Developing temporary urban commons by making land uses floating:

Author: Shaunak Kulkarni | KRVIA – Post Graduate Program | 2021

The constantly changing needs of human settlements, force us to change the meaning of urban spaces and the way people conceive them. The need for public amenities and services, their quantity, and the space required for them is also constantly changing as the priorities differ from time to time. But the unavailability of urban commons or the unequal division of resources in the Indian cities is arguably because of mismanagement of land. As the paradigm of development is suddenly shifting towards the fascination of western cities, we are reserving more and more lands for transportation purposes. The more different modes of transport we use, the more land we have to invest in services and future expansion of transportation facilities.

Many times, these lands are fenced and remain unused for years to come, creating a paradox of decreasing urban commons, public realm on one side, and having chunks of lands inside the city remaining unused for years. “Why do we look towards the development as a permanent feature and what will happen if we tend to change land uses on a temporary basis?” is the basic question to ask. The leftover land patches for different future developments become the dark spots of the city. This proposal looks towards synchronizing the needs and issues of the city on the grounds of urban commons and land uses.

The thesis had tried to work upon the land uses and its paradoxes. During the analytical phase, it established the connection between the development and the transport infrastructures. The lands reserved for mobility services thus have a lot to do with the fact that cities do not have lands to acquire and use for the betterment of municipal services. Thus, it moves forward to establish links in major three keywords, urban commons, land uses and mobility infrastructure.

This thesis majorly works to give a solution to retain the urban commons or to increase them by making the land uses floating for reserved lands, and their surrounding neighborhoods.

The patches of land will be converted into the public realm and habitat cover of the city. That way the disconnected or isolated habitat cover will get an ecological viaduct. They will get additional pollution purification filters and it will add to the urban commons of the city along with the public realm infrastructure added to the patches of the site. Public circulation will increase to reduce the anti-social elements and will help in the cleansing of dark spots of the neighborhoods. And the land will be brought back in the memory of people and their city. The infrastructure thus added will have a direct share of public emotions and thus will get maintained properly through citizen ownership, until the land goes back to its primary purpose for which it was reserved.

Text & Image Credit: Shaunak Kulkarni | Krvia – Post Graduate Program | Urban Design

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