Research Methodology

ARC6988_UrbanSpacesofReUse_160101009

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The George Town Experience

Being an area that is always lively and crowded, walking through George Town is a deeply sensorial experience. There are no set routes to walk along, nor are there demarcated spaces meant for walking; the chaotic experience offered is a key characteristic of George Town. The narrow streets form the only surface available to serve for transport, parking, walking and social interaction ; it would not be uncommon to see people stopping on the street to meet an acquaintance or bargain with a shopkeeper. The frenzied nature of these streets, in a way, ensures the safety of those using them – motorists are more careful while driving through these spaces. In fact, the traffic congestion faced in this area is felt to be a problem only by those who try to access it using motor vehicles, it does not bother pedestrians who actually have the right of the way in these streets as opposed to other streets in the city.

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What’s the matter with George Town?

Following the onsite research, the following problems have been identified as the key issues associated with George Town.Print

Apart from these, there also exist some obstacles that prevent the initiation of any kind of change in this area –

1. Hesitance to approach / engage with governmental agencies with regards to modifying and updating the existing heritage buildings due to the vast number of complicated procedures and regulations involved.

2. Lack of strict enforcement of traffic rules in the area.

3. Anticipated disruption to trade that is associated with any type of change being effected in George Town.

Keeping these issues in mind, it might be more prudent to initiate smaller modifications and interventions in this area and also to consider a phased approach that extends over a longer period of time, effecting a more gradual transformation.

Would you agree?

Surveys Complete!

It is now the end of my (slightly extended) time in Chennai, documenting the George Town area. I now head back to Sheffield, having interacted with a combined total of 343 people who participated in the various surveys!

I must say that this number is vastly higher than I expected and I can now head into the design phase of this project with a lot of rich data. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Reimagined Histories, Reimagined Futures – The Walk

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This post follows the walks that were conducted on the 25th of June. Two walks and 20 participants later, I must say that I’ve gathered a lot of useful perspectives that are going to aid me in taking this project forward.

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As much as the conducted walks were meant to allow for the participants to provide their inputs, they were also meant to expose people to previously undiscovered historical buildings. The idea was to open up a dialogue regarding the existence and relevance of these structures and I am glad to say that though in a small scale, this did happen with many who were unaware of the existence of beautiful historical structures such as the Armenian Church.

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Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you so much to everyone who turned up for the walks! It was great to see everyone’s visions for the city and hoping to keep the conversation going for a very long time!

Midweek Update – Week 1

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So, I’ve decided to post my weekly To – Do list to keep track of progress and also to serve as motivation. Having created this blog only yesterday, this week’s list is a midweek update rather than a fresh list. Still, as you can see, I’m nowhere near the finish line! *gulp*

God help me!