RESEARCH QUESTION ” How do you devise innovative ways to unearth the potential of urban voids to contribute to public realm of the city and as a result improve the quality of life in the cities


” How do you devise innovative ways to unearth the potential of urban voids to contribute to public realm of the city and as a result improve the quality of life in the cities?”

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It is appropriate in 2007, the year in which more than half the world’s population is living in cities for the first time in the history of mankind, that the Urban Age project should turn its attention to India and its cities. Today an increasing number of India’s population of over 1.1 billion is fuelling urban centers across the subcontinent, with over 300 million city dwellers making up one tenth of the world’s urban population. India’s status as a developing nation with a growing urban economy, coupled with the sheer magnitude of people and social potential, provides an ideal platform for the analysis and discussion on the future shape of urban society.

Local governments in many of the Indian cities are currently facing two serious problems in attracting foreign and national businesses and investment. The first is the land scarcity in inner city areas, especially in prime urban locations. The second is lack of capital. Many cities employ ingenious planning and fiscal methods to attract companies, in an attempt to solve this double problem. The Floor Space Index (FSI), which regulates the level of high- density development allowed in the central areas for commercial offices and high-income residential units, is designed to promote vertical growth in high land-value areas. The aim is to provide much needed space for businesses and, at the same time, generate resources to pay for improvements in infrastructure by selling the extra FSI .

Overview offering a comparison between the national, state, metropolitan and city levels of four Indian cities. Starting from the national level of India, each layer zooms in four times further to explore the context of urbanization in each particular area.

Delhi has a population of 14 million. It is the second largest metropolis in India and it is of the highest political importance – the national capital is located in New Delhi. Delhi spreads over an area of 1,483 km2 with a relatively low density of 9,340 people per km2. Its estimated product of US$158 billion (PPP) amounts to 4 per cent of the Indian economy. Delhi’s per capita income of around US$11,500 is also more than double the national average. Dominating the economy are booming activities in the tertiary sector such as IT and related services. Delhi faces the challenges of rapid population growth and largely unplanned urbanization. Its problems include stretched-out infrastructure, unaffordable housing and growing slums, traffic congestion and significant ecological degradation.

DELHI As a city–state and the national capital of India, Delhi has its own state government and is one of the largest municipalities in the country. The state government appoints the Chief Minister who is elected by the State Assembly. In contrast with most urban areas of the country, the state government of Delhi controls neither the municipality nor the development authority. It is these two institutions, run by centrally appointed civil servants, which provide infrastructure and housing, and possess statutory plan-making powers. The elected councilors of the municipality (the Municipal Corporation of Delhi) have only deliberative responsibilities and appoint the Mayor of Delhi. This governance structure is a legacy of Delhi’s historical status as ‘union territory’, administered directly by the national government until 1993.

Under – Flyover Spaces

Utilizing lost spaces under Flyovers

Objective :
Utilizing the negative and unused spaces beneath the flyovers and open it into public realm

Protagonist :
Urban Community initiatives

Use /Purpose:
“Transformed into creative venues for various community facilities and outdoors activities such as libraries, market , public spaces, playgrounds, art galleries, canteens, seating areas with traditional board games, etc.

Flyovers in Cairo(Egypt), Caracas (Venezuela) ,Portland(USA), Zaanstad (The Netherlands).

We deal with the problem of lack of basic urban amenities in many neighborhoods in our cities. There is a lack of places that invite for public interactions. The under bridge spaces are a precious opportunity for local communities. (Mohamed, 2015) The importance of local community initiatives is the key to transform these dead spaces into great public spaces. And this happened in the cities where this movement occurred and this resulted in great urban spaces benefiting the entire community.

Where in Av Fuerzas Armadas Flyover in the Caracas, Venezuela was transformed into a book selling market which in turn encourage people to hangout and activate a previously dead, empty and abandoned area. This space is commonly used for playing various board games and for the people to relax.

Another space under the flyover in the Koog aan de Zaan, Amsterdam. It was a restoration project to connect the two sides of town and to activate the space under the road. The town was divided into two parts due to the over road and It was treated as a blind spot by the residents as well as the authorities for over 30 years to realize it as a potential urban space. After a successful community engagement the space was redesigned to accommodate all needs of the community as well as the contextual needs where the landscape requirements to be resilient as well as climate responsive was addressed.


Nehru Place is a Delhi Metro station in Delhi. It is located between Kailash Colony and Kalkaji Mandir stations on the Violet Line. The station was opened with the first section of the Line on 3 October 2010, in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on the same day. It caters to Nehru Place business center, Kalkaji and Chittaranjan Park area.


Urban Voids have huge potential of improving the place and creating a stronger urban fabric of the city. Reclaiming the dead spaces by intervening could solve the perception of these spaces and thereby create better shared spaces by increasing the imagination and comfort. These spaces can be seen as great potential in this expensive world and exploited as urban public spaces such as public gathering spaces, pocket parks or plazas or just place for activities which make people get engaged and enhance the public realm. Efforts are needed to locate study and find solutions to increase the public spaces in these dense contemporary cities.

1- Catalyst for public space (Community, govt., leaders, NGO’S) a strong local leadership is required to encourage the importance of public space.
2- The process (Strong vision, Desire to change) Vision is very important since the willingness to change the area in context can help in creating great neighborhood.
3- Identifying the opportunities identifying the dead spaces in the area and using the full potential of that place using community in the process helps a lot.
4- Enjoy great public spaces key to great public spaces is people, if people are involved in creating public spaces, we get great public spaces.
5- Transform underused spaces into exciting laboratories that citizens can start using right away and see evidence that changes can happen.
6- Represent an “Action planning process” that builds a shared understanding of a place that goes far beyond the short term changes that are made.
7- Leverage local partnerships that have greater involvement by a community and results in more authentic places.
8- Encourage an interactive approach and an opportunity to experiment, assesses, and evolves a community’s vision before launching into major construction and a long term process
9- Employ a place-by-place strategy that, over time, can transform an entire city. With community buy-in, the LQC (lighter, quicker, cheaper) approach can be implemented across multiple scales to transform under-performing spaces throughout an entire city.



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