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Evolution Of Townships A Case Study Of Bengaluru Cities That Grow Beyond Boundaries
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Table of Contents
Abstract ..................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ................................................................................................................ 3
Township Development in Indian cities .......................................................................... 4
Private Sector Initiatives............................................................................................... 4
Theme Based Townships - An Emerging Trend .............................................................. 5
Case of Bengaluru....................................................................................................... 6
Adarsh Palm Retreat, Bengaluru ................................................................................... 7
Brigade Metropolis and its surroundings ........................................................................ 9
Key Factors that made these Townships successful........................................................ 11
Disclaimer ................................................................................................................. 12
 
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Abstract

India has undergone rapid population growth and a parallel urbanization. This called for more population requiring to be accommodated in urban spaces. As existing cities were getting more densely populated and had infrastructure limitations to serve an already existing population, there existed a potential for promoting decentralized urban developments. Townships came in as an attractive solution to the problems of the increasing demand in urban areas.

This research document will focus on the evolution of townships in Indian cities. The salient features of some townships in Bengaluru and their growth models will be studied in this research document. The impact of townships on their surrounding areas and vice-versa will also be discussed.

Introduction

The year 1947 saw the inception of the idea of a planned city in India. Architect Le Corbusier was appointed to design it and 1951 saw the reality of India’s first fully planned city, spanning 114 sq. kms. There were other planned cities and satellite townships that followed. 1971 saw a humongous 344 sq.km. Navi Mumbai taking shape, the country’s largest planned township. This was a satellite township specially planned to accommodate the ever increasing population, and attendant infrastructure needs, of the island city of Mumbai. The government was literally forced to undertake such a huge planned development.

Township development had, however, been taking place over a period of time, for more than a couple of decades. They initially flourished around the city boundary in somewhat less organized fashion but certainly linked to the central city (satellite towns). As the city boundaries started to expand, the concept of integrated townships which were developed beyond the main city came into currency. These townships were self-sustainable, accommodating people through plotted developments, housing units, social infrastructure, physical infrastructure and economic activity areas. Self-sustained township plans were built on the concept of minimizing the need to visit the main city center for either employment, education or recreational facilities.
Conventional
Model of site and
services
Organized
settlements and
services
Efficienly managed
services and built
spaces
Smart management
of services and use
of technologial
innovations
Figure 1: Figure showing the evolution pattern of townships in India

Townships today are not only being developed by government organizations but also by private real estate developers. Builders expect that the locality will get developed with time in the manner anticipated by the government. Homebuyers, too, hope so. Spanning hundreds of acres, such townships generally include independent houses, apartments, offices, shopping malls, cinemas, schools, hospitals and all other facilities which are a part of developed urban centre. Also, the presence of residential and commercial spaces in the same township leads to faster development as the two create demand for each other. Accessibility plays an important role in the acceptance of such huge townships. Buyers expect a well-planned infrastructure to help them reach the city any time they need. Being located in peripheries of metro, these properties are way cheaper than those in prime locations. Thus, affordability is another factor that is drawing buyers to these townships.
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Township development in Indian cities

Township projects in India have changed the face of many Indian cities in more ways than one. Satellite towns help ease the pressure on cities due to burgeoning populations and shortage of infrastructure. They also help distribute urban population over a greater space. Navi Mumbai, New Town (Rajarhat, Kolkata), Maraimalai Nagar and Manali by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) outside Chennai, Yelahanka, Hoskote and Kengeri outside Bengaluru by Karnataka Housing Board, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurgaon outside New Delhi are a few satellite towns’ initiatives by the government. These towns are not only self-sufficient in all aspects of livability but also a role model for other developing townships to come.

Private Sector Initiatives

Private sector initiatives in India have also given a new outlook to the way city’s real estate market is shaping. Affordability, availability of basic needs and a builder’s brand name are a few reasons why home buyers prefer township projects away from the city. As per the township act, a project of more than 100 acres is to be considered as a township. Land acquisition on this large scale is always a concern. Some private players have entered the market with smaller townships under the name of integrated enclaves. Some of these enclaves have had a successful impact on their surrounding developments as well, resulting in the creation of critical mass in these locations.

Township developers are attracting buyers with concepts such as ‘walk to-work’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘smart city’, ‘self-sustainable’, ‘futuristic’ and ‘large open spaces’. Hiranandani Estate Powai thrived on the concept of work and live within the township. Hiranandani Estate Powai in Mumbai is an integrated residential cum commercial township on over 250 acres of land. Its strategic location in close proximity to the international as well as domestic airports and Andheri (a bustling commercial centre of Mumbai), have been the strengths of the project. The major attraction of Powai was its commercial centre. Commercialization was followed by hospitality and recreation after the onset of public influx. Social infrastructure like schools and hospital have also been an asset of Hiranandani Estate project in Powai.

