The buildings are always kept at least 900 meters away from Airport, Radar Station and Ammunition depot by proposing green areas around the said establishments.
(9)       Provision of Green Areas in the form city level and district level parks and stadiums etc. :- The infrastructure of district level parks and stadium is also provided after 4-5 residential sectors to cope with the needs of towns.

Norms For Providing Green Areas In Urban Centres

At Master Plan level, the over all green areas ( Recreational Areas ) are provided as per town planning norms. As per town planning principle, the proportion of green areas go on increasing with the increase of sizes of urban centres. The universally accepted town planning norms formulated for different sizes of towns are described as below:-

(A) Town Planning Norms For Providing Green / Recreational Areas in Urban Centres Located in plain Areas.

Nature of Urban Centre Percentage of total area of the town  required to be earmarked for green areas / recreational Areas
Small Towns having population      less than 50,000 Persons 12 % to 14 %
Medium Towns having population   between 50, 000 to 5 lacs Persons 18 % to 20 %
Large Cities having population    between 5 lacs to 10 lacs Persons. 18 % to 20 %
Metro Cities having population more than 10 lacs Populations. 20 % to 25 %

(B) Town Planning Norms For Providing Green / Recreational Areas in Urban Centres Located In Hilly Areas.
Nature of Urban Centre Percentage of total area of the town  required to be earmarked for green areas / recreational areas

Nature of Urban Centre Percentage of total area of the town  required to be earmarked for green areas / recreational areas
Small Towns having population less than 20,000 15 % to 18 %
Medium Towns having population between 20,000 to 80,000 15 % to 18 %
Large Cities having population between 80,000 to 5 lacs 16 % to 20 %
Metro Cities having population between above  5 lacs 16 % to 20 %

Scenario of Green Areas in Metropolitan Cities of The World
The urban Development Plans / Master plans prepared by different authorities reflect that the aforesaid town planning norms are not being followed in many urban centres.  The use of green areas / recreational areas has been found the most vulnerable areas as this use always remain on slaught  of every urban development agency due to increased urban land value. The  proportion of green areas being maintained  in important Metropolitan Cities of the world are described as below :-

 

Name of
the city

 Percentage of green  area (Recreational Area) to total  city area

Name of
the city

  Percentage of green  area (Recreational Area) to total  city area
MumbaiCity 0.65% Mumbai          Suburban 19.28%
Chennai 4.17% Kolkata 0.20%
Ahmedabad 2.03% Chandigarh 13.16%
Hyderabad 5.08% Jaipur 4.42%
Bhopal 11.26% Pune 8.52%
Tokyo 24% Mexico City 20%
Hong Kong 12.50% Beijing 43%
Chicago 5.80% Chiang Mai 33.10%
London 28% New York 20.90%

The above table reflects that in most of the metropolitan cities, the green areas / recreational area is negligible resulting in many environmental problems.

By
B.N. Sharma
Retd. Senior Town Planner of
Haryana Government