Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://localhost:8081/xmlui/handle/123456789/78
Authors: Pushplata
Issue Date: 2000
Abstract: Attractiveness of hills, their serene environment and salubrious climate has been attracting visitors and pilgrims since ages. Importance of hills lie in their contribution to larger eco-systems, as well as, in their socio-cultural significance. Some of the most dramatic hill tops are held sacred and are sites of famous Hindu, Buddhist and Greek temples. Settlements in hills are often associated with their picturesque settings, unique landforms and landscape features. History of human settlements is abound with outstanding examples of hill buildings. While settlements like Machu Pichu are excellent examples of geomorphic approach, towns like Pergamon and Priene are outstanding examples of a combination of geomophric and ortho-linear approach. Hill towns such as, Siena are considered to be the ideal examples of townscape. Numerous tourist, winter sport and spa resorts have developed in the hill regions all over the world. Hill stations in India, like Shimla, Mussorrie, Nainital are known for their scenic beauty. However, environmental degradation and loss of character are being witnessed in most of the hill towns that have experienced growth- haphazard, as well as, planned. Planning and design of hill settlements has been largely neglected in India. Inspite of the generic differences between the settlements in hills and in plains, approach towards their planning has been largely the same. Incompatibility of built forms and environmental sensitivities are the prime concerns of all the hill towns in the Himalayan hill region. Increased instances of hill instability, disturbances in surface and sub-surface hydrology are frequently occurring phenomenon with increasedconstruction activity in most of the hill towns; and more so in centres of tourist attraction. If this innocous looking development continues it might endanger stability and ecology of the area as well as their essential qualities, adversely affecting tourism and quality of life of local inhabitants as a consequence of it. Aim of this research is to suggest an Urban Design frame work for guiding development in hill towns, integrating issues of hill stability, ecology, energy and aesthetics with social concerns. The study started with finding out the generic nature of hills and human settlements that make the context of a hill town vastly different than that in plains. A review of the existing theories and techniques were undertaken to find out their appropriateness in context of hill settlements. The appropriateness of an urban design approach and changing role of urban design is emphasized after reviewing different approaches of urban design, environmental planning, landuse planning and sustainable development approaches. A study of the salient historical as well as traditional hill settlements in the world and India has been done to infer design approach and principles, so that the accrued knowledge can be used in framing guidelines for planning and design of hill towns. In absence of adequate precedence and information on hill towns in general and India in particular, two towns of Kumaun Himalayan region representing typical yet diverse situations, were studied in detail, which formed the base-studies of the research. Inter-relationships between natural and built environment were inferred from the analysis of existing built forms and problems of these two towns. HI Parameters for various components of urban built forms, identified on the basis of the base-studies and review of literature were evolved. Different areas in hiltshave different environmental contexts and complexities. Some are more prone to landslide and have weak geologic starta, some are ecologically more sensitive, while others are vantage locations from aesthetic point of view. Built forms in hill towns are found to have a crucial role in aesthetic as well as environmental quality of hill towns. In view of the above, it becomes essential to understand the context of built forms. Therefore, a model for appraisal of hill sites has been suggested and criteria of site suitability identified. An Integrated Site Suitability Index has been worked out by using weighted summation method using weightages and ratings for different site characteristics from hill stability, ecological sensitivity, micro-climatic, visual-aesthetic as well as locational considerations, for determining the suitability of hill sites for development. Applicability of the Site Appraisal Technique and Site Suitability Index has been demonstrated in three selected sites. An Urban Design Matrix and Urban Design Methodology has been suggested on the basis of the base studies and parameters of built form evolved. These shall form the basis of formulating design policies, guidelines and controls. Finally the select findings of the research are highlighted and recommendations- procedural, contextual, as well as, general design guidelines have been given to guide planners, administrators in taking policy and design decisions so as to ensure environment friendly, attractive and humane hill settlements.
Other Identifiers: Ph.D
Research Supervisor/ Guide: Vishwamitter
metadata.dc.type: Doctoral Thesis
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (A&P)

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