On the similar lines, in Gurgaon, DLF, Ansal and UNITECH have shaped up the new city. Jaypee Group has planned many townships on the Yamuna Expressway. On the Bengaluru-Mysore Corridor the NICE group is developing a few hub towns. The Lodha Group have ambitious plans for new township at Kalyan-Shil area. Magarpatta & Lavasa (near Pune), Mahindra World City (New Chennai) and Palace Gardens (Oragadam) are some other private sector initiatives.

Through its sustainable development model, Magarpatta City introduced ecofriendly development. Magarpatta emerged as a strong commercial township with major IT companies in the vicinity. The arrival of IT companies brought with itself a huge demand for residential units which in turn generated the demand for social infrastructure and retail facilities.

It is notable that the new townships not only evolve within themselves but also act as catalysts to surrounding developments. Physical infrastructure needs such as connecting roads, water supply drainage, etc. get fulfilled due to such huge developments. Residential towns like Lodha Pallava, Hiranandani Gardens, Brigade Metropolis and many more encourage work and life within the stipulated space. They not only attract residential buyers but also open up to the surrounding residents by providing superior schools, colleges, hotels and restaurants and recreation facilities which people can use to their advantage.
 
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Theme Based Townships - An Emerging Trend

Buyers now-a-days are no more charmed with basic amenities like a swimming pool, club house, indoor games, etc. They expect their projects to stand out in a crowd of other similar projects in their vicinity. Constant motivation and innovation in the real estate sector has driven the concept of theme-based townships to keep pace with the growing demand and consumer tastes. Moulding the changing face of the township culture, these projects have come up with themes such as Spanish, Greek, Mediterranean, Sports, Hollywood, etc.

Mediterranean theme townships inculcate some of the most liked design features in their facades like arches, porticos, cut-stone facades and railings. The lush greenery pebbled pathways, vast landscaped gardens and ornate fountains in the Mediterranean style get incorporated in the landscape design. Projects of Tata Housing – La Montana, Pune & Sobha City, Bengaluru are a few based on the Mediterranean theme. Bloomfield in Pune by Amit Housing, a well-established real estate company, is based on a Singaporean Theme. Lakeside Habitat by the well-known Prestige group in Bengaluru is designed based on the Walt Disney concept. This luxury project based on the Whitefield road in Bengaluru presents popular Disney characters all over the site in more forms than one. Supertech Romano in Noida is based on a Roman architecture theme with lush green landscapes, amphitheater and classic pillared apartment buildings. Developers like Logix, Antriksh, Shubhkamna, Brys, etc. have already launched luxury golf-themed housing projects in Noida. These golf theme based townships provide for large open spaces with tree-lined streets, pedestrian pathways, cycle tracks and a huge golf course.
 
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The Case of Bengaluru

One of the better examples of integrated enclaves is the city of Bengaluru. Bengaluru consists of more than 20 ongoing integrated enclave projects by private developers in and around the city. The eastern and southern parts of Bengaluru have largely been housing these township projects. Whitefield and Electronic City are one of the prime commercial centres in Bengaluru today. It was because of Electronic City and WhitefieldTownships in and around Bengaluru that the peripheral areas are no more detached from the map of Bengaluru. Projects namely Bhartiya city, Brigade Metropolis, Adarsh Palm Retreat, Patel’s Neotown and Prestige Shantiniketan have been some of the most talked about integrated enclaves in the city. These developments have created a selfsustainable and safe atmosphere for people to live in.

In the research paper to follow, we will discuss the case of Adarsh Palm Retreat and Brigade Metropolis along with the surrounding areas that they influence. We will try and decipher the whys and wherefores which led to a positive stimulus for these projects and in parallel discuss the influence of these townships on the surrounding real estate pattern.


