is one of the most significant urban planning experiments of the 20th century.
It is the only one of the numerous urban planning schemes of Le Corbusier, the
famous French architect-planner, to have actually been executed.
It is also
the site of some of his greatest architectural creations. The city has had far-reaching
impact, ushering in a modern idiom of architecture and city planning all over
India and has become a symbol of planned urbanism. It is as famous for its landscaping
as for its architectural ambience. Most of the buildings are in pure, cubical
form, geometrically subdivided with emphasis on proportion, scale and detail.
Corbusier summed up his work on the city in an "edict", reproduced here in full:
Edict of Chandigarh
The object of this edict is to enlighten the present
and future citizens of Chandigarh about the basic concepts of planning of the
city so that they become its guardians and save it from whims of individuals.
This edict sets out the following basic ideas underlying the planning of the city.
The city of Chandigarh is planned to human scale. It puts
us in touch with the infinite cosmos and nature. It provides us with places and
buildings for all human activities by which the citizens can live a full and harmonious
life. Here the radiance of nature and heart are within our reach.
city is composed of sectors. Each sector is 800 meters by 1,200 meters, enclosed
by roads allocated to fast mechanised transport and sealed to direct access from
Each sector caters to the daily needs of its inhabitants, which
vary from 5,000 to 25,000 and has a green strip oriented longitudinally stretching
centrally along the sector in the direction of the mountains. The green strip
should stay uninterrupted and accommodate schools, sports fields, walks and recreational
facilities for the sector.
Vehicular traffic is completely forbidden in
the green strips, where tranquility shall reign and the curse of noise shall not
The roads of
the city are classified into seven categories, known as the system of 7 Vs, as
below: V-1 -- Fast roads connecting Chandigarh to other towns; V-2 -- arterial
roads; V-3 -- Fast vehicular roads; V-4 -- Meandering shopping streets; V-5 --
Sector circulation roads; V-6 Access roads to houses; V-7 -- footpaths and cycle
Buses will ply only on V-1, V-2, V-3 and V-4 roads. A wall shall
seal the V-3 roads from the sectors.
Special Architectural Interest
Certain areas of Chandigarh are of special
architectural interest. Where harmonised and unified construction of buildings
is aimed at, absolute architectural and zoning control should remain operative.
V-2 central, dual carriageways Madhya Marg and Uttar Marg, where skyline, heights,
character and architecture of buildings as planned shall not be altered.
building shall be constructed north of the Capitol Complex
Along V-2 beyond
dual carriageway areas are reserved for cultural institutions only and shall never
have any residential buildings
central plaza in Sector 17 was designed by Le Corbusier as "Pedestrian's Paradise".
No vehicular traffic will be permitted in the plaza.
Only such industry as is powered by electricity would be
permitted in the Industrial Area, so that atmosphere is saved from pollution.
The Lake is a gift of the creators of Chandigarh to the
citizens to be at one with the lake and its environments and its tranquility shall
be guaranteed by banning noises.
landscaping of this city is based on careful observation of the vegetation of
India. Selected ornamental trees, shrubs and climbers have been planted according
to colour schemes to beautify it. In future planting and replacements, these principles
must be kept in view. There should be no haphazard replacements, so that the avenues
retain their harmony and beauty.
The Leisure Valley, the Rajendra Park and
other parks shall be developed as parks only and no building other than already
planned shall be permitted.
Personal Statues Shall Be Erected
The age of personal statues is gone. No personal
statues shall be erected in the city or parks of Chandigarh. The city is planned
to breathe the new sublimated spirit of art. Commemoration of persons shall be
confined to suitably placed bronze plaques.
Truthfulness Of Building Materials To Be Maintained
The truthfulness of materials
of constructions, concrete, bricks and stone, shall be maintained in all buildings
constructed or to be constructed.
The seed of Chandigarh is well sown. It
is for the citizens to see that the tree flourishes.