Mapping Manek Chowk – Transformation Through The Day

Team-  Kalgi Kapasi, Nemi shah, Vaishvi Likhar, Saurin Patel,  Suhas Chaudhari, Poojan Shah.

Manek Chowk is an urban public space located in the historic walled city of Ahmedabad, India. This square was planned on the principles on traditional city principals but it still strengthens a Vibrant Community Space. The Vision report document complies a key finding of the observation of this square. It is based on the preliminary mapping and survey of the area. The public space served as a vibrant market place and the main commercial center for the city attracting people and entrepreneurs from the local community and the city for several centuries. Vehicles dominating the pedestrian movement, increase in noise and air pollution lacks the safety for pedestrians and the non-motorized users. From cattle grazing activities in the early morning, heavy commercial and business activities through the day, to a vibrant street food market that is active late into the night, the area is active for 20 hours a day. Unorganized vending activities, shop extensions on footpaths and street reduces pedestrian movement which has led to congestion and space reduction for movement.

The activities in a public space change several times a day to serve specify needs and give way for effective usage of the place. The square is dynamic and constantly changing for an effective use as an urban public space.

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Early Morning Activities, Manek Chowk
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Activities of the Main Square, Early Morning
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Noon Time Activities, Manek Chowk
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Activities of the Main Square, Noon Time
Vehicles dominate the public space and the pedestrians are given the least importance., noise and air pollution are at their peak, parking occupies the space movement for people, unorganized gatherings add to the levels of chaos in the area.

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Night Time Activities, Manek Chowk
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Activities of the Main Square, Night Time
The Food market at night, the main attraction of the locals and the tourists guides the night time. The chaos of sellers, the customers and the vehicles makes the place alive. The following video gives a glimpse of the area which gives a better understanding of the place.

The graph reflects the mapping of the major activities of the square :

Cattle Grazing: The number of cattle and the species observed at a particular time interval and its counting across the period (morning).

Parking Transition: The density of parking throughout the day and its variation with time is represented. Like the peak traffic hours affecting the parking layout.

Food Mapping: The type of major food items available in the market and the gross sell over a day. The number of plates for a particular item is represented in comparison with other items.
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The ideology of people and their thoughts about what is the area, how is it or what they think about the area has been documented as the ‘Perception of People’. The experience of the area that has served lots of people in business and the working of the place gives a soothing feeling for the documentation.

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Sound Mapping 
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Perception of shopkeepers in Manek Chowk
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This website is a compilation of work done by students of INDUS University, Ahmedabad. The course was a two week long module where they engaged with mapping and unfloding the many layers of small public spaces in Ahmedabad city. This course was taught by Mansi Shah

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