Public Spaces for Vibrant Cities: The Urban Park in Chandigarh

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The UT administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh recently began the ground-work to enliven the largely-deserted Sector 17 in the heart of Chandigarh city, under the umbrella of the Smart Cities Mission.

Designed by the legendary Le Corbusier as a pedestrian public zone when the green-field city was originally planned 60 years ago, Sector 17 witnessed a reduction in footfall overtime, with the coming of malls and other options for recreation elsewhere in the city. The new proposal aims to provide innovative options to engage the public in the form of an urban park, which will cater more specifically to the changing recreational needs of citizens.

The administration, through partnerships with relevant consultants and private parties, aims to draw in more crowds to the area by converting it into a commercial hub, along with introducing new public programs and sports facilities. Well connected to the bus transport line, the design proposes to create a public hill integrated with an amphitheatre, to be built using excavated earth from a football stadium nearby. The spacious park will also include football and basketball courts, cycling tracks and skating rinks. Cultural infrastructure such as exhibition spaces, sculpture plazas and food courts also form a part of the plan. Solar powered street lighting, surveillance and electric carts would be used for logistics, in accordance with the imagination for digitisation. The park will also offer parking facilities and Wi-fi to visitors.

With a budget of INR 13.5 Crores and various partners already on board, the city administration main driver is to provide quality pedestrian spaces and public infrastructure that the citizens of congested cities crave and deserve.

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