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Mehaa Pershad


Treasured Necklace: Re-imagining the Lakefront

As a result of unplanned urbanization and population growth, the entire ecosystem around Hussain Sagar Lake has changed, making it a main sewage collection point in the city of Hyderabad. Though there are various recreational facilities along the Lake, they fail to engage users due to the lack of relationship between the street and the Lake. Hence, a street along Hussain Sagar was chosen for intervention to improve this condition. The street post-development of organized activities and programs has the potential to become a ‘Treasured Necklace’ that can be experienced by the locals and tourists throughout the day making it a destination in the city of Hyderabad.

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The growth of the city with respect to Hussain Sagar helps interpret how it was once on the outskirts of the city and now has become the center of the city. With time, people have started to refrain from experiencing this Lake. Thus, influencing the vision for the Lakefront that needs to attract locals and tourists.

The site analysis began by studying the Lake, which forms the major part of the street surrounding. This study of the physical layers of the lake has helped understand the impact that pollution is having on the lake. The huge existing trees and lawns along with the street lack in enhancing the visual connection with the Lake.

The activity mapping helps place activities and user patterns along the street. The site experiences two tempos of use - one is the faster pace of the recreational users and the other is the slower pace of the health activities. This helps interpret that though the activities are dynamic in nature, some areas within the street do not engage users.

The street montages represent its setting in the fabric and reveal the existing character of the space along the street. It also depicts the relationship between various users and their existing activities on the street. The major active zones in the street either have food magnets or a connection with Lake that attracts users onto that part of the street.

To achieve a shared street, experience a balance between manmade activities that occur on the street and a relationship with the Lake needs to be developed. Once the public transit activities are reduced in the evening one can form an active pedestrian street, while a thoroughfare for vehicular movement is developed throughout the day.

Engaging users along the Lake and activating the street as highlighted in the strategies is the major program of the street. The Inferences from the previous study helps comprehend where the activities need to be re-directed, converged, and densified.

The existing site is inactive at all times except for the commercial activities that attract passersby at times. To create a sense of interest, the street will be developed as a shared street that attracts various users. The primary movement of people along the street has been designed so that it gives the users a glimpse of the changing frames of the street.

The strategy was to strengthen the social interaction that forms an important aspect of the city’s streets. While also providing spaces of engagement for a long time period while they experience the beauty of the Lake. To activate the street amenities and food stalls were provided to create magnets that attract various users.

Reduction of BOD level after the addition of aquatic vegetation creates a better green network. With the addition of more trees and shrubs, the green network for birds and butterflies was enhanced thus improving the larger ecological connection. The congregational activities within the street transform the space into an engaging space that is active all year long.

This idea of re-thinking the lakefront through these strategies can transform Lakefronts into active open spaces, increasing the overall city open space by 18%. (2.81 sq.km. + 36 sq.km.). When the idea is looked through the spectrum of happiness index study one can notice economic, emotional, and health environment growth at street and city level.