BBC recently featured an article by Jonathan Glancey, renowned architectural critic, who wrote about how a city like Chandigarh was built with meticulously laid out plans and after a lot of research was developed into a thriving city. He comments on the fact that with the growing population and subsequent problems, is this finally a solution?
He talks about a recent exhibit in Paris, 50 years after Le Corbusier's (the chief architect of Chandigarh) death, that features pictures depicting the excellent quality of life in Chandigarh nowadays. This leads to the pressing question that are cities that are not organic in their origins, like Chandigarh, the future of the world? And is Chandigarh, in fact, the perfect city?
"The one thing I like about Chandigarh is the fact that it is so green. That might not be a strong enough reason to call it the 'perfect city' but compared to bigger cities surrounding Chandigarh, it is certainly a better place to live in," says Aakriti Kaila, a Chandigarh resident, who recently moved to Delhi for work.
Glancey also notes that while it has been seen in history that often, ideal cities like these have failed on a massive scale. Perfect cities have been decreed in the past but there have been only a few instances, like Chandigarh's for instance, where it has been a success.
"Chandigarh seems special to me. It feels as if every stone has a purpose there. When something is made with such well-laid plans and details, then it automatically becomes that much special and precious, it is the perfect city for me," says Simran Anand, who has been born and brought up in the city.
He concludes the article by saying that Chandigarh's example sets a positive precedent for the future of 'ideal' or 'perfect' cities, and while most of the well-laid plans for perfect cities have failed, Chandigarh seems to be the one success story we need to consider for the future.