Human Settlement-Yerwada Incremental housing

May 26, 2016 | Author: Shreyas Srivatsa | Category: Types, Research
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This is an academic paper, as part of the human settlement course.The study is of Yerwada Incremental housing project in...


Shreyas Srivatsa

Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

Incremental Housing Strategy Yerawada Location: Pune, India Initiators: SPARC1, SDI2 Design partners: Prasanna Desai Architects, Urban Nouveau Implementation Partners: NSDF3, Mahila Milan4, Prasanna Desai Architects, PMC5 Government Support: BSUP6/JNNURM7 scheme Date: 2008-Present Units: 1200 units [269sqft each]

Short Description: Jockin Arputham(NSDF) & Sheela Patel(SPARC) invited Filipe Balestra (Urban Nouveau) in 2008 to work on the pilot concept for a community driven in-situ upgradation of slums of Yerawada in the city of Pune. This project was uniquely conceptualized to develop a strategy that was clear of wholesale clearance, relocation & rebuilding of the slums. Adhering to an in-situ incremental housing method the project respects the community networks and relationships established by the residents over the past 40 years living in the neighbourhood. Additionally the uniqueness of this project comes from the deep involvement of the slum dwellers from inception to completion of the project th the residents to maintain and nurture the neighbourhood in the future. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres Slum Dwellers International National Slum Dwellers Federation Affiliate of Slum Dwellers International Pune Municipal Corporation Basic Services for the Urban Poor Jawaharlal Nehrtu National Urban Renewal Mission

Image 1: Community workshop with a group of beneficiaries The project was included as one of the projects under the JNNURM program in 2009 and was mainly funded by the central government of India8. The target of the project was to provide housing to 1200 families from seven high density slum areas of Yerwada by 2012. Residents being at the centre of focus, the role of project partners were carefully laid to ease the process of effective participation. The concept design and community plan was undertaken by Urban Nouveau. For building design & construction, Prasanna Desai Architects were appointed by SPARC as architects for the project execution and it was emphasized that they consider the beneficiaries as their clients. Mahila Milan an NGO represented by women who mostly live in the slums were strategically involved to become an interface for clear & transparent communication with the slum dwellers. 8

“In-Situ Slum Upgradation Under JNNURM,” January 2012, b-final.pdf.

Shreyas Srivatsa

Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

Site Pune is one of the important industrial cities that lies 200 kilometres to the east of Mumbai in India. Its also known to be the cultural capital of the state of Maharashtra. It has a population of 3.1 million inhabitants9 making Pune the 9th largest populated city in India. Census of 2001, showed 30-40% of Pune's population inhabited slum settlements who have little or no access to basic services like water, sanitation, electricity & shelter (Bapat & Agarwal 2003). Yerwada is a city neighbourhood located to the north of Pune city. It is part of the administrative jurisdiction of Pune Municipal corporation with municipal ward office situated in the neighbourhood. Yerwada is one of the densely populated part in Pune, comprising of seven high density slum areas:

Image 2: Yerwada - Location of seven slums

A) Mother Teresa Nagar B) Sheela Salve Nagar C) Wadar Wasti

Historical Background

D) Bhatt Nagar

Growth of slums in Pune has been indirectly attributed to the setting up of industrial units in the 1960's. The negligence in planning the development during the times when the industries were flourishing in Pune is presented as a reason. The growth in the manufacturing industry created new employment opportunities. Pune city saw large populations in-migrating from the surrounding villages and towns for higher incomes. The industries were also located closer to these places where most of the population was believed to be employed in agricultural fields or unemployed. The difference in income provided by the industries were much higher as compared to working in agricultural fields. Inception of large industrial units coupled with in-migration of people now able to earn significantly large incomes generated demand for various other services. Pune and other cities going through similar transformation focused on providing services and infrastructure such as trade, administration, transportation, schools and hospitals.

