One of the interesting discussions was about the dried up Paalar river in Vellore. On questioning them as to why the river had dried up, they had many intriguing answers to it. While some said that it was because of the pollution and excessive heat, others pointed out that the water was held in dams and reservoirs and only during heavy rains would water be released into the river. This led to a conversation about how dried up water bodies in cities are urban commons and must be left as is for water retention in the event of rainfall and floods. We also discussed how Chennai (the capital city of TamilNadu) faced the dreaded 2015 floods as the city filled up most of its urban commons and built buildings on it.
Participants putting together the Jane Jigsaw
The participants took note of 4-way junctions, which did not have pedestrian crossings, traffic lights or speed calming measures. We visited two parks in the neighbourhood - one which was locked and the other remained open 24/7. We discussed the benefits of green spaces in cities and how it is important to keep it accessible at all points of time.
Talking about porosity of compound walls and visual connections between buildings and the street!
Religion & Culture intertwined with cities
Discussion about the Ganesha temples that is typically placed at T-junctions of streets in Tamilnadu.
Observing the Canal
Letters to the Councilor