Redevelopment is a process of urban renewal. The potential benefits of redevelopment in a city like Patna are many. It not only reduces urban sprawl but also improves the economic competitiveness of city’s prime areas.
In addition to this, redevelopment in Patna can be an economic engine that unlocks land parcels for development in prime localities in the city. These otherwise are in urban blight, characterized by dilapidated buildings and inadequate and deteriorated amenities and services. This helps in creating additional, better quality housing in Patna or other real estate and helps in boosting property rates in Patna. Consequently, this creates more jobs and business opportunities while improving the overall urban fabric of Patna.
Patna is centuries old, and have witnessed tremendous population inflow – which, in turn, gave rise to unplanned developments in prime areas of Patna. Patna has many such pockets within its prime locations, which have limited land available for development while the existing real estate and amenities in these localities in Patna have run down. In such a scenario, redevelopment is a good solution to address the issue of urban blight, and for improving the overall security of the city, Patna.
Patna has, for many years now, been a subject of redevelopment to catalyze urban renewal and improve the quality of real estate in Patna and infrastructure in Patna. A fast-growing population’s demand for space amidst limited availability of developable land will force the redevelopment of old properties in Patna into brand new structures. One key activity on this front is the idea to develop a modern township in Gardanibagh replacing old government quarters built in British Raj. Hopefully, this project sees the day light.
However, redevelopment can and should also be extended beyond development of old government lands – to redevelopment of old residential colonies and complexes to create more efficient spaces. This will not only improve the economic value of these properties in Patna but also improve the quality of living of the residents of these localities in Patna.
Redevelopment may involve relocating businesses and people. However, it must produce tangible economic benefits so that the trouble and expense of redevelopment is justified in Patna. On a cautionary note, redevelopment sometimes involves the use of eminent domain as a legal instrument to take private property for city-initiated development projects in Patna. This is sometimes seen as a means for regulatory bodies to acquire control on behalf of influential developers or developer cartels.
If carried out in a non-consultative manner, redevelopment can result in an excess of high rises that compromise existing infrastructure, reduce the possibility of new infrastructure. In order to be genuinely democratic, the process of redevelopment in Patna must be consultative at all levels.
It should enable local citizens to have greater control and ownership of the direction of their community. Community participation, sustainability and trust are important watchwords. The Government must act as advocate and ‘enabler’, rather than as an agency that enforces command and control. It sounds Utopian; seeing the track record of state government since independence.
Finally, redevelopment should not be only about improving existing structures in Patna. There should also be a focus on incorporating of historic structures into new and rehabilitated development. In Patna, it is important to preserve and enhance cultural, historical and community assets. The cultural fabric of the community must not be compromised.