Post-COVID public space governance has suddenly, unforeseeably, and disproportionately impacted populations already vulnerable as a result of occupation, class, migration status, religion, gender, and other factors, that rely on urban public spaces for their basic needs. In particular, mandates on social distancing have meant the exclusion of vulnerable groups from using streets for their basic needs. These instances are likely to influence perception of and meanings attached to streets and their use. They raise critical questions for urban scholars and new challenges for urban designers and planners. How might hard mandates on physical distancing and hygiene influence the design and use of public space in urban India? How might inclusive public spaces become possible in post-COVID Indian cities?
This studio will develop propositions for inclusive streets in the post-COVID context. Our approach is premised in the belief that inclusive public spaces in a post-COVID context might be possible if:
- Urban design takes into account the many ways in which vulnerable groups depend on public spaces for their basic needs,
- Design processes have a sufficiently grounded understanding of the myriad ways in which public space is used, governed, experienced, and desired.