Effects of Architecture on Public Behaviour in India

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Effects of Architecture on Public Behaviour in India


India and its cities is often associated with poverty and disorder in the eyes of both foreigners and nationals alike The roads and streets are littered walls are indiscriminately scared by blood red paan old and unmaintained infrastructure is found vandalized as though its sole purpose was to act as a medium of defiance towards the governments inefficiency and any dark niche becomes a place for defecation This phenomenon of public acceptance toward urban uncleanliness is experienced in almost all cities of India

India is a country which has a deep rooted history and has many ancient cities All of which have been documented with awe in the eyes of the writer talking of their beauty and intricacy One of the oldest civilizations on the planet built their haven along the banks of the Indus Their cities showed a sensitivity toward cleanliness and the great baths and the sewage system are a testament to that Yet today Indian cities are looked upon as filthy unhygienic and unorganized No Indian culture preaches of such treatment towards their environment yet the problem still remains in front of our eyes

However I believe that the solution to this urban phenomenon may lie in the way we design our built environment It is widely accepted that the environment we are placed in plays a major role in affecting how we behave in it This brings me towards my research question

How can architecture affect the behaviour of the public in order to curb the menace of littering and vandalism hence maintain cleaner and healthier cities


My research will aim at finding a long term objective answers towards three core topics
Vandalism as a cause of social defiance
Littering as a cause of social negligence
Sense of place as a tool to earn respect of the people


Almost all major Indian cities date back at least to the colonial era and they see their fair share of social unrest in the form of strikes riots or revolts and some even have seen war between empires Unrest has always existed between different classes or casts over the history of our cities and in the present context it mainly exists between different religious communities and much more between the public and its government Vandalism is one of the byproducts of this unrest

My research has found that vandalism is strongly associated with defiance This defiance can be rooted toward any cause institution or a government body This antisocial activity has been enabled by poorly designed built environments which lack surveillance be it manned or automated This has also led toward increase in crime rate in many highrise and has eventually reduced the desirability of the housing project

In Oscar Newmans book Defensible Space his research is directed towards how crime can be reduced in the housing projects of New York by designing urban spaces which will affect the behaviour of people and affectively prevent crime from occurring in the first place The author defines Defensible Space as Defensible space is a model for residential environments which inhibits crime by creating the physical expression of a social fabric that defends itself Newman Oscar 1972

His work revolves around how simple gestures in the planning phase can have a vast impact on the inter relationships of multiple users in an urban environment His work revolves around generating spaces which are surveyed by the community or a group rather than an individual because when people begin to protect themselves as individuals and not as a community the battle against crime is lost Newman Oscar 1972

Further his book talks about the need for a site to create a defined territory which can be surveyed by the users of that territory There is much usefulness in this approach as the potential criminal perceives such a space as controlled by its inhabitants leaving him an intruder easily recognized and dealt with Newman Oscar 1972 Edge conditions are also a vital consideratio

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