Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 390

Full Length Research Paper

Population growth, urban expansion and housing scenario in Srinagar City, J&K, India

Nissar A. Kuchay*
  • Nissar A. Kuchay*
  • Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190 006, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
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M. Sultan Bhat
  • M. Sultan Bhat
  • Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190 006, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
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Nuzhat Shafi
  • Nuzhat Shafi
  • Centre of Research and Development (CORD), University of Kashmir, India.
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  •  Received: 20 May 2015
  •  Accepted: 22 June 2015
  •  Published: 31 January 2016

Abstract

Burgeoning population growth and wild urban sprawl has constituted serious problems especially in developing countries with a huge demand in housing stock. This phenomenon is more aggressive in historical cities like Srinagar. In such cities, there exists large scale variations in housing scenario due to differential growth and expansion patterns from core to periphery of these cities. This paper attempts to analyze the spatio-temporal dimensions of population growth, urban sprawl and housing quality in Srinagar City. The city has an urban history of more than six hundred years and is experiencing the fastest growth rates amongst all the Himalayan urban centers. This has resulted in heavy demand for various facilities including quality housing. The analysis has revealed that apart from increasing demand for new housing facility there exist marked spatial variations in housing quality among different wards of the city. On the one hand, lower and lower-middle income group people live in decayed old houses in the historical part of the city. These houses are closely packed and mostly shared by more than three households. On the other hand, qualitative and spacious housing structures have emerged in newly developing sub-urban areas. These houses mostly belong to higher level civil servants and elite business class with one household per house. The analysis brings to light the behavior of population growth, urban expansion and associated housing problems in the historical mountainous urban centre and calls for an immediate attention of planners to devise comprehensive urban renewal, land use regulations and building design policies for the sustainable management of housing in Srinagar city.

Key words: Urban sprawl, population growth, housing quality, Himalayan, Urban renewal.