In the course of the present project the term ‘Ideal Sector’ is used as an equivalent for a sustainable and resilient neighbourhood in the Indian context, and IDEAN principles, or the IDEAN approach, embody a portfolio of values of an Ideal Sector. These represent two sides of one coin addressing urban sustainability. Etymologically IDEAN blends the word Indian with the word ideal. Although it‘s origins lie in the context of Indian urbanisation, the outcomes aim to provide inspiration for all other regions. IDEAN is represented by a tree with seven branches and 33 principles that guide the development of sustainable and resilient neighbourhoods. The IDEAN principles' innovation lies in the fact that it complements the conventional approach to sustainability, which is composed of social, economic and ecological terms, with the dimensions of technology, culture, politics and space. Five overarching principles bind together these seven strands, and three pointers facilitate the assessment of a good neighbourhood. However, rather than constituting a closed system, the IDEAN principles amount to an open, multifaceted and interrelated network. IDEAN represents the fact that Ideal sectors are highly context specific. Every situation may require a specific combination of values, while not all values need to be applied at the same time. In this way IDEAN's approach aims at supplementing the common green building rating standards such as LEED, IGBC, RIHA, BREEAM, or DGNB. IDEAN is not another system of certification. Instead of rating and assessing results, it provides guiding principles for the entire process of creating sustainable and resilient neighbourhoods: planning, design, and implementation, as well as management and operation. Yet above all, IDEAN aims at facilitating and developing a consensual vision. The approach intends to help community representatives, urban planners, architects, property developers, and the staff of municipalities and other planning institutions.


Six overarching principles delineate Ideal Sectors: Open Access, Opportunity, Communication, System Integration, Resilience & Flexibility, and Reflexivity. These values link up the seven branches of the IDEAN tree in the same manner as coloured bands of a rainbow.


How to evaluate whether a community develops in the right direction? Our three most important pointers to gauge the Quality of Life, Conviviality, and Innovative Capacity. These indicators do not belong to traditional and quantitative techniques of measurement – in contrast they present fast-track qualitative perspectives.