fdp_ THE POLS IN AHMEDABAD by Almudena Cano Piñeiro

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Title: Urban Strategies to Regenerate Indian Public Space: A CASE STUDY OF POLS IN AHMEDABAD

School: ETSAM (Madrid)

Tutor: LUIS BASABE MONTALVO

Year: 2012

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This project explores potential methodologies for urban interventions in historic city centers. The traditional fabric of those areas is currently facing the effects of external forces resulting from rapid development and intense socio-economic pressure. In contrast to renewal programs that ignore existing architectural and cultural heritage, this project proposes a number of innovative strategies for regenerating the traditional public space. Such as a catalogue of urban tools that both solves the lack of infrastructure (water, drainage ,etc) and preserves the traditional way of life by improving the quality of common spaces.

The Context

The Pols of Ahmedabad are regarded by historians, architects and urban designers as one of the finest surviving examples of urbanism and domestic architecture in Indian tradition. They represent a beautiful manifestation of compact, climactically responsive, urban settlement, where the past and future are still able to coexist.

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Urban strategy

The project attempts to detect latent opportunities in the city itself, taking advantage of the existing scenario. Obsolete infrastructures are replaced by a new network of urban transformation devices that reinforce the ongoing processes.

The itemized analysis of the tissue reveals the need for small-scale interventions to regenerate existing spaces. Five test cases are identified as representative sites for implanting a network of interconnected devices that positively transform and reorganize the those scenarios.

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Catalogue of tools

The project offers a catalogue of tools that analyzes the use of the existing structures of production, along with the environmental impact and social relationships associated with production. A number of structural systems, climate control mechanisms and recycling technologies, are categorized in order to preserve traditional know-how. Innovation and technology transfer play an important role in social development through their contributions to city growth.

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Catalogue of intervention devices

Rather than determine a single solution, this project aims to create a flexible and adaptive system conceived for managing a variety of urban contexts with similar degrees of complexity, in constant development with shifting paradigms.

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Intervention devices are designed to reorganize the existing urban scene by restoring the identity of the public space as a place for daily activities and social interaction. These artifacts are conceived to harness local resources, materials and technologies, with a high commitment to social and environmental sustainability

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The proposal calls for an integral approach in the revitalization of traditional urban areas. This intervention in the city core is thoroughly focused on: natural, social and cultural resources; sustainable local technologies; and both individual and collective values. The final purpose of this research is to empower and increase the capacity of a society to develop the required skills to build its own future.