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Corbusier's Chandigarh Up for Preservation

A favorite target of planners, Corbusier's radical design for Chandigarh in India is being considered by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
August 30, 2008, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Almost 50 years ago, Nehru saw Chandigarh as a symbol of the new India, a city that would prove the country's ability to unite the social classes, embrace modernity and inspire generations of thinkers and inventors. Constructed as the new capital of the sorely divided Punjab, Chandigarh gave architect Le Corbusier his only opportunity to implement his modernist ideals about shaping cities around the new mode of transportation-cars; self-sufficient sectors dividing a city into small parts; and the nobility of cement as a building material.

In reality, after its much-crowed-about beginnings, Chandigarh, with its quirky architecture, settled for the status of a second-tier city, meant for bureaucrats and middle managers. Long-time residents called it the best place to live in India; others called it a city for the "dead and the dying"; and the rest of the country barely cast a second glance at it."

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Published on Friday, August 29, 2008 in
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