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Eco Warriors 2020


by Aditi Singh Thakur
The project begins with identifying open spaces within the city of Gandhinagar that can be put to various productive uses like urban farms, vegetable gardens, urban orchards, urban forests, etc. The aim is to introduce connections between these productive patches through a network of green corridors. This will help to connect the fragmented patches of diversity for increased interaction and unrestricted movement of urban fauna. The project looks at 3 types of productive landscapes: edible, urban forest, and aqua-farming. The edible corridor will support plant-based farming activities, and the urban forest will support ecological functions such as influencing micro-climate, improving air quality, regulating hydrologic cycles and providing habitat for wildlife. In contrast, the aqua-farming corridor will support fish rearing and water-based plant production. The aim is to connect the three types of corridors as a part of a continuous productive landscape in Gandhinagar. Three of these productive landscapes meet at the riverside, which is envisioned as a park supporting different recreational activities and productivity. The riverside is given the program of public space by introducing a network of trails that run along with the different landscapes within the site, providing a series of experiences for the visitors while walking through these landscapes. This public corridor consists of different pause points and offers a range of activities that transform with the seasons.

The three corridors

The project constitutes of three corridors namely, Edible Corridor, Urban Forest Corridor and Aquafarming /Riparian Corridor

Vision for Gandhinagar

The corridors are an integration of 4 major landscapes present throughout the city.

Catalogue for the corridors.
The River Edge
Site Introduction

The 3 corridors converge at the river side. The site is envisioned as an urban park, with a range of productive activities. At present the site consists of a prominent tree cover. The next step was identification of the perennial vegetation over the years with the help of google earth and preserving it as a part of the urban forest corridor. The remaining land can then be converted for the use of farming and the riparian corridor.

Site Plan – River Edge
The Park

For minimal intervention, the park is designed as a network of trails with integrated programs that act as activators. The trails are of 3 kinds: ground trails, elevated trails and seasonal trails. The program palette for the site is chosen keeping in mind the activation required for making the park a lively place. The social programs intend to attract people to the site and architecture programs act as supplementary infrastructure to support the activities where as ecological programs aim at enhancement of the ecology along with promoting sustainability.

Program Palette- Activators
Dynamic Experiences

The planting palette is chosen keeping in mind the experiential quality of the trails and the landscapes that people will walk through. The colors, height variation and the diversity of the species chosen will ensure the diversity in experiences while exploring the site.

Planting palette
Activating the J Road

The kiosk markets help to activate the J road along with opening up a part of the site to the city. The market sits at the edge of the edible corridors and provides the users with a diversity of experiences with changes in the seasons. The water catchments present throughout the site help in storage of storm water from the city and rain water for irrigation of the farms.

Isometric view of the market and surrounding landscapes.

The ground trails provide connectivity and ease of mobility across site. The foraging trail is a part of the ground trail network, where people can forage and take the produce home with them.

Section showing transition in landscape along the major ground trail from Rabi to Kharif season.
The view shows the foraging trail with take-away booths, where you can take home whatever you forage for a minimal cost.
Into the canopy!

The Elevated trails act as connectors to different programs on the site and form a network of paths at level above the ground, through which people can explore different landscapes on the site. This forms a network of trails that take you through different parts of the urban forest corridor and right up into the tree canopies.

Isometric view of the elevated trail network.

The forest also shows a dynamic character when transitions in the seasons, during monsoons the forest floor becomes inacccessible due to wild growth of species like Indian nettle and during the winter season the forest becomes less dense and the ground can then be accessed by the people.

Section through canopy walk showing seasonal transformations.
The view shows the elevated trail connecting to the ground trail and corresponding activities in the forest.
Connecting to the river

The riparian corridor consists of riparian edge and wetlands, and they are connected to each other and the mainland through a network of board walks which maybe submerged during the monsoon season. The wetlands help in flood management and prevention and boardwalks connect the wetlands to the mainland bringing people closer to the river with certain activator present at the nodes.

Isometric view of the deck and the boardwalks on the river.
Section through river showing changes in water level during summer and monsoon season.
The view shows the river deck with connection to the mainland and the seasonal boardwalks connecting to the wetlands.