Combating Social Isolation and Loneliness through Inclusive Neighbourhoods
Kaloor, Ernakulam, Kanayannur, Ernakulam district, Kerala, 682017, India
Revitalising Perandoor Road to create an informal care network
Cities are becoming increasingly fragmented due to the rise in urbanisation globally. This in turn has resulted in rising inequality and a growing complexity of urban social life, leading to social exclusion and segregation.
This thesis aims to understand how social sustainability can be achieved in Kochi, the major financial, commercial, and industrial centre in Kerala, India, through architecture and the built environment. It is hoped that this analysis will act as a catalyst for city-wide change. The research conducted found that social isolation and loneliness are barriers to the formation of socially sustainable communities; this was used as a benchmark for an analysis of Kochi’s neighbourhoods and the identification of areas of critical need in these aspects.
The urban strategy aims to implement an inclusive neighbourhood concept through retrofitting and improving existing neighbourhoods. Inclusive neighbourhoods aim to ensure equity for all, improve mobility, ensure safety, increase opportunities for social interaction and provide equal access to core services and opportunities. This approach encourages locals to adopt ‘local living’ by making full use of local opportunities and services through the densification and improvement of existing buildings and infrastructure.
The catalyst project takes place along Peradoor Road, located in the Kaloor North ward. This proposal was designed with the intent of fostering an informal care network within the neighbourhood to reduce isolation and loneliness. This is accomplished through improvements to accessibility, inclusivity and social opportunities within the area. This will generate a greater sense of belong and create a more resilient and cohesive community.
Isolation and loneliness are issues that are often neglected when planning the implementation of city-wide development strategies. However, the research and analysis conducted reveals that feelings of isolation and loneliness have a significant impact on physical and mental wellbeing and prevent the formation of cohesive and sustainable communities.
Thus, it is clear that improving the vitality, accessibility and inclusivity throughout Kochi is vital to combat barriers to inclusivity and improve the overall liveability of Kochi.