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Modernizing Utter Pradesh Following Indian Independence By Renowned Urban Planner Robert Dudley Trudgett

Interesting master planning document and map, prepared by the Town & Village Planning Office in Lucknow by renown American architect and urban planner Robert Dudley Trudgett.

The work includes a large folding map and 56 pages of text.

Undertaken as part of the wider plan by Jawaral Nehru to modernize India's rural regions following its Independence, the map illustrates a portion of Utter Pradesh between Delhi and Gaziabad, shorlty after the devastating floods of 1948-49.  Following these floods, Trudgett's team attempted to implement model villages and other urban planning ideas in order to rebuild the region and begin the process of providing modern utilitarian infrastructure.

The map provides a fine regional overview, illustrating:

  • National Highways (existing and proposed)
  • Provincial Roads (existing and proposed)
  • Major Roads (existing and proposed)
  • Canals
  • Railways
  • Industrial Areas
  • townships and villages

Town and Village Planning Office - Uttar Pradesh

The Office was formed in 1948 as part of Jawaral's wider modernization project, under the direction of Albert Mayer. The following is excerpted from the website for the Office:

The genesis of Town Planning Department begins with setting up of a temporary Town Planning Wing in the Central Planning Office under the Rural Development Department of the Government vide G.O. no. 10201-R/XII-C-DC-579/ 48, Lucknow, dated 30th November, 1948 for village planning especially rehabilitation of villages washed away in the floods of 1948 and for preparation of housing schemes for the rehabilitation of displaced persons consequent to the partition of India.

In the year 1949,Town Planning Office was separated from the Central Planning Office and was placed under the administrative control of Municipal Development Department Local Self Government Engineering Department In 1950. It was accorded independent status vide U.P. Government Municipal (B) Department 634 p/XII-B-39 P-1949, dated 22 nd April, 1950 with the Town and Village Planner as its Head of the Department.

The objective of the department was to prepare maps for various Development Schemes of Local Bodies especially for Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra, Allahabad and Kanpur. Besides, it was mandatory to seek approval from the Town & Country Planning Department for any large building such as Court, Hospital, sewage treatment plant, workshop etc. Since then, this department has been functioning as a technical adviser to the government and other departments related to Urban Planning.

R. Dudley Trudgett and The Indian Rural Modernization Project

R. Dudley Trudgett graduated with a degree in landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1934. He then attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, focusing on city planning. He served in the Navy for four years during WWII, after which he traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, spending six years in India and Japan working on site development and town planning.

In 1945, Tudgett's partner and renown urban planner Albert Mayer met Jawaharlal Nehru in India and discussed a plan for "model villages" that would establish "good housing, sanitation, and community structure. Beginning in 1946, he developed a pilot development project in rural Etawah, India. This project aimed to improve the quality of life for rural Indians and Mayer focused the plan around designing in such a way that fostered social and economic prosperity for the rural villagers through “inner democratization." The development planning work from the Etawah pilot project was repeated throughout rural India and Mayer was appointed Planning Advisor to the Uttar Pradesh Government in 1947. Tudgett was recruited by Mayer to assist his work in Uttar Pradesh.

Trudgett worked on county planning, State Parks, and land subdivision in both Northern and Southern California, and was an early member of the Telesis group. During the late 1950s, Trudgett created a landscape design practice in the Los Angeles area that he continued until his death in 1985.

The Univeristy of California Berkely, College of Environmental Design Archive houses the R. Dudley Trudgett Colledtion, including correspondence, including his time in Uttar Pradesh, student and personal drawings and other artworks. The collection contains correspondence between Trudgett and clients such as Norton Simon and the University of Southern California on a number of subjects such as future planning issues and payment for services. Trudgett’s project records also include extensive reference materials pertaining to regional and city planning used for his projects in India, as well as drawings for the Hunt Foods Co., Continental Vinters, and The Alhambra Neuropsychiatric Hospital.


We were not able to find any institutional or other examples of this work.