Connectivity is essential for any development to thrive and potentially grow. With passage of time, the cities that we now live in have lost their walk-ability. Perhaps this change can be attributed to population explosion, which has caused the demise of transition and congregation spaces. Things as they stand today in most developments, especially in the residential sector, are to ‘pave paradise and put up a parking lot’. With 20% of any new land development being designated for vehicular circulation, it is essential for architects to provide safe strategies for development of vehicular and pedestrian traffic by creating separate pedestrian fields which overlap at regular intervals with the vehicular circulation loop.
There are a number of factors which positively impact the quality of this nexus:
- Design interventions that are socio-culturally deep-rooted in their local context
- Revitalization of walk-ability and creation of separate fields to promote pedestrianization
- Enhancing the sense of ‘physical safety’ and ‘perceived safety’
- Building for multi-generational living, and understanding the varied needs of a wider band of users
- Creating comfortable urban conditions by designing for microclimates to widen comfort bands
- Designing interaction and collection spaces, to promote chance interactions within a development
- Introducing technology to develop SMART communities
Taking a case example of a master-planning project that we are currently working on in Raipur, we closely scrutinize the design strategy applied to this micro community. With this township we take the opportunity to set bench marks for future urbanism of the region.
The design strategies drafted out for the project were:
- Ecological Enhancement: Preserving & enhancing existing natural features and minimizing cut and fill
- Eco-Fingers: Creating safe circulation corridors along these natural features for community activities, pedestrian and cyclist movement
- Cycling Tracks Along the Main Motorable Spine: Improving slow mode transport. An alternate transport system along major movement axis.
- Micro Neighbourhoods: Dedicated entry & exit with no thoroughfare vehicular traffic, a feeling of community, safety and exclusivity
- Equidistant Community Amenities: All community facilities within 5-15 minutes walking distance
- Comfortable Urban Microclimate: Thermally comfortable outdoors for people