City life has its problems—tiny living spaces, poor air quality, lots of noise, and high-energy consumption, just to name a few—but a new development in India spearheaded by former Wall Street banker Anilesh Ahuja is determined to provide the antidote.
The upcoming planned community, named Solitaire Valley, is designed to limit the negative effects of the modern city lifestyle while simultaneously helping its residents live fuller, richer lives. By incorporating the latest research regarding green spaces, affordable housing, and sustainable power, the development hopes to create a prosperous and thriving community that benefits all of its residents, no matter their socioeconomic status or age.
That means shunning some conventional practices, such as keeping low-cost apartments far away from luxury homes, while putting more ideas into practice, such as keeping the density of homes low to ensure that all residents have easy access to parks and natural environments.
By creating a low-density development with a walkable layout, Anilesh Ahuja hopes to create a true sense of community in Solitaire Valley that naturally encourages people from all walks of life to enjoy common spaces that are accessible to everyone.
“These are very modern concepts for where we are, and they are very important for the future,” he said. “And we are doing things for the community, which is fantastic. We are giving space for kids to be kids by giving them places to play instead of just running around the cars… India is an experience of multi-generational families living together. It’s very much of a joint family culture. Old people have space to walk without being afraid to be knocked down by anybody.”
But while residents of the community will assuredly benefit from the development’s integrated approach to modern life, visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy a new kind of modern living.
A Glimpse Into the Vedic
An important part of the Solitaire Valley community is a first-of-its-kind hospitality facility that will allow visitor to experience a deep sense of tranquility in the heart of modern India. Created to emulate a rustic Vedic village, the 200-guest compound will act like a wellness retreat for visitors who want to feel a deeper sense of tranquility.
The central concept undergirding the village-within-a-village comes from Ayurveda, an ancient form of alternative medicine that originated in India.
“Ayurveda is a different type of medicine. In the old books, there was a certain lifestyle that had to be lived for Ayurveda to be effective. It was a holistic solution, not just a chemical solution,” Ahuja explained. “Building a whole lifestyle concept is also what I’m trying to do. And this piece of the community, I think, is very important. Wellness is a big piece of the puzzle.”
When guests visit Solitaire Valley’s Vedic village, they will be treated to a simpler way of life. From yoga sessions to locally sourced food, the experience is meant to reconnect people to the earth and help them re-discover a sense of place, Ahuja said.
“It’s very green. We grow our own food. It’ll be completely sustainable as a lifestyle, as in we grow your own vegetables, and we have our own cows,” he ssaid. “It’ll be a village, like you’re creating going back in time. And it’ll be comfortable in the sense, nobody has to do any work. There’ll be folks there to do the work for you, but the idea is to think about what worked in the past and reconnect.”
From Spa to City
But even if the hospitality concept is just for visitors, its spirit courses through the design and layout of the Solitaire Valley residential community.
Small details, like the solar panels that will generate much of the community’s electrical needs, help tie the community to the land, providing another way for residents to feel connected. The community will also feature a single school, where the children from all socioeconomic backgrounds will mix, which research suggests will help disadvantaged children and financially advantaged peers find greater success later in life.
“When people look for a township or they look for a home, there are few things before they think about the house itself. They want good public transportation, they want great schools, and they want a hospital. These are the things you need for your family. And of course, groceries and things like that so that when you live, you’re not traveling 500 miles to go get food,”Anilesh Ahuja said. “These are the things we think through in terms of designing a township. We say, ‘OK, we have a school system for the kids. We have great spaces for them to be kids. We have retail and groceries. And we have a world-class healthcare system.’ You have to tick these boxes as you build something for the people.”