Authors : Alberto Gonzalez, Capitel Martorell

University : Architecture School at the Polytechnical University of Madrid

Status : BArch, 2013

Advisor : Luis Basabe Montalvo

Title : Collaborative Urban Development in Gopal Nagar |Regeneration of Substandard Housing Neighbourhood in Ahmedabad, India

This project proposes a careful thought on the risks and possibilities of urban development. It proposes a complete urban management system, based on a profound integration with user’s design & work labour.

The proposal is located in Gopal Nagar, a neighbourhood on the west side of Ahmedabad, India. It is structured in 2 groups:

– INFRASTRUCTURES: variety of buildings that give physical form to the new neighbourhood.

The project has to deal with the urban grid, with how cities grow, develop and generate its identity. In this case, we are interested on studying the city from its core, the residential program.

Houses are meant to be built by the users themselves, enabling them to be part of the designing process. The objective is to transform passive users into active drivers of the project. The fact that users take part on the construction and the decision making process implies that they are not only owners of their house and neighbourhood, moreover they appropriate the skills, technology and philosophy of the proposal.

– GUILDS: technology that supports and produces infrastructure. Technology is regarded as a complete social structure that encompass all agents involved.

The concept of URBAN METABOLISM is probably the compass guiding all of the project decisions and principles. It tries to develop a careful research on the material conditions of daily life. A special light is shed on the need to maintain the delicate relationship between human (architecture) and nature (environment).

In order to recover the lost balance between these two poles, the project is thought in terms of cyclical systems that support each other, merge and work towards a new integrated urbanity.

As part of the concept of urban metabolism, fired bricks are chosen as the primary building material. Again, the process is cyclical and produces value from waste: the clayey earth extracted while laying the foundations for infrastructures (the built types that define the project) is used as raw material to manufacture the bricks.

The project itself needs to be understood as a process, not as a result. It focuses on the principles that structure its management and allow the neighbourhood development.