The Inclusive Role of Ekistics Elements in Earmarking Innovation Zones through a Balanced Distribution of Smart Development and Local Expression: Case of Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA)

Prerna Mandal, Joy Sen
(Research Scholar Prerna Mandal, Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur,
(Prof. Joy Sen, Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur,

Today there is a need for more accessible, habitable, economically, and socially sustainable urban areas.
Despite rapid urbanization and globalization, the metropolitan areas have exploded and become
heterogeneous in such a manner that it has become challenging to comprehend a holistic and homogenous
solution. Currently, metropolitan areas are under tremendous pressure for smart development on the one
hand, and on the other hand, basic development needs dealing with population and environment more
seriously is a high priority for enhancing the basic livelihood of marginalized areas and their dwellers.
Therefore, it is essential to take both the aspects together. Hence, an inclusive methodology can be suggested
in the form of a balanced development policy on innovation zones. To best conceptualize the inclusive
approach, the concept of Ekistics i.e., the study of human settlements and its elements, has been
incorporated, an idea formulated by C. A. Doxiadis. The concept explains the examination of both local
expression and specific smart or higher development prerequisites, in the form of Ekistics elements which
are nature, human, society, shell, and network. Initially, the paper forwards a summary of extensive
theoretical research to position the Ekistics prerequisites for developing the inclusive methodology. The
paper subsequently highlights how the smart development can be perceived in parallel with the expansion
and networking along with a focus on nature, human, society, shell, and network in local areas. This needs
for an induction of a metropolitan approach with the distribution of innovation zones to balance both sides
of the opportunities and potentials. The case of Kolkata Metropolitan Area has been taken. Finally, the paper
assesses the elements and their constituent indicators and attempts to analyze the potential clusters of
possible innovation zones through cluster analysis. Thus, the paper provides a basis for the study of
prerequisites of development of urban innovation zones (IZ) in context of the metropolitan area.
Keywords: Ekistics elements, globalisation, innovation zones, metropolitan area, smart development

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