Figure 2: Townships in and around Bengaluru
 
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Adarsh Palm Retreat, Bengaluru
Adarsh Palm Retreat, Bengaluru
Figure 3: Adarsh Palm Retreat and Influencing Areas
Adarsh Palm Retreat in Bengaluru proves to be an apt example for its evolution pattern and phasing which were based on the city’s need of the hour. Around 14 kms from MG Road and ~15 kms from Whitefield, Adarsh is located to the south-east of Bengaluru.
Commercia
lization ORR and Sarjapur Main Road Institute by Salarpuria Adarsh SEZ and residential development In-migration Low aspirational
Figure 4: Timeline of Development for Adarsh Palm Retreat and its Surrounding Areas
 
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In the early years of 2000, as the city did not foresee population influx due to migration, residential development started with bungalows and independent houses. As IT began to flourish, there was an inflow of migrants which increased the demand for housing which was then met by the introduction of affordable apartments in the market. The development in the catchment (Adarsh Palm Retreat surroundings) was influenced by the Wipro Head Quarters which existed pre-2002. With the completion of two major infrastructure projects, Outer Ring Road and Sarjapur Main Road, connectivity to the outskirts and city improved. Completion of flyovers on Outer Ring Road further strengthened connectivity to Whitefield.

As the market and location began to mature, Adarsh introduced its Villa product along with its IT SEZ in 2005-2006. The following two years, from 2006-2008, there was a phenomenal development in IT with projects namely RMZ Eco Space, Prestige Tech Park, Prestige CISCO, and Embassy Tech Park. These projects further attracted migrants to the catchment and put pressure on housing demand. The market saw a supply in the luxury segment. Retail and Hospitality also gradually grew apace with advancement in habitation. Adarsh started the construction of branded hotel groups like the Le Meridian Hotel and Novotel-IBIS Hotel post 2008. Commercial market got sluggish after the 2008 recession, but began to recover post 2012, with new launches of Divyashhree IT Park, RMZ Eco Space, Prestige Cessna Business Park. The residential market also flourished post 2009. Adarsh and the immediate catchment became the source of employment to close to 40,000 IT professionals.

Meanwhile, Adarsh introduced its mid and luxury segment apartments. The township, along with the area of influence at present consists of 52% residential use. 25.5% still functions as village and around 13.7% of the area is dedicated to commercial use. Institutional land use consists of 7% of the township whereas hospitality and retail together own 0.8% of the area’s built composition.
Year 2000
Figure 5: Year 2000
Year 2007
Figure 6: Year 2007
Product Introduction Cycle of Adarsh Palm Retreat and its surrounding Neighborhood
Figure 7: Product Introduction Cycle of Adarsh Palm Retreat and its surrounding Neighborhood
 
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Brigade Metropolis and its surroundings
Brigade Metropolis and its surroundings
Figure 8: Brigade Metropolis and its surrounding areas
Brigade Metropolis, situated on the ITPL main road near Whitefield Hoodi Juction, has been one of the most talked about integrated enclaves in Bengaluru. On the main ITPL road, this enclave was greatly influenced by the ITPL and KIADB export zone. The catchment’s development was mainly triggered in the pre-2000 due to IT and commercial centres in the vicinity.
ITPL & KIADB Ascendas and SAP IT park Karnataka Sports Club Prestige Shanti niketan Brigade Metropolis's Summit I & II Hospitality sector
Figure 9: Timeline of Development for Brigade Metropolis and its surrounding areas
 
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Key commercial projects developed prior to 2002 were Ascendas IT Park, Molex Tech Park, Prestige Tech Park, Regent Gateway, Global GIS, The Advantage Raheja, et al. New supply in the residential development was generated by local individuals. The launch of Karnataka Sports Club in 2003 generated upgradation of location. Post the launch of this sports club, a slew of new commercial projects, almost 5.3 mn.sq.ft, was seen in 2004 - like L&T InfoTech Park, Gopalan Global Axis and Salarpuria GR Tech to name a few.

Gradually the catchment saw a varied product mix of the residential type which consisted of villas, affordable and mid segment products. The introduction of residential supply happened immediately post-2004 commercial development. Purva Park Ridge introduced its villa product and Golden Star came up with affordable 2 and 3 BHK apartments. Prestige Shantiniketan was launched in 2005 which came up with mid and luxury 2 BHK and 3 BHK units. Around 12.9 million sq.ft supply in commercial category was seen between 2006 and 2007. Brigade Metropolis (Summit 1 and 2) launched its commercial product first in 2006. Others to name were Salarpuria G R Tech Park, Bhoruka Technology Park and Gopalan Global Axis which were also launched in 2006. Baghmane World Trade Centre, a Phase of Gopalan Global Axis, SJR IT park were a few other key launches in 2007. Taj Vivanta was a prime hospitality development in the year 2007 and Phoenix market city followed by Forum Mall in 2008 were the key retail developments. Decathlon Sports Centre was another major development in Mahadevpura. As hospitality and retail started to flourish they paved the way for more residential products.

