The Myth of Pedestrianization

    A mention of the historic core of a city may bring many things to mind. To some, it conjures up an image of a quiet majesty overlooked by urbanization. To others, it is a city center bustling with activity, that has grown and changed with time, adding layers to the urban fabric of the city. To others still, it is more a collage of sights, sounds, smells and tastes that make up a trip to the Old City. These sensations may add to or take away from the entire ‘Old City experience.’
    Heritage towns or city centers are often disjoint from the rest of the developed city in that they have been designed for a bygone era, and the spaces are now insufficient or unsuited to current functions which they cannot accomodate without intervention. Newer cities planned for the motorized age
have multi-lane roads and boulevards with sufficient parking facilities. Both scenarios have succeeded in forcing the pedestrian off the street and turning him into a mythological biped.
    The walled city of Hyderabad, over four centuries old, has become a target of neglect from the right forces and too much attention from the wrong ones. The central Charminar and surrounding monuments, although located at key points in the master plan with enough frontage and appreciable scale, seem to be overlapped by the obtrusive sound and air pollution of vehicular traffic in the foreground. Uncontrolled traffic on roads meant for pedestrians is offset by unrestrained construction that has mushroomed between the heritage structures by misguided notions of progress, resulting in visual noise, ruination of the heritage structures due to pollution, seemilngly warranting disrespect to the existing buildings and degeneration of the sanctity of the walled city.
    In short, much work is needed for the Old City to be recognized foremost as a heritage core and then the center of a rapidly developing metropolis. One effort towards restructuring the historical core is the proposed Charminar Pedestrianization Plan that aims, among other things, at diverting unwanted traffic towards the center of the walled city and making the main thoroughfares purely pedestrian. This master plan would have to be made available to interested citizens by the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation), who are handling the project and have recently implemented the first phase. However, the Chief City Planner feigns ignorance about the existance of such a plan altogether. It seems that the Right to Information Act must first be enforced before we expect to see any progress made towards the regeneration of the walled city.

9,967 steps yesterday. I proved myself wrong!

This entry was published on June 6, 2007 at 23:07 and is filed under ArchiRave. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Myth of Pedestrianization

  1. J u p on said:

    How r u?
    I can\’t read&write the litter to u
    i hope u find.
    Take care.

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