THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two transit oriented development (TOD) corridors have been proposed for the capital city in the draft master plan 2040 where flexible floor area ratio (FAR) will be applied for promoting mixed land use and elevating urban life quality. TOD aims at combining land use and transport planning in a way that it would promote planned, sustainable urban growth centres, strategic communities with high density mixed land-use. The model envisages a place where citizens can avail open, green, public spaces and at the same time utilize transportation facilities efficiently.
In the draft master plan for Thiruvananthapuram, it is proposed to bring out a strategy to reassign the hierarchy for FAR in selected areas such as providing higher FAR for mixed use. This changed strategy is anticipated to pave the way for the government to have a chance of allotting optimum use of FAR in the city and also utilize planning tools like transferable development right (TDR) projects, the document notes.
Two corridors for TOD which have been included in the plan are old NH-47 and NH bypass. Job centres, commercial centres, educational and medical institutions are concentrated along the old NH-47 corridor. As per the plan, 250 metres on either side of the designated TOD corridor in old NH and NH bypass shall be demarcated as TOD zone.
The main reason for choosing NH bypass corridor is the due presence of IT hubs along this route. Techno Park employs more than 56,000 professionals currently, and the availability of such a vast potential population and the basic principle of live – work relationship, walkable communities could be established along this corridor, hence making it a hotspot for TOD.
According to the draft master plan document, the recently opened commercial-recreational centre Lulu mall also lies along this corridor. Moreover, new development projects are also coming up along this region, increasing the potential for high density residential development and which makes this corridor a great potential for TOD. The presence of the international airport, the proposed mobility hub project, Kochuveli railway station also projects the need for a futuristic envisioning of TOD in this corridor.
Tax incentives, additional fee on higher floor space index (FSI) outside TOD zone, provision for extra premium FSI in the TOD zone, taxation of unutilized land and housing within the zone, feasibility for providing incentives for promoting agglomeration of smaller plots are the suggested options proposed for TOD corridor policy. In order to promote mixed use buildings in the TOD zone, taxation allowances, relaxation in building rules and categorisation of buildings and threshold FSI through master plans have been recommended.
Incentives for additional green building compliance such as faster clearances from authorities, single window clearances, and reduced government fee for processing clearances are other suggestions.