E) Netaji Nagar F) Yashwant Nagar G) Chandrama Nagar Incremental housing strategy was developed for these seven slum areas and the pilot project began with Netaji nagar to test and develop the approach and methodology of incremental strategy. The slum of Yerwada consisted of dwelling units that could be considered as standard, more as permanent constructions and those which were temporary self-erected shack like structures using tin metal sheets, bad brick work or improvised materials. Former type of dwelling unit was referred as Puccas and the later as Kuchas. The Kuchas are usually 12 M2 in size housing 4-10 people with leaking roofs, unhygienic surroundings with no provision of proper sanitation and no water supply. The Kucha houses were prioritized for improvement in the pilot project.



“Top Cities of India by Population Census 2011,” accessed January 2, 2013,

After the 1940's the private building activity of housing projects for lower income groups practically came to halt for various reasons such as rent control act that had an effect by

Shreyas Srivatsa

Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

discouraging house owners from renting out accommodations and natural growth of population that found difficulty in finding accommodation10.

4-10 people dwelling in the household.

The economic growth of the city continued and more people were relocating themselves and their families for better future. Once all the housing stocks were occupied or became unaffordable, people appropriated vacant land with minimum or absence of available service like power, water & sanitation. This has lead to the growth of the slums in the city of Pune and other major cities in India. Until the 1970's, the planning policies considered slums as illegal settlements and the slum dwellers were evicted many times. In 1976, an act for slum improvement was not helpful as it imposed heavy penalties from the slum dwellers. Meera Bapat called these policies “principle of exclusion” that benefits the rich and further suppresses poor11. Various actions from the state government has been taken for slum-free cities such as setting up of housing development board, slum census to recognize slum dweller as legitimate inhabitants of the city, provisions for leasing the land by the slum dwellers, slum rehabilitation programs, urban land ceiling act to free up large vacant land in cities to mention a few among others. These actions in the past and current efforts have not been very effective in providing for the slum dwellers and it has lost the faith of the slum dwellers in the governance. Yerwada is one of the slums that has spread itself in Pune city due to lack of vision and perspective in the local governance to legitamize and provide basic services to the slum dwellers. The constitution in the past has not been supportive to people living in slum settlements. The support has been coming from the non-government sector that cannot cater to large populations with limited resources. The image-3 shows the living condition within the Kucha houses which are usually 12 m2 with 10 H. K. Paranjape, “Growth of Slums and Hutments in a Metropolis Like Pune,” Economic and Political Weekly 18, no. 22 (May 28, 1983): 961–964, doi:10.2307/4372155. 11 Amrita Abraham, “Slum Dwellers and the Constitution,” Economic and Political Weekly 17, no. 33 (August 14, 1982): 1308–1310, doi:10.2307/4371236.


Image 3: Interior of the slums in Yerwada

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Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012


NGO Two Brothers Foundation in Rocinha Favela, Rio De Janerio to build a community school with the residents of the favela.He believes architecure can be used as an instrument to accelerate global development. By strategising, problematising, visualizing and strategizing solutions Architecture can bring incremental change.

Jockin Arputham, President of NSDF India & SDI Jockin Arputham has worked for the welfare of the slum and shack dwellers for over 40 years. He believes in developing new approach to make development more inclusive and people-centric. His endeavour fighting for the rights of low-income groups for housing began in 1967 to save 'Janata Colony' a slum settlement in Mumbai that was to be evicted. During those days, he worked as a carpenter and took small contracts to repair the huts in Janata colony. He considers Janata colony as his university12, where he learnt the need and found motivation, to work for the representation of urban poor in urban growth. Later he went on to start the federation for slum dwellers (NSDF) and helped in building a worldwide network of slum dwellers (SDI) Spearheading these organisations, he has worked with several communities in India and other parts of the world. Sheela Patel, Director SPARC Sheela Patel, is the founder and director of SPARC, an NGO that was started for the welfare of pavement dwellers of Mumbai in 1984. She is also the chair & active member of SDI. Under her leadership, SPARC in partnership with NSDF and other NGO's has catalyzed construction of housing for over 8500 families and over 500,000 toilets, with programs in 70 cities in India13.

