Urban Forest Park,
I worked on this project while being employed as the architect-in residence at Sensing Local . Selco Foundation commissioned us to make a spatial and environmental planning strategy for 150 Acres of land near Navalur village in South India on the request of the State Forest Department. Situated in close proximity to the highway that connects the twin cities of Dharwad and Hubli, the site was historically part of the rural commons. However, the scheduled opening of a Bus Rapid Transit System on the corridor would result in rapidly urbanizing conditions and high water demand. The forest officer could foresee the need to enclose and develop this land into a socio-cultural and environmental anchor for the region. The phasing strategy was intended towards making the project economically and environmentally self-sustaining.
Imagined as a cross between a forest and a park, the intervention was centered on the interest to conserve the resources, attract visitors, and educate the young people in the region. After site visits with the Forest Department officials, interviews with local water and horticulture experts, and data gathering from the district water resources department, we understood that soil and water conservation activities were the most critical. We developed the spatial and phasing strategy closely aligned to this. After, the creation of water harvesting pits and planting of local species, the infrastructure development would begin. I took the lead on the preliminary design of this infrastructure and making the preliminary cost estimates for the different components- water harvesting structures, afforestation measures, pathways and gates, and solar energy components.