Min(d)ing the Potential
Min(d)ing the Potential
Solution proposed by:
Placemakers India, CEPT University
In a Nutshell:
It was a Placemaking initiative first of its kind implemented in India, where we tried to redesign streets by really involving the community in the process.
Where and When:
Ahmedabad, India, 2015
Explain why the solution was proposed and what challenges it is meant to address Biggest challenge was to change the mindset of people, we in India are always made to believe that our habits don’t change. We tried to prove it wrong. Given a chance to improve we always want to change for a better life. Also trying to involve the community in the process was also a big hurdle. People were reluctant to talk, it was something new for them. We need to be better communicators for that.
IT is sometimes better to have common sense than innovation, because sometimes its common sense that solves the problems not large scale named development. We applied this ideology of ours. We also believe that in India, and many places around the world everything that is planned or designed is without public engagement. Without public engagement everything is destined to fail. So our process was a unique public engagement methods to make people talk about what they really need!
As students of Urban Planning, it is important that we understand the importance of participatory and inclusive planning and the role of the local communities in the same. We havebeen listening to various discussions on inclusive planning and how all the stakeholders should be involved in the planning process, so what better way than taking up project with highlights the issues and concerns of a local community around us which directly-indirectly connects with us and helps us to involve the concerned stakeholders in a planning process which concerns them. The idea was to interact as much as possible with the community and at the end come up and implement the idea on ground.
With the identified sectors of intervention, the team together came up with various alternative solutions to offer the stakeholders. For example, the overall aesthetics of the place, which indirectly involved the cleanliness aspect, the team proposed the use of more plants, specifically the climbers along the fencing behind the vendors and planted pots near the stalls. It was also proposed to provide more dustbins, so as to help the ease the already overflowing bins. More of such solutions were presented to the consumers and the vendors and a final call was taken based on their feedback as to what to provide and what not to provide at the street. During the proposal and feedback stage, the vendors requested us to not provide any sitting arrangement as it causes issues to not to them but also the flowing traffic which is indirectly blamed at them. They say that some of the people at having an opportunity to sit there and eat, keep sitting there even long after they are finished with their food which adds to the already crowded streets and that they would want to change that trend. All such suggestions were considered and evaluated by the team and a final proposal was prepared and again shown to the stakeholders, which they approved and agreed to be a part of.
From it was before the street was more cleaner. There was more sense of belonging to the street. We have proved that given a chance people will try using demarcated lines, will be more disciplined and use the dustbins. This has made the AMC to try use the parking lines and we are definitely making a difference in the city.