After Le Corbusier

The reorganization of the State pf Punjab in 1966 resulted in Chandigarh being declared a Union Territory besides serving as Capital of Punjab and the newly created State of Haryana. In the process, Chandigarh became the seat of three governments & gained in size and stature since it already had a central location in the region and a sublime environment complementing its growth. Dr. M. S. Randhawa took over as the first Chief Commissioner of the new Union Territory and was chiefly instrumental in realization of the IInd phase in 1968 when M. N. Sharma was the chief architect. This phase of development comprised of 17 Nos. sectors extending from 31 to 47. The feedback which was gained from the development of Phase-I was wisely invested into the planning of this phase and certain fundamental improvements were envisaged in the Sector layout, housing and commercial environment. This phase was planned for a population of 3.5 lacs with an average density of 60 persons per acre as compared to 17 persons per acres in Phase-I and comprised of an area of 27 sq. km. The first phase was developed in 43 sq. km. of area.

The development and the character of the IInd phase of Chandigarh that emerged gradually in the three decades of its materialization was largely influenced by the following attributes:

Enormous Population And Development Pressure

The city recorded the highest growth rate (140%) during the decade 1961-71. The ensuring increase in the administrative workforce that brought more families created a market for supporting jobs initiating a population boom. In order to tae advantage of the development potential, the State of Punjab and Haryana set up new capital city. Migration trends also showed a preference for settlement in the peripheries of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, who in turn depended on Chandigarh for infrastructural facilities.

Need For Small Houses

The first phase of the city was sparsely populated with residential plots ranging from 5 marla to 6 kanals. With the immense increase in the population, this trend was reversed and smaller plots, catering to more number of people were planned. The highest category of plot in this phase in 2 kanals. The frame controls that governed the Marla type houses in Phase-I had second floor as Barsati, which was meant for outdoor sleeping and other activities only. In the new phase, this frame control was redesigned and provided changed use of space. Open to sky sleeping terraces, so much part of the Indian life, were provided in the control design.

Realizing its social obligation to provide economical housing to all strata of the society, the administration decided to provide multistoreyed housing/flats in the city. During this phase, housing clusters were created depending on the income levels of its citizens, viz. Lower Income Group (LIG), Middle Income Group (MIG), and so on. This move enabled the Planners to attain desired results; namely, denser development of strong community based living.

Separate Land-use Pattern

The layout & the Architectural character of commercial spaces in the new sectors was very different from that of the initial phase shopping centers. The 'Market Square' concept was introduced for the first time and the facades had more glass in place of vernacular elements such as louvers & brick jails.

Mixed land-use pattern has always been adopted through ages in most of the ancient cities & towns in the country. This is indicative of the inherent Indian Psyche of closer proximity of living & working space to save on space, time & ensure security with economic austerity. Accordingly, the first phase sectors had adopted shop-cum-flat (S.C.F.) pattern of shopping concept. These were small brick structures with shop on ground floor, residential facility portion on the 1st floor, and a low height barsati on 2nd floor. No basements were, proposed, keeping in view limited business environment. However, this concept under estimated the mindset of the affluent inhabitants who were used to living in constrained environment and more importantly, it didn't gauge the tremendous business potential of the city in the days to come.

Thus, the concept of Shop-cum-Office (S.C.O.) was born in the new phase and provided relief to corporate magnates who favoured to locate their regional head offices in this city due to a high degree of livability and high quality of urban infrastructure.

Social and Economic Changes

If the 1st phase can be called a period of controlled growth and economic austerity due to its emphasis on creating Govt. infrastructure and housing, the new phase could easily be termed as a period of affluence, consolidation and prosperity. The size of the dwelling unit may have come down due to scarcity of land, the area under commercial usage grew leaps & bounds, with special emphasis on service industries such as hotels, banks, private nursing homes & shopping centres in the new sectors.

To provide world class shopping environment for the Southern Sectors, a Sub City Centre in Sector 34 was planned with high rise commercial establishments. This upmarket area provides the best of commercial facilities to Phase-II Sectors and compensates for their distance from the main City Centre.

Unforeseen Growth - IIIrd Phase is Born

The key to a City's success lies in its ability to adapt according to changing conditions. It must continue to grow and change in response to its people's needs. The influx of people due to accelerated economic activities has led to scarcity of housing resources in the city. Keeping this in view, IIIrd phase of the city comprising sectors south of 'Vikas Marg' has come into existence. Sectors 48 & 49 are primarily meant for multistoreyed Cooperative Group Housing Schemes, whereas large rehabilitation schemes have been implemented in Sectors 55 & 56 (Palsora), Kajheri for settlement of migratory population mainly service people, which provide important support in maintaining the City. In all, nine new Sectors have been planned in this phase bordering the boundary with Punjab.