Smart Master Planning Process – A Case Study of Delhi

Thesis Title: Smart Master Planning Process – A Case Study of Delhi


To establish parameters for a Smart Master-Planning Process and evaluate New Delhi’s current Master-Planning Process against the same.


  1. To create a theoretical framework for a Smart Master-Planning Process and establish parameters for assessment.
  2. To evaluate New Delhi’s current process of master-plan preparation against the parameters developed for smart master-planning process.


The study has explored the concepts of smart cities along with their evolution and tried to define its characteristics as per the interpretation of the literature. It has also looked at the gaps and issues with the current process of master-planning in New Delhi.


Due to limitations of time and manpower, this thesis has only covered the process of preparation and approval of the master-plan. The stages of implementation and monitoring have not been covered in detail.

Need for Study

In recent times, the concept of smart cities has gained the attention of common citizens and academicians alike. The government has sanctioned 48000 crores to be invested in the Smart City mission till 2020. This has received both positive and negative feedback from scholars and citizens. With such vast amount of resources being directed towards the mission and the concept itself, it becomes necessary to explore its possibilities in planning. Master-Planning is a strong tool for planning in India. This thesis will be about incorporating ‘smart’ from the smart cities concept into the current framework of master-planning process, possibly resulting in a smart master-plan.

Case Study: NCT of Delhi

Delhi Master Plan 2021

Significance/usefulness of the project

The thesis will help reader to get understanding about the process followed in preparation of master plan and how  it can be related to Smart Cities. Much better master plans can be prepared by making few modifications in the current planning process which will reap great benefits in future.


The process of master-planning is an age old tool used to this date for the planned development of a town. The first master-plan for Delhi was prepared in 1962. All subsequent master-plans are a modification of the original plan of 1962. The process has essentially remained the same since the first plan. However, since 1962, the world has advanced in several aspects, especially technology. Keeping in mind these advancements, it becomes necessary to question the current process integrate the new concepts and technologies in the current process. The idea of smart cities has become the hot topic in recent times, with the government investing a large chunk or its resources into the concept; it becomes imperative to study its implications in planning. This thesis will be attempting to incorporate the concepts of ‘smart’ from the smart cities concepts into current process of master-planning for Delhi. This would possibly result in a smart master-planning process for Delhi.

Main Outcomes/ final analysis/ proposals

The gaps and issues range from small issues to large gaps in the process. With the aim of fulfilling these gaps, appropriate recommendations have been advocated. Self-updating land-use register which automatically updates itself based on applications of citizens; Live webcast of meetings of the authority to reduce the effect of influential members and groups; Strengthening of the current framework to make it more effective; Using social media to achieve transparency and participation by reaching out to more people. These recommendations together would make the process of master-planning more rational, transparent, participative and efficient. In other words, it would make the process Smart.

Keywords: Smart City, Master-Planning, Master-Plan for Delhi, urban planning, planning processes

Author –  Gurunathan Karthik
College – School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi
Undergraduate –  B.Planning
Year of thesis completion – 2016

Kindly contact at [email protected] to request more information about author/ thesis

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