Charles to build new 'Poundbury ecovillage' ... in India
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Feb 5 21:38:34 GMT 2011
The Slumdog Millionheir: Prince Charles to build
shanty town for 15,000 as an Indian version of Poundbury
By Fay Schlesinger
Last updated at 10:30 PM on 10th January 2011
Plans: Prince Charles meets members of the
Dharavi slum during 2003. He now hopes to build a
new eco-friendly 'utopia' that will house 15,000
The Prince of Wales is building an eco-friendly
utopia for 15,000 poor people in India,
inspired by the shanty town in Slumdog Millionaire.
The development will include schools, shops and
3,000 homes in a tiny area the size of 14
football pitches, the Daily Mail can reveal.
His multi-million-pound venture plans to turn a
25-acre swathe of Indian wasteland on the
outskirts of either Calcutta or Bangalore into a mini oasis in the desert.
It will be modelled on Poundbury, the Dorset
model village that has been Prince Charless 30-year pet project.
Building on the Indian scheme expected to be
the first of a series of eco-developments on the
subcontinent by his charity, the Princes
Foundation for the Built Environment is set to begin in the autumn.
The project comes after Charles praised Mumbais
vast Dharavi slum, later to be featured in
Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, despite
it housing up to a million people in a place less
than half the size of the princes Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire.
He wrote: When you enter what looks from the
outside like an immense mound of plastic and
rubbish, you immediately come upon an intricate
network of streets with miniature shops, houses
and workshops, each one made out of any material that comes to hand.
Unlike the fragmented, deconstructed housing
estates built in the West, the slum has order
and harmony he claimed, adding: We have a great
deal to learn about how complex systems can
self-organise to create a harmonious whole.
However, the prince risks derision for imposing
his controversial and often outspoken
development views 5,000 miles away on the subcontinent.
Charles has been to India many times, most
recently with his wife Camilla during last years Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
His charity will open its first overseas office in Mumbai this year.
The new town, for mainly low-caste residents,
will be high-density but pleasant, a spokesman
for the princes charity said.
Eco-features that Charles has championed for
decades will also be on show. Large roofs
overhung with palm trees will collect rainwater,
which will be used for showering, washing and in
toilets before being recycled to water plants.
Shade and natural ventilation will combat
temperatures that regularly top 100f (38c).
Instead of the open sewage, rubbish heaps and
shared sanitation blocks common in Indian shanty
towns, residents will have individual toilets and waste facilities.
The spokesman said: It really is about making
these communities great places to live even
though the natural conditions may at first appear to make it difficult.
India is fairly dry and dusty, and methods like
rainwater collection would enable whole
communities to be green oases all year round.
India is a rapidly expanding economic power and
its housing market is increasingly vibrant.
The proposed development follows the princes
vision, and its fair to compare it to Poundbury
or Knockroon (a second model village planned for Scotland).
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