The Effects of Architecture on Public Behaviour in India


India and its metropoliss is frequently associated with poorness and upset in the eyes of both aliens and subjects likewise. The roads and streets are littered, walls are randomly scared by blood ruddy paan, old and unmaintained substructure is found vandalized as though its exclusive intent was to move as a medium of rebelliousness towards the government’s inefficiency ; and any dark niche becomes a topographic point for laxation. This phenomenon, of public credence toward urban uncleanliness is experienced in about all metropoliss of India.

India is a state which has a deep frozen history and has many ancient metropoliss. All of which have been documented with awe in the eyes of the author, speaking of their beauty and elaborateness. One of the oldest civilisations on the planet, built their oasis along the Bankss of the Indus. Their metropoliss showed a sensitiveness toward cleanliness ; and the great baths and the sew-age system are a testament to that. Yet today, Indian metropoliss are looked upon as filthy, unhygienic and unorganised. No Indian civilization preaches of such intervention towards their environment yet the job still remains in forepart of our eyes.

However, I believe that the solution to this urban phenomenon may lie in the manner we design our reinforced environment. It is widely accepted that the environment we are placed in, plays a major function in impacting how we behave in it. This brings me towards my research inquiry:

How can architecture impact the behavior of the populace in order to control the threat of littering and hooliganism, therefore maintain cleansing agent and healthier metropoliss?


My research will take at happening a long term, nonsubjective replies towards three nucleus subjects

i‚· Vandalism as a cause of societal rebelliousness.

i‚· Littering as a cause of societal carelessness.

i‚· Sense of topographic point as a tool to gain regard of the people.


About all major Indian metropoliss day of the month back at least to the colonial epoch and they see their just portion of societal agitation in the signifier of work stoppages, public violences or rebellions and some even have seen war between imperiums. Unrest has ever existed between different categories or dramatis personaes over the history of our metropoliss and in the present context it chiefly exists between different spiritual communities and much more between the populace and its authorities. Vandalism is one of the byproducts of this agitation.

My research has found that hooliganism is strongly associated with rebelliousness. This rebelliousness can be rooted toward any cause, establishment or a authorities organic structure. This anti-social activity has been enabled by ill designed built environments which lack surveillance be it manned or automated. This has besides led toward addition in offense rate in many tower block and has finally reduced the desirableness of the lodging undertaking.

In Oscar Newman’s book ‘Defensible Space’ , his research is directed towards how offense can be reduced in the lodging undertakings of New York by planing urban infinites which will impact the behavior of people and affectively prevent offense from happening in the first topographic point. The writer defines Defendable Space as ‘Defensible infinite is a theoretical account for residential environments which inhibits offense by making the physical look of a societal cloth that defends itself.’ ( Newman, Oscar 1972 )

His work revolves around how simple gestures in the planning stage can hold a huge impact on the inter relationships of multiple users in an urban environment. His work revolves around bring forthing infinites which are surveyed by the community, or a group instead than an person because when people begin to protect themselves as persons and non as a community, the conflict against offense is lost. ( Newman, Oscar 1972 )

Further his book negotiations about the demand for a site to make a defined district which can be surveyed by the users of that district. There is much utility in this attack as the possible condemnable perceives such a infinite as controlled by its dwellers, go forthing him an interloper, easy recognized and dealt with. ( Newman, Oscar 1972 ) Edge conditions are besides a critical consideration as the outside infinite becomes more defendable if they are clearly demarcated for the usage by one family or a little figure of families, and if they are discernible by occupants, neighbors and passerby. ( Cisneros, Henry, 1996 )

When insides are designed, the writer has found that ‘attitude towards interior coatings and trappingss creates an institutional ambiance, non unlike that achieved in our worst infirmaries and prisons. Even though the stuffs are in fact stronger and more resilient to have on, renters seem to travel out of their manner to prove their opposition capablenesss. Alternatively of being provided with an environment in which they can take pride and might want to maintain up, they are provided with one that begs their ability in rupturing it down ( in remark of Pruitt Igoe ) ( Newman, Oscar 1972 )

Taking illations from these attacks I aim to see whether similar rules of design can assist forestall hooliganism in India’s urban infinites, therefore develop farther illations towards how cultural differences can impact this watercourse of though and how it can be used to my advantage if possible. Further, I would wish to determine whether this attack can besides be applied towards bar of littering in public infinites every bit good.

