Note: There are many instances where design appears to fail, where people through their use or behaviour subvert or reject design intentions, in the public realm that remains in plain sight and goes unnoticed by most of us in everyday life. This study revolves around and maps out instances where trees become the anchor point to interpret the correlation between the design intentions and behaviour of various users of public spaces. The study focused on the 3 km stretch from University Road to Navrangpura Gam in Ahmedabad.
Trees in the city play an important role, they are widely distributed from the middle of the road, on the pavement, in between the boundary walls. They are living landmarks that define space, contribute to air quality, and connect us to nature. Despite their ubiquity, most of us take trees for granted and know little of their civic virtues. The photo essay looks at the problems and possibilities of the trees in structuring the public realm of a street. In what way they are considered a liability by the designer while an opportunity, to inhabit, appropriate and exploit spaces they create, by the users in various ways. Continue reading “To Tree Or Not To Tree”→
Black and white constructs plethora of metaphors in mind. ‘Landfill gulls’, hawks and stench, mark their territory over the skies of Bhanpur Landfill. This area signifies and marks the decaying rotten side of the city. An unplanned unscientific dumping of waste spread across 57.80 acres, has been continuously exploited for more than four decades.
In a sorry development, a modern architectural marvel was demolished. The landmark symbolized India’s tryst with modern architecture. The cast concrete structures designed by architects Raj Rewal, Kuldip Singh and engineered by Mahendra Raj stood witness to numerous exhibitions and trade fairs. Though well known to architectural community these modern ‘monuments’ were not ‘popular’ amongst masses.
Amidst wi-fi dreams the city has started abandoning its heritage, its identity. The sense-of-belonging to cities has seen rapid decline and they have been reduced to basics of being economic engines.
The demolition of Hall of Nations on night of April 23-24′ 2017 has resulted in a debate about definition of heritage. It has also highlighted lack of public discourse and popular participation in development of urban habitats in a nation on massive urbanization drive. The destroyed structures formed part of modern ventures in world’s 2nd largest urban centre, which essentially prides of its history and diversity.
In the wake of such situations we observe lack of professional and educated participation from architects, planners and urbanist in urban governance. The management and government of urban centres is often left in the hands of a creed oblivious to issues of urban environments, management, heritage. This is true not only regarding built environments but a wide gamut of issues including urban pollution, safety. Equally essential is sensitizing general population about environments they inhabit and participate in decision making regarding their cities and not just be a mute audience to ‘their’ governments.
Hall of Nations, Pragati Maidan, Delhi – 1980-2017