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Koralkar Eklavya
Feb 12, 2022
In General Discussions
The small public spaces found across the neighbourhood share commonalities and differences in their characteristics. Depending upon the location, context and footfall, the usage of the space by various user groups differs accordingly. For instance, spaces around chai/paan vendors in Ahmedabad do share similarities to an extent with the Ashwath katte even though the former is a socio-economic space while the latter is a socio-religious space. Both the spaces act as an anchor for other social and economic activities and are functional from early morning till midnight. The chai/paan vendors are immensely male-dominated while the Ashwath kattes are not as gendered as the former spaces.
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Koralkar Eklavya
Jul 07, 2021
In General Discussions
Every city has its own culture and a unique way of using its public spaces. Hence the behaviour might vary depending upon the social practices in the public spaces. In order to get to know the behaviour of spaces, it is necessary to identify the users of the space and to find how they are dependent on each other. Finding out the dependencies and interdependencies in between these user groups can lead to knowing the needs and demands of the user groups from the peer citizens and the space. This throws the light on how the user groups function for a particular public space to exist. How are the users in the public space of your city dependent or interdependent with each other or any elements of the space?
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Koralkar Eklavya
Jul 07, 2021
In General Discussions
We are well aware of the natural elements which provide shade but there are a lot of unique ways in which the artificial shade elements have been created using ad hoc methods. Temporary shading devices are often created on site by the vendors using a variety of methods which is feasible for their economic conditions. The size and kind of structure which evolves largely depends upon the kind of activity and the kind of public space it is in. The vulnerability of stakeholder plays a deciding factor for the size and the material used. How are the artificial shading elements created uniquely to cater to various economic, religious, cultural and social activities in your cities?
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Koralkar Eklavya
Jul 07, 2021
In General Discussions
There are various factors which keep women from visiting the public spaces during any given time of the day and/or especially during the night .A few of them are reflected from the responses received which mainly include inadequate illumination, overcrowding in congested spaces, lack of proper surveillance through CCTV cameras, security personnel etc. Many of the respondents also highlighted the factor of lack of connectivity through streets/public transport and lack of activities which ensures footfall in the space. What are the small details in our streets/public spaces which are absent in current conditions, but when present it can enhance the sense of safety and comfort for women?
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Koralkar Eklavya
Jul 07, 2021
In General Discussions
In India, there are disparities in access to technology in terms of gender, socio-economic background and even age groups. Intense focus on the digital front while engaging the citizens has possibilities of design & planning decisions being taken in favour of those certain citizens who have easy access to technology. Therefore, in a context like India, it is crucial to have innovative and adaptive strategies to engage citizens in order to make our cities more inclusive. How can these user groups which lack access to technology be engaged in a participatory process for city making in order to make our cities inclusive?
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Koralkar Eklavya
Mar 15, 2021
In General Discussions
The culture of each city is reflected in its built form and the activities performed in the public sphere. It is a continual process that one generation inherits from the previous ones. In older neighbourhoods, as cultural practices continue on streets and public spaces, they shape the character and vibrancy of these spaces. In newer neighbourhoods, we could design our public spaces in a way that would allow local residents and visitors to practice these cultural activities. Renee Chow in ‘Changing Chinese Cities: The Potential of Field Urbanism’ talks about the traditional urban fabric of the Chinese cities which had consisted of a courtyard typology often referred to as Hutongs. However, the low maintenance of this urban fabric due to the Cultural Revolution has led to the fading out of the traditional building typologies. The hutongs which were an identity of the urban fabric of Beijing are today surrounded by or even replaced by skyscrapers and iconic buildings which resemble architectural landmarks in the Western world. In the Indian context, we find that small community spaces such as the ashwath kattes in Bangalore, that have had significant religious and cultural importance are now being deterritorialized or encroached upon due to infrastructure development. We think that we could try to integrate such small public spaces of the city into the newer transformation processes of the city.
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Koralkar Eklavya
Mar 15, 2021
In General Discussions
The growth of an ashwath katte as a religious and social space is a gradual process and emerges from the needs of the communities living there. The process of territorialization starts when a local resident places a framed deity at the foot of the peepul tree. The tree then begins to be worshipped by other families in the vicinity. As time passes by, everyday activities such as the pradakshina, the performing of the aarti and tying of the sacred thread around the ashwath katte begins to take place. This tends to strengthen the religious sentiments of the community for the space and contributes to building collective memory. Gradually, a platform made up of stones or bricks emerges around the katte which proves to be an anchor for other social, economic and cultural activities. In many cases, a small shrine replaces the framed deity and other ritual objects are added. It is these stages in the development of the ashwath katte that we define as ‘territorialization’. We realise that such appropriation of public space by local residents is not uncommon in our cities in India. In your own neighbourhood, is there an example of how a small, public space was created by people – a temple, a roadside shrine, a space for drinking water, the feeding of cows, space where people come to feed the pigeons, a place under the shade of a tree that now has a platform for people to sit or a simple bench that a resident welfare association has sponsored outside an apartment complex or a temple?
Territorialization of an ashwath katte content media
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