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Vying with commercial centers for a prominent place

Postby Davante on 10 Mar 2011

The industrial establishments, educational institutions and administrative centers always attract human settlements.  When a new major institution starts functioning, the possibility of business opportunities in its vicinity always pushes up the price of land.  In the next stage, the institutions set-up earlier will operate as powerful magnets attracting similar functional characteristics.  It is known as ‘functional magnetism’. 
In the third stage, centripetal forces lead to concentration of rich business groups to certain sites in the central zone.  Due to the concentration of commercial and business activities, in the central part of Cochin, the centripetal forces compel the residential areas to shift towards the outer areas.  In this way, the centripetal forces cause concentric growth pattern in city development while the centrifugal forces lead in peripheral growth and expansion.  Consequently, people desirous of open spaces and healthy lifestyles occupy the vacant and low priced land in the outer margins for residential purposes. 
Thus, the presence of wide roads, better drainage systems, good transportation facilities and suitable civic amenities help the outward growth Cochin city.  Such conceptual models are not fully implacable in the urban system due to unplanned and haphazard evolution of town space.  However, these models are helping in the understanding as well as conceptualization of the urban growth pattern in vogue in Kerala.
In Cochin, the urban areas revolved around the centers of M.G. Road and Marine Drive in earlier times.  The concentric circle slowly got larger and larger in the last two decades.  In recent times, the change is rather mindboggling.  The traditional households have now given way to apartments.  The Apartments in Cochin now vie with business establishments for a prominent place in the urban centers.