For the much-contested redevelopment of Sarojini Nagar, the Institute of Urban Designers India (IUDI) came up with an innovative idea — of inviting design proposals for the area’s makeover from across the country through a competition more than a month ago. Two days ago, the results for the same were declared; one of the winning teams from the 11 shortlisted teams was from Bhopal, which proposed a design to help reduce traffic and save 95% of the trees. From the national capital, the winning team presented a case for an arterial pedestrian road that connects to all public spaces.
“We divided the site into small parcels. By redirecting the circulation of cars by 70 per cent, we can give people more space to walk on. The design layout has been done in such a way that any resident can reach a park within three to five minutes; the whole of Sarojini Nagar market is a seven-minute walk…,” said architect Vikram Kohli from Bhopal, who shared the award with landscape architects Sonal Tiwari and Richa Raje.
The winning team from Delhi — comprising architects Manasa Garikaparthi, C. Aditi, Himashu, and Chaitanya Varma — proposed a central pedestrian civic spine which would be connected to parks and residential areas. “The original grid of the site has been retained to save existing trees. Housing clusters with mix-use development have been designed in the spaces between the existing green cover promoting walkable neighbourhoods…,” said Varma.
The designs by other participants are on display at the India Habitat Centre in the capital till October 15. Justice C Hari Shankar, who was at the inauguration of the exhibition, said, “Today’s biggest challenge is to harmonise development and environment. The entries have maintained that balance well. Sarojini Nagar needs a makeover, and this is a stepping stone for the government…”