04_Streets in the Neighbourhood

Swati Ramanathan

Swati Ramanathan is co-founder of Jana Group, a clutch of social enterprises aimed at urban transformation in India. Examples of her work include the Jaipur Master Plan 2025, the TENDER S.U.R.E.(Specifications for Urban Utilities and Road Execution) guidelines which pioneered urban road design in India, the “National Urban Spatial Planning and Development Guidelines”, at the behest of the Ministry of Urban Development. In 2013, she was the Co-Convenor of the Urban Planning Group for the Planning Commission.

Swati writes regularly on urban issues.  Most recently, her co-authored paper ‘Balancing Environment, Economy and Equity: planning initiatives in 3 cities in Brazil, Mongolia and India’, was presented at the IPHS Yokohama Urban Planning Conference.

Swati holds a BS from India, an MS from Pratt Institute, and is a certified member of the AICP. Before returning to India in 1998, she worked in leading architecture and design firms in the US and UK.

1.     Tender S.U.R.E. (Specifications for Urban Roads Execution)

Tender SURE was conceived and launched in 2011. Today it is embraced by governments across party lines. It addresses the (re)development of the road holistically – not just what’s above the road, but what’s below the road. Tender SURE ends the vicious cycle of urban roads across the country of break, fix poorly, break again. Tender SURE has captured the attention of municipal and state governments who have emulated the central principles of “roads are to be designed for all users”, and “cut once, fix-once-and-for-all”. Inspired by the Tender Sure roads redevelopment in Bangalore, the Ministry of Urban Development, GoI, has launched a Smart Roads scheme to support cities in redeveloping urban roads based on the same principles. Smart City projects across the country include redevelopment of urban roads based on Tender SURE.

 Tender SURE  Video: https://www.janausp.org/portfolio/#/fixing-city-roads-by-design

Getting to smart needs capacity that can’t be built overnight https://www.livemint.com/Specials/ca02Ff1WrJOPIhg3ONwsUJ/Getting-to-smart-needs-capacity-that-cant-be-built-overnigh.html

2.    Ichangemycity.com – “real change begins at the local level.” Janaagraha’s hyperlocal participatory platform   was conceived and launched in 2012, it has over 8 million users and 32 million Citizen complaints.

Janaagraha has developed a suite of participatory apps since then – Swachhata is across 3500 cities in India. www.ichangemycity.com

3. Urban Planning: Jaipur master plan revision 2030; Sawai Madhopur form-based master plan revision 2035; Thanjavur master plan revision 2041 (on-going)

Our cities need to be planned for the future, but developed for thepresent: https://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/our-cities-need-to-be-planned-for-the-future-but-developed-for-the-present/story-cibv2xNKAwiR7kh45hShSM.html

“Just as much as regional planning is a strategy for sustainable development, so also is neighbourhood planning at the ward level.Neighbourhoods are successful when they provide a healthy, safe environment, a sense of community and place, and a good quality of life.

Business standard 2011 publication:  https://www.janausp.org/portfolio/india-at-2011-business-standard/ infrastructure.html

India’s democracy at 70: The impact of instant universal suffrage:
https://muse.jhu.edu/search?action=search&query=content:India%E2%80%99s%20Democracy%20at%2070:and&limit=subscription:n&min=1&max=20

India must revive or build third places in its cities: https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/india-must-revive-or-build-third-places-in-its-cities/story-HeROmnlBLPjxcOwB5w0m8M.html

Prasanna Desai

After spending more than 30 years in Delhi he moved to Pune in 1990 where he currently runs an architectural practice which is involved with urban design issues emphasising the role of an architect in the Public Domain with a people participatory approach focusing on Equity and Empathy to Evolve an approach in Affordable Housing for the Masses as well as Safe & Socially Shared Streets leading to creation of Healthy Hygienic & Humane Neighbourhoods. 

The BSUP Slum Rehabilitation project was selected by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York & was on display  as part of the Exhibition titled “Design with the Other 90%: CITIES. at United Nations in New York in 2012. The firm has JK Cement Awards 1993 & 2016, HUDCO Design Awards 2013 & 2015, IIID Anchor Awards 2015, 2016 & 2017 & LEXUS Design Awards 2019 to their credit. 

Currently the firm is working on major URBAN DESIGN initiatives namely Walkable & People Friendly Neighbourhood Streets Aundh SMART CITY Pune, Pune Bicycle Plan (with I Trans & CEE) for Pune Municipal Corporation, Walkability Project in 13 cities (with SUMNet India supported by SHAKTI Foundation), .Akurdi Pimple Nilakh Neighbourhood Street up gradation PCMC & Achieving the last mile connectivity for Pune Maha-Metro (with UMTC)

An inspiring teacher he has been active in academics for last 4 decades mentoring & nurturing students all over India. Currently he is the Professor & Director at P.V.P. College of Architecture, Pune & has been the guiding force in establishment of Forum for Exchange & Excellence in Design FEED, an academic platform for students & architects in the city of Pune.    He firmly believes that an Architect who is trained to be a sensitive person needs also to be a aware citizen and activist thus playing a much larger role in the development of the society and contribute considerably for the betterment of the quality of built environment in the cities. 

  1. A project which interlinks the users and the streets used is designed by PDA . the project aims at a participatory process and inclusion of the users and commuters who are constant passersby and users of the streets 
  2. A brochure which highlights the proposed design of streets for walkability, accessibility and pedestrian friendly design.
  3. Video:Godrej Interio : Walk the Talk 

Further Readings here 

Nidhi Gulati

Nidhi Gulati is the Senior Director of Programs & Projects at Project for Public Spaces, where she manages multiple programs with a variety of services designed for impact and a team of seasoned Placemakers. Nidhi is a trained architect and urban researcher who first joined Project for Public Spaces in 2013 as an Associate. In that role, she managed more than 10 projects throughout the United States and abroad, while also making significant contributions to many others. Ingrained in all her work is a commitment to better serve the most vulnerable populations in our cities and towns, including women and children.

  1. As part of the Project of Public spaces initiative the portal to places looked towards the transit facilities within the city and how these vital nodes can become activators for the neighborhood community. 
  2. The article looks towards how the most developing section of our society , childrens, have to be considered incorporated by their families to sensitize for public transport and Trains and Buses , as opposed to increasing privatized public transport and individual vehicles. 
  3. The article tethers to how a child’s perspective and presence within an urban community space can help the neighbourhood vitalise itself towards a better outlook and Economical change.

Vineet Diwadkar 

Vineet Diwadkar is an urban planner and infrastructure specialist working with challenges at the intersection of policy, technology, and ecology. Vineet Diwadkar is Associate Director of AECOM’s Asset Advisory Services Center of Excellence and Principal Researcher with the Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research. He works with communities, governments and multilateral organizations, infrastructure owners and operators, and academia to deliver strategic planning and policy, cross-sector infrastructure and development, and to strengthen livelihoods through ecological and heritage conservation.

  1. The Kumbh Mela is one of the largest Public social gatherings in the world and as rapidly as it emerges it dissipates into its previous nothingness. This is a mapping and analysis of how the entire Ephemeral Megacity is generated along with its own road systems , housing spaces as tents, Bridges and social infrastructure as sanitation and vaccination facilities all in a short duration.
  2. Further Reading :

Reinventing Dharavi Compendium 

Kumbh Mela : Mapping The Ephemeral MegaCity 

About the Speaker