Sva: A vision of self-sustenance

by Dharan Korduvar

Introduction

According to UN World Urbanization prospects, in the past 40 years, the global population has grown by 80% and in nearly 50 years the Urban population will reach about 70% of the global(world population prospects,2006). This Dramatic shift from the rural to urban areas can cause a great number of environmental and social problems that the world can face in the coming decades. One of them is the food crisis. Taking into account that cities currently contribute 70% of the world’s CO2 emission, rethinking the city for better environmental performance is now in the priority in the global agenda. To attain an efficient urban environment, it is necessary to defy the existing rules of production and management of resources in the way they have worked until now.

By Integrating Productive landscape in the everyday life of the people I aim to design an ideal sector which is totally self-sufficient. My design premises include:

In Ideal Sector each household has there owned productive landscape which includes compost pit, farms and solar panels whereas on the sector scale it has food towers which could cater to the overall need of food in the sector, also wetland which cleans black water of the households and urban forest which increases the biodiversity of the sector and also acts as the larger public space for the sector. These ideal sectors can be multiplied in the City to make the city more self-reliant.

Site Overview

Gandhinagar is a planned city and has sector planning. Water in Gandhinagar comes from the Narmada canal which is around 10kms from the city centre. All the wastewater in Gandhinagar goes to the south STP which is only currently working in the city. Due to the shutdown of northern STP, only 35% of the water has been treated and the other is released in the river. All the stormwater lines end up in the river which has not been used within the city and gets wasted. All the solid waste in the city goes to the landfill city situated in the northern part of the city. Now the most important food system in the city is very much dependent on the transport and this causes a huge impact on the environment also when this system gets disturbed city faces a huge food scarcity which we all saw during the pandemic. So, the question arises why the city doesn’t produce its own food? Or why don’t we capture the rainwater and put that back in use? Or why don’t we take care of our own waste?

Strategies for Gandhinagar

The strategy for the Gandhinagar is to get back all the centre public spaces of the city and to give it a productive use such that the city is not just dependent on the existing system but the city itself is interdependent. Each sector has its unique character which can be enhanced with the introduction of a productive landscape within the sector and creating a dense network of this landscape all over the Gandhinagar.

Requirements for Self sustenance

Now, why can’t we imagine a sector to be completely interdependent within itself or a self-sustainable sector which deals with all the waste, water, energy, food on its own. The graphic above shows in the detail of how much does a person need and how much is needed to be catered in the self-sustainable sector.

Interdependencies for function

Self-sustenance is highly dependent on the integration of multiple functions within the systems. All the inputs and outputs of all the functions needed to be very efficiently used and reused. System Diagram above shows all the proposed functions and the input and output of each one of them and their interdependencies. The system is strategically formed with the aim of zero waste and maximum reuse of the products and byproducts.

Proposed Masterplan for Sector 21

The aim of the masterplan was to create a choice-based system within the sector where the existing primary TP roads were preserved and the blocks were divided to make the sector a walkable neighbourhood. The blocks were then divided into the plots of 200 to 250 sqm as the minimum required area for a household as derived from the above analysis. These plots then are merged to come up with different typologies within the sector. There are multiple high rise structures which have been proposed to cater to the population density and food for the sector. These highrises are placed on the primary roads of the sectors. There are multiple recreational spaces being proposed within the sector which is strategically distributed in the sector. The proposed wetland is strategically placed at the bottommost contour of the sector to collect and treat black water of the sector and the urban forest around it becomes the larger recreational space for the sector. The urban forest acts as the green lung for the sector also helps to enhance the biodiversity within the sector.

Part plan

This part plan is from the northern side of the sector. The plan shows the integration of different functions around each other and the kind of spaces it creates within the sector. It in detail shows how the swale is placed around the block and how parking and recreational pockets are carved-out from the swale. It also shows the urban forest and the pockets and trails which have been strategically placed to create a recreational space within the urban forest.

Household typologies
Household typologies

As derived from the analysis each household needs 400 sqm of productive landscape in which 200 be the private and another 200 be the public grow areas. This typology shows the integration of 200 sqm of productive landscape with the function. These typologies can be evolved by merging multiple plots and going vertical with the same number of productive space

Highrise Structures

There are 2 types of highrise structure within the sector. First, one is the food tower which is majorly used for the production of food to cater to the need of the people and another is the high rise residential tower which caters the residents with the productive landscape vertically.

Recreational Spaces

Recreational spaces are designed to be in a productive landscape to bring the importance of this landscape in the everyday lifestyle of the people. This space brings a new lifestyle in the sector. Activities like group dinner in public space, foraging tours etc.

Wastewater Treatment Systems

There are 2 types of wastewater treatment one is for greywater which is treated by swale which runs along the street and the other is the wetland which is placed within the urban forest. The wetland is strategically placed where the input of the black water has been the farthest from the walking track and the cleanest is nearest to avoid the odour of the black water

View from balcony
View from highrise building