Rethinking the sidewalk

The primary focus of this allied design studio was to enhance street design for existing layouts of individually chosen streets. In order to do this, a street in the neighbourhood was chosen with respect to varying degrees of pedestrian activity and vehicular movement.

The street was selected such that a broad spectrum of interactions could be observed. After intricately documenting the street and understanding the immediate context in which it lies, the area of intervention was demarcated and detailed out. This design lays emphasis on smooth and efficient vehicular movement such that pedestrian activity is not hampered and both can coexist harmoniously in the limited amount of space available. To ensure that the movement of vehicles is as hassle-free as possible, traffic analysis was carried out at different times during the day.

The site is in Kandivali which has an existing skywalk connecting to the main bridge. However, it was redundant. The design intervention proposed, for the ease of pedestrian movement, the redundant skywalk be shortened and the focus be shifted to improving the quality of the footpath and the transactions that take place there. Also, the traffic movement at the junctions was extremely haphazard, causing congestion on the roads. To tackle this difficulty, the direction of movement of vehicles in proper lanes was organised, without the addition of signals. Thus the movement at the junctions was carefully curated. At the same time, the footpath was widened so that pedestrians could commute easily. Along the footpath, necessary street furniture and features such as dustbins and sanitation booths were added at regular intervals. Ramps were provided for universal accessibility. A module consisting of ledges was introduced onto the street to elevate the quality of interactions.