Decolonizing South Asian architecture: Sustainable and community-oriented social housing in India
Keywords:social housing, community building, energy efficiency, economic, sustainable, livable
Decolonization process in India involved a range of political, economic, and social changes aimed at dismantling the colonial system and building a new, independent nation. One of the most significant challenges India faced during the decolonization process was the issue of partition. The partition of India in 1947 led to the creation of two separate countries—India and Pakistan—and resulted in widespread violence and displacement. Millions of people were forced to migrate across the newly formed borders, resulting in one of the largest mass migrations in human history which created huge demand for housing. The methodology adopted for this research is based on qualitative analysis and the data source for this study are government reports, research articles, books and newspaper. Further, it examines four case studies of social housing projects designed to provide sustainable and livable solutions for low-income families in different regions of India, including Aranya Community Housing, Incremental Housing in Belapur, ATIRA Staff Housing in Ahmadabad, and CIDCO Housing in Parsik Hill in Navi Mumbai. At the core of the article lies an investigation into the dynamic nature of architecture in the aftermath of independence, coupled with a detailed examination of four distinct social housing ventures. The social housing studies demonstrate innovative and flexible approaches to social housing, with a focus on community building, energy efficiency, and social amenities. The projects have been successful in providing access to affordable and sustainable housing for low-income families in different regions of India. The case studies highlight the importance of a community-centered approach to social housing, emphasizing the need for shared spaces and amenities. The article discusses the challenges and opportunities of implementing sustainable and livable social housing solutions in India.
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