Formation of the city

Post partition in 1947, the Indian state of Punjab needed a new capital to replace Lahore.
The new capital of India was envisioned as the modern capital of India by Jawaharlal Nehru.
The site chosen was a farmland of 24 villages.

Criteria for selection of site

Location, central
Water supply available in the form of seasonal rivers.
Comfortable climate, i.e. a subtropical monsoon.
Proximity to building materials, required for large scale construction.


Mayer Nowiki prepared a Master Plan for a population of 500 thousand based on a system of a low density neighborhood and defined by a grid of roads.Roads were slightly curved to follow the contours of the site.
Le Corbusier simplified Mayer’s Curvilinear system by adopting the grid iron pattern of straight roads.
Professional approach linking the body of the city with its symbolic head was bounded by Multi-Storied buildings on one side and Parallel land on the other side.
Other main artery leads from the railway station and terminates at university.


In the revised master plan Le Corbusier developed a checkerboard of rectangles called “Sectors” each measuring 800m x 1200m enclosed by roads for fast moving traffic.
Purpose: to fulfill 4 basic functions.
d)Care of body and spirit.

Biological Entity

Head – The Capitol area.
Heart – The City Centre.
Limbs – Work areas.
Care of body – Linear continuous parks,
and Spirit Leisure area systems,
Sukhana Lake.


V1: Arterial inter-state roads,
V2: Major boulevards,
V3: Sector-definers,
V4: Shopping streets, usually
linking with those in
adjoining sectors,
V5: Neighborhood streets,
typically a loop road going
round the interior of the
V6: Access lanes to houses,
V7: Pedestrian paths and cycles
tracks; to be planned
throughout the city,
meandering through its
green spaces.


The typical sector is a self sufficient neighborhood, with its own shopping centre, schools and other community facilities.
For outdoor recreation, the sector greens cut through the heart of each neighborhoods enabling the residents to view without obstruction the changing panorama of the Shivalik range.
A sector is traversed only by slow traffic streets, the fast traffic roads are being restricted to its periphery.
This ensures tranquility and safety within the living spaces. A novel feature of Chandigarh’s master plan is the scheme of segregation, called the 7Vs (les Sept Voiles) developed by Le Courbusier.
The system of roads symbolizes the structure of a tree, hierarchy and progressively branching out from the stem to leaf and proportionately reduce in size in accordance with the quantum of life to be carried.

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