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Best Practices, Cities, Urban Design, Urban Renewal

Urban Design at its best in India

Here are some photographs of the recently opened lower promenade of the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Construction for this urban renewal project began in 2004 and runs along both banks of the Sabarmati river for a 10.5 kilometre stretch, creating approximately 185 hectares of reclaimed land.

The lower promenade is a pedestrian only space with a minimum width of 10 meters is just above water level providing uninterrupted access to the water. The upper promenade will host a variety of public buildings, cultural and educational institutions, public parks and plazas and a few areas for commercial development, while new street infrastructure will connect the riverfront to the city.

Celebrating Eid on the riverfront’s lower promenade

The project aspires to create an identity for modern Ahmedabad by returning the focus of development towards the river with a network of public spaces and landmark architecture, all of this through a master plan accompanied by a set of urban design guidelines.

‘Nashtha’/ A snack on the riverfront

Little soldiers on the riverfront

Lower promenade on a weekday night

Apart from this, the project also addresses the issue of flooding in certain sections and provision has been made to keep the Sabarmati clean by diverting sewage effectively to the city’s treatment plants.

But what makes the Sabarmati Riverfront project truly exemplary is that it is entirely a sef-financing project with capital derived from the sale of the project land itself.
Indeed, urban design at its best in India.

Photographs by Joseph Raja

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About Vidhya Mohankumar

Vidhya Mohankumar is an architect and urban designer with over a decade of work experience in India, Ireland and the United States and a passion for creating livable and sustainable cities. She is the founder of Urban Design Collective (UDC), a non-profit organization that works as a collaborative platform to create better cities through community engagement. Vidhya also advocates sustainable development through training and capacity building programmes for various stakeholder groups and also within academia through her association with a number of universities as guest faculty. In other parallel albeit real universes, she is a wishful artist, an avid wanderer, a constant gardener and a newly enthused cook.

Discussion

One thought on “Urban Design at its best in India

  1. A flashy concrete promenade like this is only hindering the natural meandering process that the river would otherwise have taken. Is this all that your concept of urbanisation can do?

    Posted by Meetali | November 15, 2013, 12:40 pm

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