Idea of public safety by reactivating public blind spots in the neighborhood through inclusive public spaces
Architecture is the medium through which Nature and society interact with each other. Its participation in this interaction differs from being a mere background to the activity in the foreground to being the activity itself. Hence has an ability to influence this interaction where it acts both as a reflection to societies socio-political scenario and also the medium where it makes society reflect upon its own biases.
• Nature informs the environmental resources and also the ecology itself while society consists of economy, social biases, cultural biases, political biases and more obvious biases such as religion, caste and creed.
• Architectures being at the centre of this scenario needs a political/ democratic outlook which balances these complex relationships.
• Study of these factors is crucial to influence built environment as more inclusive and democratic entities. The aim is to address these factors through a democratic lense and a political approach.
The existence of private property and profit owners create a sense of leadership in the society and thereby leading to demand of collective right. Decisions taken by such powerful groups impels one to lead one’s life in a predesigned pattern unknowingly serving the same profit-making crop. Capitalism and urbanism go hand in hand and surplus produced works as a capital to further addition to their own agenda creating a stronger
dispossession of people and unbalance.
Property investment on the Sub urban zones creating semi-cities like Noida and Gurgaon without any formal character of their own creating concrete jungles and lifeless habitat. India’s property led development can be described in terms of ‘accumulation by dispossession’ which includes eminent domain, slum demolition, enclosure (privatisation of public land).
A paradigm shift in urban planning is needed, emphasizing the benefits of sustainable urban development through people centered approach by doing re-urbanisation in a controlled and organized manner which will lead to revival of public spaces. Such re-urbanisation would declare the importance of public space as a key to creating more socially, economically, and ecologically successful and sustainable cities.
UNDERSTANDING OF RESOURCES
• Privatization of urban land takes away the core idea of urbanity that is the image of the city which is practiced by overlap of multiple images/ activities in public realm. Urban space is the most crucial resource in present day and age of urban enclosure(privatization of public land). The onus falls onto the public realm to create more unbiased, inclusive spatiality for social equity and successful functioning of urban realm in general.
• A city is a multi-purpose, shifting organization, a tent for many functions, raised by many hands and with relative speed. Complete specialization, final meshing, is improbable and undesirable. The form must be somewhat noncommittal, plastic to the purposes and perceptions of its citizens with Urban space/land as a resource to manipulate the shift.
• Environment or in this case urban ecology is a massive resource shaping human lives and nature and thereby playing into everyday of all factors involved. It is ancient human habit to adjust to the environment, to discriminate and organize perceptually whatever is present to ones senses based on their biases. Survival and dominance based themselves on this sensuous adaptability, yet now its need of the hour to go on to a new phase of interaction.
• If the environment is visibly organized and sharply identified, then the citizen can inform it with his own meanings and connections. On Urban grounds, one may begin to adapt the environment itself to the perceptual pattern and symbolic process of the human being. To heighten the imageability of the urban environment is to facilitate its visual identification and structuring.
• Human/ stakeholder involvement/ people centered approach towards a controlled and organized urbanization also works as a resource in on peoples everyday where public property isn't completely neglected as a personal responsibility. Such re-urbanization would declare the importance of public space as a key to creating more socially, economically, and ecologically successful urban spatiality.
• The cities that will do best in long run will be those that best support an open, equitable public realm, and leverage its benefits for all the people who utilize those spaces. This also call for the need of more democratic public spaces. This not only makes more equitable public realm but also opens the city as a stage for the citizens to practice their right to disagree or to protest which is the key to democracy. Thereby making opening a medium for dialogue and development.
• There is a dire need of public spaces where people from different communities can interact. Cities with good community spaces help in creating a feeling of belonging and inclusivity and give tangible expression to a more democratic, equitable society.
• Potential of public spaces still lies in the opportunity for direct interaction, but the sphere of public action has broadened to now include virtual and digital spaces. The functional and qualitative public space which are multi-functional are fundamental for achieving social equity.
Political and socio-cultural bias of society always have a more physical-spatial manifestation. That's where architecture comes in play. These manifestations in a more private exclusive spaces can follow the said biases but in a public realm act as hinderances to democratic expression. Urban public realm acts as a stage to practice ones democratic
expression in favor or as a protest and hence are suppose to completely neutral zones. Privatization completely takes away once social equitable rights. Urbanity lined with socio-economic inequality needs spaces of dissent.
• Understanding and manipulating Thresholds.
Threshold: A threshold is a point of departure or transition. A threshold can be formally be the maximum limit or extent of a certain feature or line of conversion. Architecturally thresholds are features defining boundaries or limitation of any architectural element.
Light in different points of time act differently forming different spatial quality in any given space. The built form has ability to manipulate the natural/artificial light making soft thresholds and smoother transitions from one space to another
Material expression is the most common and efficient way of defining hard thresholds. Change in material expression defines the change of element, function and sometimes zone depending upon the choice made by the designer.
Levels have more dual quality when it comes to thresholds. Change in levels
can act both as soft/hard threshold depending on rate of transition between
two different zones or elements where they define two spaces through change
• Adapting the environmental arrangement itself to the perceptual pattern and symbolic process of the human being. To heighten the imageability of the urban environment is to facilitate its visual identification and structuring. If the environment is visibly organized and sharply identified, then the citizen can inform it with his/her own meanings and connections.
• Stakeholder/user involvement in design process/construction, towards a controlled and organized urbanization where public property actually becomes part of there being and reason for them to care about the space itself. Such re-urbanization would declare the importance of public space as a key to creating more socially, economically, and ecologically successful urban spatiality.
The Proposed site is in Kaushambi central park, Kaushambi. It sits at nexus of multiple transit stations and bordering regions of Uttar Pradesh and East Delhi. The park is closest public land to major transit hub Anand Vihar Interstate Bus terminal and railway station causing a Major influx of migrant population in and around the region. The site also situates itself next to an taxi/auto station connecting East Delhi and Ghaziabad.
Other corner of the site houses Pacific Mall, which pulls major population for its commercial services. Its enveloped by 40 year old housing society housing multiple bureaucrats and upper middle class families. Adjoining road is a common protest ground since it houses multiple political party offices.
The Park is a product of poor planning done in 1980s which no more stand relevant to present times making it a isolated island in between dense housing society. The Park is gated and dense tree foliage cuts it away from the society making it a blind spot from any surveillance
The political protests that used to happen inside the park once upon a time have moved to the main roads since the park has become gated and the compound wall cuts it from the society. Though there is police patrolling post to address the concerns, lack of visibility and disconnect to the park from the region makes it extremely challenging to monitor the chaos.
The section maps the activity of different people from morning 8 to evening 8. The same footpath around the park is used from jogging in the early mornings, by the hawkers around the day, by people using it for political protests and rallys until roughly noon and again by the small street vendors by evening ending with people jogging again in the evenings.
The concerns of the site play hugely into the everyday of the residents of the society and pedestrians in general. The site lies at the core of the the area which acts as an access point to all the transit hubs including the metro and the ISBT hence the regions connection to the city/livelihood. Public land masquerading as a private function is problematic and hence needs an intervention to go back to its democratic routes. Potential of public spaces still lies in the opportunity for direct interaction, but the sphere of public action has broadened to now include virtual and digital spaces. The functional and qualitative public space which are multi-functional are fundamental for achieving social equity. Hence the happening of the site play hugely into achieving the said goals and thereby effecting the EVERYDAY as a whole.