Another method of cut downing hooliganism takes a intangible attack a peculiar country involves community engagement by agencies of fund elevation in Jefferson School District, Daly City, California where hooliganism had been a concern ( mean day-to-day attending 6,100 ) , for many old ages. Several schools were consistent marks for graffito and broken Windowss. Maintenance crews devoted Monday forenoons to sweeping glass and repainting surfaces. It was clip consuming, dearly-won, and most discouraging. ( Brietler, B, 1988 ) An Idea came in 1985

from the freshly appointed overseer, Joseph DiGeronimo. His program was to offer an inducement plan to the pupils. Each school would hold $ 500 put into a modesty history for eventual usage by students-that is, unless the money was foremost consumed by the costs of hooliganism. The money would travel to the pupil organic structure to utilize as it wished, every bit long as the outgos were legal and in good gustatory sensation. ( Brietler, B, 1988 )

The strategy was successful plenty that it was able to cut down incidents from 114 in 1985-86 to 51 incidents in 1986-87. ( Brietler, B, 1988 )

Even though my research is focused in happening a bar instead than a remedy, secondary steps will merely assist to reenforce the former. Since, in the Indian context, where pecuniary addition is the chief inducement to acquire work done expeditiously, strategies of a similar nature be implemented so as to ease care of our urban infinites.


I was ab initio filled with the impression that hooliganism and littering are done by the same societal strata and for similar grounds. But on farther analyzing I realized that they are two distinguishable behaviors and are motivated by different factors. Vandalism had been associated in about all my readings as an act of rebelliousness of the people of the lower category or people who believe have been neglected by a regulating organic structure. It would be incorrect to presume that it is the deficiency of consciousness or literacy that is the root cause of littering. The most common sight of littering is that of plastics bags, disposable containers, home bases and spoons Items which are attributed with the consumerist classes i.e. the in-between category and high category.

The Indian section of scientific disciplines and engineering provinces:

Most of today ‘s plastics and man-made polymers are produced from petrochemicals. As conventional plastics are relentless in the environment, improperly disposed fictile stuffs are a important beginning of environmental pollution, potentially harming life.Therefore Littering is non simply an oculus sore but besides a wellness jeopardy and, it should be a affair of concern that we maintain our metropoliss clean so that we can profit in the long tally.

Another manner of littering is really alone to India owing to a formula that is alone to Indian civilization. Almost all public infinites can be clearly associated with the splashes of paan rechewed food, normally seen at every corner of a stairway or the terminal of a passageway. Paan is made utilizing a individual beetle foliage with a filling which is normally constituted of areca nut, calcium hydroxide and cured baccy. This signifier of paan is non meant to be swallowed and so spitting is inevitable. The areca nut is what is responsible for making the blood ruddy colour which is the cardinal identifier of paan rechewed food. Paan is stingily available to both the hapless husbandman and the rich merchandiser, and is an Indian man’s base on balls clip, masticating invariably to while away the long and humdrum twenty-four hours.

The primary cause of this gross carelessness towards correct disposal of trash, is because of the deficiency of far-sightedness of the common adult male. The deficiency of a united spirit in the metropolis, where

every adult male is out at that place to fend for himself be it position, gaining or justness and this has led to a atomization in the urban society. This is what has eluded the heads of the people, that, even fiddling Acts of the Apostless such as littering can add up to larger effects. Liberalization has granted the benefit of private ownership of land, but this has allowed people to presume the corollary, that, what is non owned by them is non under their legal power wholly burying the democratically It belongs to him but at the same clip, besides to his fellow countrymen. This blazing thought of in and out, mine and non mine has deluded the spirit of a common in urban society which manifests itself in the signifier of carelessness.

Vassos Argyrou argues that depending on one’s place in infinite people may happen things to be in topographic point ( have positive value ) or out of topographic point ( have negative value ) or, they may be unseeable to the observer… Therefore, the similar beauty, litter is in the oculus of the perceiver. ( Argyrou, Vassos, 1997 ) Depending on these features society manner either be proactive or they may be negligent towards littering.

Peopless understanding toward cleanliness is chiefly defined by their manner of life. The fact that some people treat littering as eyesores is presupported by ’the ability to detach oneself from the universe and represent it as an object of contemplation and reflection.’ ( Argyrou, Vassos, 1997 ) .. This part of society’s ability is rendered possible by the division between mental labor and physical labor. This is possible in those who are economically good off and have the luxury to contemplate the universe and its jobs. The bash non necessitate to partake cumbrous labor ( like brick laying and agriculture ) in order to contend the elements of nature, instead, they would prefer to make the same through “sport” ( by traveling stone mounting or boosting ) . They tend to contemplate the universe as an aesthetic world. Trying to handle nature as a organic structure whose truths assessed and nutriments cured.

By contrast, for many people the universe is far from a amenitiess and comfortss, and the possibility to contemplate the universe is distant. These people are compelled to work on yearss which, most people would take the twenty-four hours away. To them, the universe is a conflict field and life a day-to-day battle. Out of this confrontation – kindred to physical combat the universe emerges as a formidable antagonist and the Self emerges as a physically and mentally strong person who, far from being deterred by the challenge, welcomes and even provokes it. ( Argyrou, Vassos, 1997 ) They are excessively stubborn to give up on the challenges that face them and, given these fortunes, their aggressive attack towards life, to them avoiding littering is a far excessively gratuitous an act to be earnestly considered.

However, it would be premature to presume that the cause of this uncleanliness is because of the lower working category and that the center and higher categories are barren of this attitude towards our metropoliss. This lone suggests that different conditions of being predispose people to see the universe and themselves, in different ways.