Brigade Metropolis’s residential pattern began with 2 and 3 BHK in 2002. Subsequently commercialization led to the demand for affordable housing in the catchment area which lead to the introduction of 1BHK in 2003. As the demand augmented further, supply of 1BHKs increased in 2006, 2007 and 2008. 2 and 3 BHK products were re-launched in the year 2005 in the mid and luxury segment owing to their growing demand. Year 2003 and 2004 also saw an introduction of duplex and villas. The current product mix of Brigade Metropolis and its neighboring area consists of 50% 3BHK, 28% 2BHK, 8.4% comprises of 4BHK and 6.5% of Duplex. 1BHK, 5BHK and villas together comprise of 7% of the remaining area.
Pre 2002 developments
Figure 10: Pre 2002 developments
Year 2005
Figure 11: Year 2005
Year 2012
Figure 12: Year 2012
Product Introduction pattern of Brigade Metropolis and surrounding neighborhoods
Figure 13: Product Introduction pattern of Brigade Metropolis and surrounding neighborhoods
 
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Key Factors that made these Townships successful

The success of townships depend not only on their external facade and a builder’s brand name but also on other factors such as connectivity, commercialization, ease of access, etc. It is very important for developers to understand the need of the city. Connectivity to other areas of the city and proximity to commercial centers plays a major role in the acceptance of township projects. Strong business propositions, like introduction of a motivating product mix and quoting a price lesser than market rate to ensure cash flow, keeps a project on the move. The more one relates with the people more the chances of success.

Adarsh Palm Retreat and Brigade Metropolis both had a very strong connectivity to the rest of Bengaluru city. Adarsh lies on the outer ring road and Brigade Metropolis on the main ITPL road which facilitates access to the commercial centre of Bengaluru, Whitefield. Brigade Metropolis had a strong connect to the developing and already established KIADB. This not only drew the working population towards the catchment but also lead to the need for physical and social infrastructure developments. In case of Adarsh Palm Retreat, the product mix facilitated by the township was a mere deliverable of the public preferences in the catchment. Adarsh first launched its villa, 2BHK and 3BHK as per the prevailing market demand. The then percentage of villas was 45%. As the demand for affordable housing piled up, 2BHK supply was increased to a percentage share of almost 54% of the total housing supply in the catchment. It was in 2007, post IT growth in the vicinity, that luxury products like 4BHK, 5BHK and Duplex were introduced. The product cycle of Brigade Metropolis and the catchment around was also in tandem with demand and the market saw supply starting from affordable to mid-end to luxury, which came in 2006-07, when location matured.

Site surroundings and development are a critical part of the township plan. As per studies, commercial activities lead the demands of a township. It has also been noticed that social infrastructure and retail form the basis for approval by probable inhabitants. Very importantly, the time of launching the township should be parallel to the city’s growing needs. Phasing of a township also plays a critical role. Phasing should be directly proportional to the market demand. It is also important for townships to maintain a balance between all the various types of land uses like residential, commercial, institutional, open spaces, retail, recreational, etc.

Adarsh Palm Retreat introduced its IT along with the educational infrastructure which ensured a floating population in the catchment. IT and commercial building just took 2 to 2.5 years to complete, which ensured cash flow for the developer. Hospitality and retail was introduced as and when habitation began to flourish with the onset of commercialization. Infrastructure development in terms of road, water supply and electricity were also seen moving in tandem with the development. All these factors lead to a systematic growth pattern of the township. It is also noteworthy that the township has undergone a gradual price appreciation of 5% from 2008 to 2014. In the case of Brigade Metropolis, commercial and hospitality sector influenced the demand for residential products. Government policies and ready infrastructure helped promote IT development in Mahadevpura. ‘Work and live’ concept was very smartly adopted by developers like Prestige and Brigade, which further boosted commercial as well residential supply. Onset of habitation and growing IT development brought with itself retail and hospitality supply, post 2006 when the location was almost fully developed.

It can be observed from the above that commercialization is one of the key components of any township that drives people to a township situated away from the main city. Retail and social infrastructure tend to follow habitation. Although there is no one rule for the success of townships, all the above discussed factors contribute to a flourishing township project in some way or other. Though townships face a longer gestation period in terms of habitation and acceptance, there is no shadow of doubt that they are shaping the urban scenario of India.
 
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Research by:
Dhaval Prasanna, Sandip Kumar & Bhushan Adavade

Edited by:
Prisha Seth

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