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Proposal for the Lane Redevelopment of Mala

Location: Panjim
Status: Project Proposal Report for Mala and Fontainhas – Implemented for Mala
Year of Completion: Fontainhas – 2014
Mala – 2016

Old urban precincts that still survive in Panaji are facing the threat of drastic transformations. Predatory real-estate development, inadequate state policies on the conservation of heritage neighbourhoods, and the weak financial capacities of the owners to maintain their old houses are some of the causes responsible for the rapid deterioration of these areas. Heritage neighbourhoods with high-density low-rise development was one such area Charles Correa hoped would remain an important part of Goa’s identity.

This project’s main objective was to improve these areas by bridging the gap between the individual stakeholders and the Government implementing agencies. Although the neighbourhoods in Panaji have valuable graded heritage structures, the infrastructure, especially the streets and housing stock, are poorly maintained. The adjoining precincts of Mala and Fontainhas are the oldest neighbourhoods in Panaji. The area is characterized by accretive, closely-knit, dense urban form with winding streets, narrow alleys, and snaking stairways, and the houses are typical of Goan heritage architecture.

CCF’s initiative was to upgrade and improve the streets and open spaces of this neighbourhood, ensuring a better quality of life, and perhaps improving the local economy. The project was pitched for the Challenge Fund, a government scheme that looked to improve the problems of poor urban neighbourhoods through innovation in best practices for urban poverty alleviation. After the selection of a model prototype, the project could then be implemented at a larger scale in the city. CCF’s project was one of three selected for the Challenge Fund and was successfully implemented.