Liveable Urbanism

Liveable Urbanism

Project Description

Group Research Booklet

Liveable Urbanism is a vertical studio unit consisting of MArch and BSc 3 students from the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University. The unit typically engages with a city that is undergoing tremendous urban transformation, whilst addressing environmental challenges, issues of waste management, tackling equity and economic resilience. The studio unit approaches cities as complex dynamic systems, completing a comprehensive analysis of Kochi through engaging its social, infrastructural and environmental sub-systems, as well as their interactions. Initially, through a comprehensive literature review on concepts surrounding liveable and sustainable cities, a critical position is developed on what makes cities liveable.

Since 2018, the unit has been working with rapidly growing cities that are funded by Smart City Missions in India, in collaboration with the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), SCSM College of Architecture Kochi, Experimental 16 at the AA, Complexity Planning Unit and Manchester University, Uniciti and UDSU at Strathclyde. In 2021-22, we have collaborated with the Kochi Mayor’s office, Cochin City Corporation and Centre for Heritage Environment and Development (C-HED) to develop a comprehensive vision for a sustainable, resilient, and liveable future for Kochi.

The unit developed an extensive base map of Kochi using an open-source GIS platform. During the research phase, we established strong relationships with key stakeholders in the city, documented the morphological conditions of the urban area and key buildings within the city using 3d scanner, drone survey and Mappilary, and recorded community voices through an extensive questionnaire survey. The analysis of these allowed us to develop a deeper understanding of the physical and morphological aspect of Kochi as well as how they influence behaviour, environment and ecology and all other aspects which impact the everyday life and liveability. The stakeholder interviewees included local architects, governing bodies, policymakers, business bodies and the Mayor of Kochi, which allowed us to develop the dynamic relationship between decision making, ambition, vision, politics as well as management which add a different layer of complexity facing the city.

Through the diverse research approaches, a comprehensive urban strategy has been developed, which will subsequently branch out into individual interpretations presented through personal design thesis, inter-connected set of flexible and resilient interventions and strategies aiming to address the root-causes of identified issues facing the city. Each approach within the urban strategy has been developed as a detailed architectural proposal, acting as a catalyst of change for Kochi’s transformation towards a more sustainable, liveable city.

Junqing Wang, Elizabeth Rand, Grace Lee, Prity Chatterjee, Arman Wan Nordin, Chinmay Kale, Barney Johnson, Benjamin Maslin, Lucas Theis, Christopher Adams
MArch2: Ana Moldovan, Ana-Maria Arhire, Bel Summer, Billy Sayers, Chelsea Wong , Claudia Petre, Dima Saca, Eleni Vlataki, Hamssini Sukumaran, Nur Binti Abdul Nasir, James Thein, Judith Deak, Lydia Newman, Meylan Fernandez Villazon, Oliver Shad, Petya Atanasova, Sophie

Project Authors