The writer subsequently goes on to state that the in-between category claim is that people litter because they are nescient. Rather, it is that people are nescient because they litter. The differentiation is important because it implies that litter is a self- apparent truth accessible to everyone. If the in-between category can comprehend it as a job, villagers and urban working categories can see it excessively.

But, as in-between category rhetoric has it, they choose to disregard it and this is what makes them ignorant

This act of carelessness towards the metropolis is good illustrated by Sudipta Kaviraj, in his paper’ Filth and the Public Sphere: Concepts and Practices about Space In Calcutta ( 1997 ) , speaking of the impressions, of what is public in the eyes of Indians, in the metropolis of Calcutta. He talks of how Hindi civilization is responsible for the construct for ‘apan/par’ in which people merely look at their belongings as their universe, which requires attending and has to be kept clean. Whereas the surrounding is of no importance to the inhabitant.

The interior of a Brahmin house was frequently kept imposingly clean, including utensils and other family goods. Insides of houses were swept and scrubbed with meticulous regularity. Indeed, there was an interesting connexion between these responsibilities and the spiritual markers on the times of twenty-four hours. The household’s internal infinite had to be cleaned at the hours of concurrence between light and darkness, at morning and twilight, which coincided with clip for worship ( puja ) . The signifier of this puja, particularly at nightfall, was to illume the auspicious lamp, which had an unostentatious piousness about it and was performed by adult females, who shared a strong connexion with the symbolism of the inside. It would be considered uneven, and faintly blasphemous, to take the auspicious lamp into a room that had non been cleaned in readying for this most ordinary signifier of thanksgiving. Therefore, the cleansing jobs were considered quasi-religious responsibilities for family members ( largely adult females ) . Yet the refuse collected from this obsessional house-cleaning would be dumped on a hill right in forepart of the house. This owed non to a material-geographic but a conceptual differentiation. When the refuse is dumped, it is non placed at a point where it can non casually affect the kingdom of the family and its hygienic wellbeing. It is thrown over a conceptual boundary. The street was the outside, the infinite for which one did non hold duty, or which non one’s ain was, and it hence lacked any association with duty, because it did non symbolize any important rule, did non show any values. It was simply a conceptually undistinguished negative of the interior, which was prized and invested with fond ornament. Therefore, the outside—the streets, squares, bathing Ghats, and other installations used by big numbers—were crowded, but they did non represent a different sort of valued infinite, a civic infinite with norms and regulations of usage of its ain, different from the domestic values of businessperson privateness. ( Kaviraj, S 1997 )

Kaviraj besides mentions that dramatis personae is non the lone factor but the differences in perceptual experiences between the different categories besides is responsible for the littering. The in-between category who were capable of affording an instruction attach much sentimental values to their public Parkss, but the lower category can non understand the importance of the latter as much of the in-between class’s sentiments had aroused from historic contexts which the lower categories could non associate to due to miss of an instruction. What this shows is that there were two different codifications for utilizing societal infinite, one function of inside/outside and another of public/ private. ( Kaviraj, S 1997 )

This survey has helped me hold on the gravitation of the state of affairs. That there is a cultural nexus towards the manner we maintain our public sphere and that there lies a differences of conceptual attack towards the term ‘public’ by the different economic strata of society.

Another construct I would wish to concentrate on is the broken window theory, which says that a offense is more likely to go on if the physical environment is already abused. This phenomenon is necessary to understand as it acts as the flicker to the fire if non tended to.

The corollary of the theory can besides be tested to see if highly clean environments can besides be used to make a societal unacceptance toward uncleanliness of our public infinites.


Littering is a societal and wellness job. It may be harmless in little measures, but when it is upscaled to the urban degree, it becomes a threat and a cause of concern. Today the Indian authorities has tried to control littering by agencies of promotional messages on telecasting. And people are good cognizant that it is illegal to litter. Under this circumstance, littering is non simply an act, but besides a statement whose message echoes through all people who see it. Citizens who see their streets and roads littered will be filled with the impression that their authorities is unqualified and incapable. This finally will take people to be slack, non merely towards littering Torahs but besides towards other limitations, citing the latter failure as an illustration. Owing to its ocular nature, littering spreads like a disease in the infinites of the citizen heads and so into the infinites of the metropolis.

This will finally engender carelessness among the multitudes and destruct community civilization. This farther translates into more utmost instances where our urban infinites will be vandalized to vent out choler.

Therefore it is of at most importance that we take immediate action and strongly reenforce these actions with preventive steps in order to keep a physically and mentally society.

From my literature study it has come to my cognition that littering and hooliganism have been looked at from a really nonsubjective point of position and research is directed more towards these phenomena as reactive steps and non a long term preventive steps. Therefore I would wish to concentrate my hereafter attempts into happening ways in which we can forestall littering and hooliganism before it can even go on.


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Argyrou, Vassos 1997, Wiley on behalf American Anthropological Association, “Keep Cyprus Clean” : Littering, Pollution, and Otherness, Vol. 12, No.2

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