Urban Design
public open spaces
i am a fourth year student frm disst. topic being public open spaces in pune focuses on plazas, streets and bazaars . they act as a stage for social, cultural and economic development of the city. but now with the changing lifestyle, they are losing importance and their relationship with the local is degrading. i require help to convert this in a thesis topic.suggestions are welcome
Haripriya Dalal
public open spaces
Urban-Public-Open-space: our traditional cities are replete with very good examples of such open spaces which have a multi-dimensional character in its usage as well as in its capacity to form a timeless, identifiable image of that city.

However this is an issue which the current Indian cities have not addressed at all, due to incompetent planning coupled with various pressures, eg. high land values, rampant encroachment etc. We have not had a Single decent example since Indian Independence, in any of our 100 odd towns and cities! (chandigarh may be the only exception)

In the modern cities of europe, however there are examples of a conscious attempt to re-create the traffic-free open space that becomes a vibrant piazza/plaza. Of course they did have the brilliant examples of the Renaissance Town-squares to provide the immediate reference, however it is to their townplanner's credit that that tradition is perpectuated through its re-interpretation for current context.

It is a great challenge to make such a space in the in the current city, as the complexities of vehicular & pedestrian movement, services, assigned landusages, etc all play a simultaneous role in it.

In my opinion,a careful & detailed study of any successful "public open space" that was built in the last 25 years by contemporary architect/s in Europe would be a good starting point for your undergrad dessertation. You might need to formulate a proper framework for analysis, that reveals the many layers of information & thought that these works contain.

In the Indian context, a great challenge is to formulate the necessary "legislation" in the urban development bye-laws, so that these open spaces are made compulsory. This in itself can be a subject of thesis at a higher level.
JK Nair
public open spaces
Haripriya, modern traffic free urban spaces are a disaster. Traffic has to be routed around such spaces, causing massive traffic problems and as far as I can see these spaces are ideal for the the growing nunbers of the anti-social who roam about in animal-packs attacking other people and generally making life unpleasant.
Frank John Snelling
public open spaces
Thanks Frank, for that hilarious response :)btw were you that traffic-policeman who once got hurt by some anti-WTO protestors at the trafalgar square?
JK Nair
public open spaces
hi. thanks to all for replying.
i have narrowed down my disst. topic to "need of recreational urban open spaces in pune". as u replied ,about the planing considerations in other countries have led to formation and preservation of such spaces and their character,but the present situation in our country needs to modify/extend the existing spaces which earlier may or may not be planned for that.say for example, for pune , small extensions to the bridges (like cantilever platforms) may create the ambience of a plaza. i am in search of any such ideas /concepts to create spaces in existing planning.
the traffic problems could be handled by controlling the number of people / density using these public places at a particular way is to optimize the volume of the built space.other solutions are welcomed.
i think the space can be designed so powerful that percentage of anti- social elements are reduced/controlled. city centre, kolkata is a good example.
i require help to search case studies in indian present context.
sugestions are welcomed
Haripriya Dalal


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