Shared Scapes: Managing productive river commons

by Srushti Rahigude

City level strategy: Mapping urban commons on the river edge
 
The river bed has historically been a fertile landscape for growing and for many vulnerable communities such commons are economic backbones. Extracting water, drawing out rich soils, fishing, harvesting flora or rearing cattle can be seen within the site. Some of these activities, if not managed, can be detrimental to the health of the river and can have lasting negative implications.
Spatially programming the design
 
The design has three zones: agro- forest, conserved forest zone and riparian based on the terrain and vegetation cover. It creates a system for plantation, architectural inserts for supporting infrastructures and a system of policy framework for availing land and managing resources.
Concept, Proposed design

The project proposes an agro-forest zone and a public space for 136 acres of land at the edge of Sabarmati river. It will offer a unique landscape to the visitors and will also be a space where residents can lease land, grow, maintain and benefit directly from nature-based services. The policy framework and regulations are developed taking into consideration the management of resources and procurement in sustainable ways. 
Area detail – agro forest zone

Agro forest zone is near J road is programmed for cultivating. In this zone around 120 parcels of land are for cropping. One parcel is approximately 1500 sq.meters. Each parcel will have a cropping palette to ensure diversity in cropping as well as visual and experiential landscape.

Inserts facilitating services: Agro forest zone

Provided units for working, storing, and commercial activities
Area detail – Conserved forest zone

Inserts facilitating services

Provided units for working, storing and biodiversity
Companion planting and seasonality for upland
Area detail – Riparian zone

These habitats are either mounds or depressions, hosting aquatic life. Many parts are inaccessible as the season changes. Programs include fish ponds, lotus habitats, fish drying decks, PH monitoring decks.   
Economy at the riparian edge

The riparian zone has either mounds or depressions, hosting aquatic life. Many parts are inaccessible as the season changes. Programs include fish ponds, lotus habitats, fish drying decks, PH monitoring decks. As the seasons change the cultivation changes. In spring lilies grow while in winter the pond becomes home to various fishes.
Working of Shared scapes in the agro forest zone
Agro forest zone

Self-organizing and regulating design for productive landscapes Based on the ideas of economist Elinor Ostrom of governing and managing urban commons