Introduction of ward scale planning
& the opportunity of urban design to
transform quality of daily urban life for all
Ward committees - Way forward
With the adoption of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution (that has been about giving power to the people), Bengaluru has initiated its fourth avatar of ward committees across the city. Creation of ward committees is about decentralizing governance and devolving powers of planning, budgeting from the city level to the local ward level. Ward committees include 10 citizens to be co-decision makers in the governance of the ward, thereby making its functioning more inclusive and representative. At the same time, they have also been given an 18 point mandate such as responsibility to ensure water supply, garbage management, management of green cover etc.
A key feature here is the responsibility to create Ward Development Schemes. This is like a plan for the ward that is to be linked to the yearly budget allocations and overall strategies for improvement of quality of life of residents. Introduction of local level planning creates the opportunity to realize area based improvements through urban design interventions that have until now been elusive.
This studio tests the possibilities of what urban design projects could be conceived based on mapping and evaluating the State of the Ward through the lens of water, waste, traffic, public space etc, as well as understanding needs of the different sections of society. The website showcases the research conducted through a CMR University Urban Design Studio (May ’20) for ward 85, the urban design propositions by the students and also houses a forum to continuously engage with local community members.
The studio has resulted in 63 projects, which have been conceived under 10 thematic areas, as listed below:
1. Parks and recreation spaces
2. Redevelopment & activation of streets
3. Public markets
4. Sustainable transportation and mobility
5. Urban Agriculture
6. Revival of lakes and rajakaluves
7. Designing circular systems (waste & water)
8. Conservation of cultural heritage
9. Adaptive re-use of urban voids
10. Reimagining urban form