Urban Noveau was given the responsibility of community plan and concept design. This approach had to be clear of wholesale clearance of slum settlement and rebuilding it. The aim of the community plan was to make this pilot project people-centric by involving the slum dwellers at every phase of the project. Prasanna Desai, Principal architect Prasanna Desai Architects, Pune Prasanna Desi architects was started by architect Prasanna Desai, who is a practicing Architect & Urban designer since 1983. He is also Director of PVP College of Architecture in Pune. He believes that an Architect who is trained to be a sensitive person needs to be aware of by playing a larger role in the development of the society. Prasanna Desai architects were appointed by SPARC for design development of the concept design and construction supervision. They were asked by the NGO to work on the project considering the slum dwellers as their clients. The design had to be approved and only on the consent of the resident they would finalise the design for construction of the dwellings.

Filipe Balestra, Founder Urban Nouveau

Mahila Milan15 , NGO

Filipe Balestra belongs to the new breed of young architects, who believes in using architecture as a medium protect and social values in current societies. After working with architects Rem Koolhaas & Thomas Sandell, which he refers to as formal, moved on to explore the role of architecture for informal settlements14. His work began with helping an

Mahila Milan is a community based savings network driven by poor women living in slums supported by SPARC. It was established in 1987, with the support from SPARC and NSDF by the women who were pavement dwellers in Mumbai. They have partnered with SDI, SPARC & NSDF in various efforts to encourage women to play important role in slum development and poverty alleviation.

12 Jockin Arputham, “Developing New Approaches for People-centred Development,” Environment and Urbanization 20, no. 2 (October 1, 2008): 319–337, doi:10.1177/0956247808096115. 13 “Sheela Patel-Bio,” accessed January 10, 2013, nts/Sheela%20Patel_bio.doc. 14 TEDxGöteborg - Filipe Balestra - Healthy Processes in Architecture, 2010, v=kZU4BaAbPoU&feature=youtube_gdata_player.


Mahila Milan had given a pivotal role to play in the slum upgradation project in Yerwada. They were involved to fill the gap between designers, people with local power and the 15 Mahila Milan means 'Women Together' in Hindi. Translation from SPARC website

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Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

community. Since the NGO was represented by women who were slum dwellers themselves, their active involvement helped in building trust among the community of slum dwellers.

and nurture the assets in the future. Hence acheiving a sustainable process of building.

Description In 2008, the team of Urban Nouveau landed in Pune while a group of volunteered professional that comprised of International architects, urban planners, one landscape architect & one graphic designer joined to develop an incremental strategy to upgrade the slum dwellings in Yerwada. A model strategy that could be adapted by other cities in IndiaThe mission or goal of this project was stated16 as •

Improve the human spirit

Respond to growing need for clean water, power shelter, healthcare education

Address humanitarian crises

The dwellings in the settlements were broadly categorised as Puccas (Brick & Concrete construction in more permanent condition) and Kuchas (Tin Metal sheet and bad brick work mostly temporary construction)17. The kucha house were prioritized for upgradttion due to the poor living condition of the households.

Image 4: Typical Kucha house

Formulation of the strategy The incremental housing strategy was clear of the idea of wholesale clearance and rebuilding of the settlement. Relocation & rebuilding is the common way of implementing slum upgradation in India. This results in slum dwellers relocate far from their source of income causing loss of livelihood and social security gained in a long term friendship in the neighbourhood is jeopardized. The strategy had to bring in a new perspective on slum upgradation and change the notion of slums being infested parts of the city. Slums were seen as high density juxtaposed layers, that could be understood from working in the site and listening to the community. The process had to engage the communities with friendship & build trust. The strategy had to convert the informal settlement of Yerwada into urban districts through gradual improvements to existing dwellings. An in-situ upgradation of the dwelling units was an obvious choice to meet the individual demands or situation and flexibility to adapt to future needs of a household. The core of the strategy was to facilitate community participation to maintain 16 “Incremental Housing Stategy | Worldchanging,” accessed December 26, 2012, d2_insitu_rehabilitation.


Image 5: Cluster of Kucha houses Design strategy The process began with detailed survey of mapping all the kucha houses in the seven selected slums by NSDF & Mahila Milan. The existing Kuchas were grouped into single, double, triple, quadruple & clusters18. It was found that the existing typologies of Kuchas were deformed rectangles more like trapezoids. The idea was to retain and 17 “Incremental Change,” accessed December 27, 2012, ncremental-change. 18 “Incremental Housing Strategy | My Work,” accessed December 26, 2012, /.

