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Latest urban intuitions of western architects talk about narrow streets. They list benefits of narrow streets in neighborhood :

“Reducing the width of streets provides a number of benefits. Skinny streets reduce: speeding, vehicle crashes, street construction costs, pedestrian crossing distances, impervious surfaces (and therefore stormwater drain capacity), street maintenance and resurfacing costs, and heat re-radiation which contributes to the urban heat island effect.”

It also strengthens community living. The Vedic life style.

I asked myself – how does Mohenjo daro streets look like in size?

Narrow? Yes. The ones reaching to neighborhood from main streets were narrow, often with crooked courses.
So? Going back to roots?

Even Today, most villages and old cities have skinny streets. It was default street configuration in villages. Not because there was lack of space but it was well-thought decision as it appears from modern city planning researches.

Henceforth, like many intellectuals/scientists/historians do,  it is foolishness to call Ancient Indian Civilizations primitive.

skinnystreets

image_1705_1e-harappa

Cities are growing at unprecedented rates. Most continue to sprawl into the countryside. Some are only now adopting policies that attempt to control air pollution from vehicles, reduce water pollution from urban runoff, and repair fragmented urban ecosystems. Can good urban design and sound environmental design coincide at a neighborhood level to create healthy communities?

Absolutely, and the strategies presented by Cynthia Girling and Ronald Kellett in Skinny Streets and Green Neighborhoodsillustrate how to weave together contemporary thinking in urban planning with open space planning and urban ecology. Drawing from eighteen case studies, these green neighborhoods are the best examples of how the natural environment can play integral roles in neighborhoods.

A city planner or traffic engineer that does not know the difference between a street and a road should be one that does not have a job. They are killing our cities.

Streets are the living room of cities. A city without any real streets (not roads or highways) is akin to a house without a living room. If the whole house has been designed to get you from bedroom to bedroom, without any living room or other common space, then no matter how nice the bedrooms are, living in that house is going to be pretty lonely and isolating and probably inhumane (I stole this analogy from this podcast.) Allowing traffic engineers — whose job is ‘to achieve the safe and efficient movement of people and goods’ — to design your city will result in a city that has been designed solely to move big metal machines around (cars) — not one designed for people to live in.

Ref : http://narrowstreetssf.com/primer/

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For me, it is all related to Vastu. Neighborhood designing affects Prana that flows in and out of all homes and streets play critical role of transporting Prana from one place to another.

Narrow streets provide optimum wind velocity and protects against wild wind episodes.

Narrow streets also controls temperature swings. Wider streets create greater temperature swings on streets and building walls compare to narrow streets.

 

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