Is Jacob’s theory of Eyes on street relevant in India? Explain your answer in 150 words. The theory of “Eyes on the street” is totally relevant in India for ages. The term “ados – pados” is very popular in India as people think “What society will say” before taking any decision showing the neighbors know what is going on inside the society. Adding to this, in Indian context this theory was provided by the ecosystem of the “corner” i.e. “nukkad”. the street vendors selling vegetables or paanwalas or radicals or an old woman sitting in the sun on Otlas. This is not just for the morning routines but the gathering of the old people on adda also contributes to the theory as seen in the Pols of Ahmedabad and Para in Kolkata.
The mixture of the activities and different social gatherings and processions on the street are the main contributors. Also, Manek Chowk in Ahmedabad an adaptable function on the same space hence contributing to the safety. While Jacobs was critical of the urban planning schemes like those proposed by Le Corbusier, Chandigarh continues to be seen as an exemplary expression of his ideas. Present an argument in support of Jacobs using two features of Chandigarh. Le Corbusier believed that mathematical ordering and orthogonal geometry are the key factors for the social ills. He also believed that urban planning must follow the basic principles of lines and zoning.
This creates problems in interactions and social gatherings as the context have much to do with the building than just a technical concept and purity in design. The houses inside the sectors are arranged in a staggered way creating dead corners and obstructing the eyes on the street. In addition to these problems, the building blocks are arranged in mirrored position hence one house looks on the backside of the other making streets vulnerable for crimes. Zoning of the residential and commercial, industrial sectors away from each other also contributes to the crimes as most of the residential area remains empty during day time with most of the people moving towards the industrial sector.
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Other critical issue arises by Le Corbusier’s desire of maximizing green areas and efficiency by building vertically in order to conserve space and improve relations by making vertical neighbourhoods. This creates a problem with the streets and sidewalks as they remain empty as the footprint of the building reduces creating less interactions on the street and creating dead spaces on the floors and grounds touching the street as the spaces are mostly used for parking. As Jane Jacobs rightly pointed out that the city should grow horizontally rather than vertically. On the contrary, green spaces became barren land-fields functioning more of an isolating and alienating tool of racial confinement. The staggering of the building blocks blocking the views and corners The blocks arranged in mirrored position creating less interaction and eyes on street.
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