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Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

readjust the cluster sizes for more open space and widening the narrow lanes. The design strategy emerged out of these existing typologies.

as a reinforced concrete structure with G+2 floors. The design of the structure was suggested to accommodate an additional floor in future whenever the family felt the need to expand the household at their convenience. For units that were double kuchas or more, the four column technique could be seen as a group of structures sharing columns, walls & infrastructure. This was expected to reduce the cost of construction considerably. The plan was to provide 25 m2 for each household, this value was same as the provision in the housing scheme from the governement of India under JNNURM program that was

Image 6: Mapping & clustering of the Kucha houses in the seven slums Through series of community meeting and workshops that was conducted by the design team, NSDF & Mahila Milan, the design strategy emerged. This process was a to and fro process, speaking to the community and revisiting the drawing board several times.

Image 8: Cost benefit by sharing the structural members- Four column technique introduce in 200519. Three housing types were conceptualized with the invovlement from the community20. Type A: A traditional two storey structure enabling vertical extension, over structured for further loads.

Image 9: Housing Type A Image 7: Four column technique Resulting was a four-column technique that was suggested by Urban Nouveau for structuring each dwelling unit. Each house was structured 6

19 “In-Situ Slum Upgradation Under JNNURM.” 20 “Incremental Housing Strategy | My Work.”

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Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

Type B: Three storey structure on stilts where the ground floor void can be used for parking of rickshaws, shops or for keeping animals.

families cannot give 10% of their share.

Image 10: Housing Type B Type C: Three storey structure with void in between ground and second floor. An outdoor verandah room.

Image 11: Housing Type C Possible scenarios were presented to the community during the workshops & meetings. During the participation process, SPARC and Mahila Milan were negotiating with the local gvernance for funding from the BSUP scheme under JNNURM program.

Implementation The scheme was approved for 1200 Kacha houses that were mapped collectively in the seven slums. A legal agreement between local government(Municipal Corporation), NGO's (SPARC + Mahila Milan) and beneficiaries was prepared. The governement was to provide the basic services like clean water, sewage, storm water and electricity before the construction work began. SPARC appointed the surveyors & architects to implement the strategy. A plain table survey of all the Kachas was done. Mahila Milan used these maps for numbering the structures. They also conducted socio-economic and biometric survey of all the

Image 13: Community meeting discussing the design & layout residents to create a database. These surveys collected information on residents skills and occupation. Residents associated with construction industry could be employed by the contractors. This way providing them source of income and also closely involving them in the construction process. Prasanna desai architects, developed the design concepts and explained the typologies to the beneficiaries through models. Queries were answered during the community meetings and the consent was taken from the

Image 12: Possible Scenario In 2009, the government agreed to fund the project by providing a housing subsidy of Rs. 300,000 (approx $6250) to each beneficiary. The beneficiaries were expected to contribute 10% of the cost of upgradation. Alternative ways of contribution were suggested as some 7

Image 14:Models of the design beneficiaries on a consent form.

Shreyas Srivatsa

Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

Mahila Milan was given the responsibility of collecting the beneficiary contributions and managing construction of the dwelling units. This helped in building trust among the residents. Mahila Milan had prior experience in construction, visits were arranged for the beneficiaries to the houses constructed by them to get their agreement on the quality of the construction.

construction activity. Bank loans were arranged for those beneficiaries who didnt have any member who could do physical labour in the household. Beneficiaries were trained to monitor the construction like checking the number of reinforcement bars in columns, quality of bricks & concrete. After completion of the dwelling unit, a

Image 16: Construction in progress certificate of occupancy from the municipal corporation would be given. Thus formalising the dwelling units one at a time. Hence the name Incremental housing strategy.

