People’s Participation in Housing: Proposed Pilot Project

October 1975
Presented by: 
M N Ashish Ganju, Vinod Gupta, Romi Khosla

The enclosed programme provides a basis by which a pilot study can be carried out in Delhi.

It shows how the existing housing process can be revolutionised by introducing “People’s Participation” in mass housing. We enumerate below the five essential components of the project.

Today mass housing has become synonymous with low cost housing and the entire national effort in this field has been diverted to producing a cheaper house. Yet the numbers involved are of such magnitude that any amount of cost reduction exercise can not provide the solution for housing everybody.

Traditionally the individual who has built his own house has been intricately involved in the whole process. This made it possible for this identity to be established in his environment. Today the pace of development has taken away this close tie between the individual and the creation of his own environment. Large numbers of people are “designed for” by centralised agencies. This can cause further alienation unless the centralised agency concentrates on understanding the new demands of the housing activity and makes the process responsive once again to the individual needs. The task is, therefore, to evolve design strategies which allow the individual to p-participate once again in the building process.

The fundamental requirements of shelter are the same for rich and poor. Everyone needs light, ventilation, healthy and clean surroundings, access to facilities, etc. Whatever be the solutions to reduce cost, we have to find means to strengthen individual identity within the collective, and to provide the minimum environmental necessities.