Built Morphology and the Impact of Planning Policies: Case of Small Towns in Karnataka, India

Aparna Shastri (1)
(1) Professor and Dean (Examination and Evaluation) at the Dayananda Sagar College of Architecture, Bengaluru, India


The morphology of a city undergoes transformation over time due to a variety of factors. One such factor is the master plan. The master plan is a powerful legal tool, the implementation of which has a lasting impact on the morphology of a town both built and unbuilt. The template for the master plans in India is the same be it a metropolitan city or a class III town. The resultant triggers and impact of this master plan are questionable more so in the case of smaller cities and towns. This paper investigates one such small city in the hinterland of Karnataka through a descriptive analysis of the compact historic city and the new developments; the impact of the master plan and the resulting changes. Through the analysis and arguments presented in the study for the reading of small towns and non-metropolitan cities, we support alternative readings of these towns and cities. Additionally through the analysis of compact city planning methodologies both historical and current, we understand how the two aspects; that is small-town urbanization and compact planning methodologies can be enmeshed to create new templates for master planning for small towns and cities. Our study is limited to the master planning exercise in the context of Karnataka and Gadag-Betageri in particular and needs to be further explored with respect to other urban development policies in order to be applicable to small towns and cities in general in India.

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Aparna Shastri
a[email protected] (Primary Contact)
Shastri, A. (2021). Built Morphology and the Impact of Planning Policies: Case of Small Towns in Karnataka, India. Environmental Science & Sustainable Development, 6(1), 01–13. https://doi.org/10.21625/essd.v6i1.787

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