Successful models for neighbourhoods bring together the 5 Cs – connectivity, convenience, comfort, community and commerce
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, cutting us from the usual networks that sustain us, the importance of enriching our neighbourhoods has become evident. The C40 Cities, an international network constituted by mayors and urban planners from across the world, adopted the idea of the “15-minute city” in July, to make our cities more liveable, healthy and whole. In the 15-minute city, everything that an individual needs – workplace, shops, hospital and schools – would be within 15 minutes of their home. This isn’t a new idea, as most of us have memories of having lived in such neighbourhoods.
‘You and Your Neighbourhood’ is the theme of this year’s Z-Axis, the fourth edition of the biennial urban design conference organised by the Charles Correa Foundation (CCF) in Goa. The theme is inspired by the title of the animated film which was Correa’s Master’s thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, in 1955. It tells the story of how the protagonist Joe’s neighbourhood began to be neglected when a factory came up there. In the film, the late architect asks: How does a city grow? Can we make neighbourhoods better? The answer is found in the people who come together to effect change.
The Z-Axis Conference brings together ‘starchitects’ from around the world to share their experiences about solving urban challenges.
A few days ago, the outstanding poet and translator Mustansir Dalvi (he has also been on the faculty of Mumbai’s Sir JJ School of Architecture for 17 years) released a new collection of verse. Walk, he said, was written from his “sense of helplessness, frustration and anger” earlier this year, when “we were seeing vast number of people, walking back home, sometimes covering over 1,000 km from state to state, without support, money or transportation”.
By now, it’s clear India launched heedlessly into “the world’s strictest lockdown” without the measures necessary to safeguard the vast majority of its citizens. At that time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi misguidedly promised that the “Mahabharata war was won in 18 days, this war the whole country is fighting against corona will take 21 days”.
Charles Correa Foundation has recently released several snippets of ‘You & Your Neighbourhood’, Charles Correa’s 1955 Master Thesis at MIT, an animation film for which the architect was scriptwriter, animator, photographer and director. The thesis put forward the idea of a participatory process for the betterment of neighbourhoods, with a strong emphasis on creating a framework for improving urban conditions in a bottom-up approach.
The University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture + Planning, has instituted an endowed annual lecture series in honor of Charles Correa. The International Lecture hosted its first speaker, Tatiana Bilbao in 2017 followed by architects Sou Fujimoto and Satoshi Ohashi in 2019.
For further reading, visit the university website here.
The terraces and courtyards reflect Correa’s concern with progression through space – the maze or puzzle – where parts are casually revealed and the complex of internal streets act rather like a village layout. In this way the architect makes the building reflect Bhopal’s own organizational layout.
Kala Academy is more than just a stone structure. Apart from the intangible values that surround the building, Kala Academy is being visited and studied by around a thousand students every year for its architectural significance.
Read more on why it is considered to be such an important building here, by Lester Silveira.
TCP MINISTER DECIDES TO ACCEPT THE REQUEST MADE BY CHARLES CORREA FOUNDATION AND ANA GRACIAS
The Conservation Committee of the department of Town and Country Planning
(TCP) headed by the TCP minister decided to accept the request made by Charles
Correa Foundation and Ana Gracias ( leader of a citizens’ movement from Chimbel) and list the ruins of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, on the conservation list of the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations.
Says ruins of Nossa Senhora de Carmo are a great alternative to create green space in the village
Panaji-based architect Fernando Velho on Friday made a strong pitch for the ruins of the Convent and Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo in Chimbel to be converted into an archaeological park for the residents of Chimbel.
India’s most iconic modern architect Charles Correa had a prolific career, having designed almost 100 buildings in India alone during his lifetime, but whether it was low-income housing or luxury condos, Correa maintained a universal approach that respected the local conditions, met the practical needs of its inhabitants and acknowledged the spiritual nature and beauty of his country.
Read the full article on architect Charles Correa by Charlotte Luxford here.