Défense in Paris, France; and London, England’s
Docklands. “;e study of these world-famous central business districts was used to prepare a framework of aspects of GIFT’s central business district
functioning and its relationship with the city,” says
Nitin Kumar, CEO, Fairwood Group, Noida, India.
When complete, GIFT will be more than a busi-
ness district, however; it will be a self-sustaining city.
“We designed a city where people will love to take the
public transport system,” Mr. Kumar says. ;e city
will feature “free-;owing, extensive and usable green
spaces, the ability to walk to work because all cars will
travel underground, and skies that are completely
free of wires, which will be underground.”
While job creation and commercial enterprises
will be at the project’s core, comprising 67 per-
cent of GIFT’s 62 million square feet ( 5. 8 million
square meters), residential and social buildings will
take up 22 percent and 11 percent of total space,
respectively. ;e city also will bene;t from high-
tech infrastructure, including district cooling and
automated solid waste management.
;e INR780 billion project, a 50/50 joint venture
between the public Gujarat Urban Development
Company Ltd. and the private Infrastructure Leas-
ing & Financial Services Ltd., has bene;ted from
strong government support—fortunately, given the
early funding challenges it faced.
When planning began in 2007, the project team
had a 10-year timeline, and the design process was
completed “in record time compared to the design
time for similar projects,” Mr. Kumar says. Real estate
developers quickly signed memoranda of understanding. Soon afterward, however, the global recession
hit, and promised investments did not materialize, he
says. “;e global ;nancial meltdown led to investors
abandoning the project, leading to delay in the implementation,” Mr. Kumar says. ;e project team had to
push back the completion date to 2022.
;e government sponsor overcame the setback
by proving itself a worthy partner for private investors. In 2012, a two-year U.K. review of India’s
infrastructure sector lauded Gujarat’s performance
in implementing public-private partnerships.
“Now,” Mr. Kumar says, “things have started
“We designed a city where
people will love to take the
public transport system.”