Critical Analysis

Image 15: Community meetings & workshops Suggestions of individual owners were discussed and incorporated in the final design. A copy of the final design was given to the beneficiaries to discuss with their families. Beneficiaries were asked to return the drawings with their consent to Mahila Milan. Consecutively the final design and layout of clusters were then presented to PMC for approval21. Those families which could not contribute 10% of their share were given the option of contributing in the construction process like demolition of existing houses, bringing their own floor tiles, painting the house and other 21 “Prasanna Desai Architects : Works in Public Domain,” accessed December 26, 2012,


The incremental housing strategy Yerwada has caught attention of many cities in India and internationally. The strategy supports the cause of poverty alleviation through housing for the urban poor. For a project of this kind implementation of the strategy is of great importance. The hope and trust given to the community has to be preserved for their active involvment in the future. The pilot project was slated to finish by the end of 2012, but there has been institutional challenges during the implementation that has caused delays in completion of the project. This challenge has been attributed to the release of funds by the government for the project22. As per the scheme, the funding is split among the central, state and local government. The central government releases 50 per cent of the funds for the project, 20 per cent comes 22 “SSNS Annual Report 2011-2012_v7 - SSNS Annual Report 2011-2012.pdf,” accessed December 30, 2012, %20Annual%20Report%202011-2012.pdf.

Shreyas Srivatsa

Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

from the state government and another 20 per cent from the municipalities. The procedures and the time taken for these procedures vary for each level of governance. This has caused the delay in execution of the project. A strong strategy like this one also needs reforming of the institutional aspects like funding, approvals, providing civic services etc for its complete success.

Bibliography & references :

Nonetheless, the incremental strategy can be seen as a stepping stone to tackle the issue of converting informal into formal without disturbing the social dynamics that exist in a slum settlement. The incremental change accommodates flexibility and effective use of available resources by actively involving the community in building its own habitat. This case study also demonstrates the role of a consortium. The positioning of all the partners based on their ability to contribute to the community is comendable. The positioning of Mahila Milan in this project is the key, as it comprises of women from the slum settlements. Involvment of such organizations seems effective in mobilising the community resources. The process of design and implementation in this project can be seen containing shades of production of space, as discussed by Henri Lefebrve. The slum dwellers are part of producing perceived, conceived & lived spaces. The level of customization of the housing units, involvment in planning the units and their appropriation suggests, produstion of space as a social act in this case. As a conclusion, this project tackles various issues discussed in the discipling of human settlements like Informality, in-situ solutions for slum upgradation, community inclusion, tenure security, basic services to the urban poor to mention among a few.

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Human Settlements – Assignment 3 – Fall 2012

“Community Led Slum Upgrading in Pune: Part 1 of 2”, 2010. v=NjTIVwXHU8M&feature=youtube_g data_player. “Community Led Slum Upgrading in Pune: Part 2 of 2.” YouTube. Accessed January 1, 2013. v=_b9YyTqx-Jk. “Incremental Change.” Accessed December 27, 2012. ture/1281/incremental-change. “Incremental Housing Stategy” Accessed December 26, 2012. ojects/dlygad2_insitu_rehabilitation. “Incremental Housing Strategy | My Work.” Accessed December 26, 2012. hitecture/ihs/. “In-Situ Slum Upgradation Under JNNURM,” January 2012. C-slum-rehab-final.pdf. “Prasanna Desai Architects : Works in Public Domain.” Accessed December 26, 2012. http://prasannadesaiarchitects.blogspo “Pune Slum Upgrading”, 2010. v=6Jg86d1EKxw&feature=youtube_g data_player. “ Blog Diary from Mumbai: Part II |.” Accessed December 26, 2012. /6/diary-mumbai-part-ii/. “ Blog Taking the Reigns: Slum Dwellers Drive the Upgrading Process in Pune, India |.” Accessed December 26, 2012. /12/taking-reigns-slum-dwellers-driveupgrading-proces/. “Sheela Patel-Bio.” Accessed January 10, 2013. whi/Documents/Sheela %20Patel_bio.doc. “SSNS Annual Report 2011-2012_v7 - SSNS Annual Report 2011-2012.pdf.” Accessed December 30, 2012. %20Annual%20Report %202011-2012.pdf. TEDxGöteborg - Filipe Balestra - Healthy Processes in Architecture, 2010. v=kZU4BaAbPoU&feature=youtube_g data_player. “Top Cities of India by Population Census 2011.” Accessed January 2, 2013. “Yerwada Slum Upgrade | Cooper Hewitt.” Accessed December 26, 2012. wada-slum-upgrade/.


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