Studio ··· Undergraduate Thesis, RV College of Architecture, Bangalore
Project Location  ··· Visakhapatnam, India
Year ··· Jan 2017 - May 2017
Faculty ··· Ravi Ramachandran,  Nandita Srinivas, Anil Dube, Vagish Naganur

Mana Ooru (Our City)

Could architecture have a more direct dialogue with society? In the context of contemporary Indian cities, could it play a role in making our cities more liveable?

The concept of smart cities in India is arising. Considerate amount of capital is being invested in making cities ‘smart’. What do these smart cities claim to do?

In the light of the smart city proposals, our cities are being retrofitted with smart infrastructure. These infrastructures helps us monitor and program our cities efficiently to increase our liveability quotient. Our cities claim to engage the citizens with the seams and structures of the city by making smart data public.
But is this engagement on the surface? How can a deeper involvement with the city’s structure and our urban lives be made possible?

The thesis aims to script public engagement at a neighbourhood level in a chosen city Visakhapatnam, as a demonstration prototype. Through this thesis, it is proposed to transform under-used neighbourhood parks into active social spaces and nodes of engagement for the citizens. As rapid urbanization proceeds, these parks ensure that our cities don’t run out of places for us to meet, gather and relax close to nature. Hence, a typology of public spaces housing hybrid functions specific to its particular neighbourhood is generated.

Parks are visualized as the catalysts for collaborative spaces of the ‘smart city’.

Dividing the broad smart city goals into a set of standard and local functions. Standard goals are
city-specific goals which are infrastucture oriented. Local goals are neighborhood-specific goals which depend on the needs of each locality. As parks are not maintained properly, there is a growing lack of spaces for urban dwellers to meet and relax. By addressing this, parks can be regenerated to facilitate citizen-citizen engagement and further, citizen-city engagement.

2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles